I am often asked about how to follow-up after a job interview, especially when a few weeks have passed and there has been no word. Unfortunately, it seems that many employers don’t contact the people they have interviewed to let them know of the final decision and it must be assumed that no news is not good news.
Keep in mind that you while you may be able to influence others, you cannot control what they do; the only person you have control over is yourself. Therefore, you need to take a pre-emptive approach when it comes to following-up.
Before your interview is concluded, ask about the next step in the interview process. Do they need any additional information from you? When may you expect to hear something? Be sure to ask for the interviewer’s business card (contact card) – if it is a panel interview, collect contact information for everyone. Don’t forget to thank the person for his/her time and the opportunity to interview for the position.
As soon as possible, send an email to the person (people) who interviewed you. Again, thank him/her for the opportunity to interview with the company, refer to something that was discussed during your conversation, and reiterate why you are a good candidate for the position.
Within 24 hours, you should also send a handwritten note to your interviewer. Again, say thank you and reiterate your interest in the job. Include any information you may have forgotten to mention during the interview. Summarize why you think you are a good match for the position and the company. If there is a delay in the hiring process, this is a great way to remind them of who you are and what you have to offer. Sending a handwritten note is not only a way to make yourself stand out among your competition, it may also be the reason you are hired; I have talked with several employers who have made hiring decisions based on who sent a handwritten note and who did not.
Why send both an email and a handwritten note? Sometimes decisions are made very quickly; email provides for immediate impact, and while sending a handwritten note may seem redundant to some, it makes you stand out because few people send them.
Ideally, you will hear from the company in a timely manner and celebrate your new job. Realistically, you should keep in mind that while this job may be front and center in your thoughts, it may be only one of many things the hiring person is dealing with, and therefore a decision may be slow in coming.
If you were given direction as to when and how to follow-up, then do so – as instructed! Calling the next day when you were told to email in one week will make you look pushy. Otherwise, if you haven’t heard anything in a week, send an email (it’s less intrusive than a phone call) to check in and express your continued interest. If after a number of weeks there has still been no response, you can send a second email, but unfortunately, it is probably a case of “no news is not good news” and it’s time to let go and move on to your next interview.