5-Step Approach to Interview Follow Up

Q.  It’s been over a month since I interviewed for a job.  While they appeared extremely encouraging at first, I’ve heard nothing since a positive email exchange a week after the interview.  After two weeks, I called several times but only got voice mail and no response.  Suggestions?  -CA

A.  Other than making too many phone calls, you have done all you can do at this point.  I encourage job seekers to adhere to a 5-step process for job-interview follow up.

During the interview when you are asked if you have any questions, inquire about the anticipated timing for a hiring decision.  (If they say two weeks, mentally double it since I’ve never seen a search move as promptly as hiring managers might desire.)  Next, be sure to send a short thank you note immediately after the interview–ideally handwritten, but email is becoming the norm and is quite acceptable.  Handwritten notes simply are rare and, therefore, more memorable.  Third, seven days after the interview, send a follow-up email note expressing interest and inviting them to contact you if they have any questions.  In that note, you also might briefly mention anything you’ve seen about the company/agency in the news since your interview.  Nothing that you are aware of the news will indicate you have more than passing interest in what’s happening at the organization.  Your fourth step should be one phone call timed to when you were told they might be making a decision.  Don’t sound desperate.  If you get voice mail, leave relevant contact information and wish them luck with the hiring decision, noting that you know it is not an easy process but you are keenly interested in the position and feel you would help them achieve their objectives.  If you get no response within a week, write off that organization so you can focus on other opportunities rather than dwell on what have gone wrong with this one.

No response suggests something has happened within the organization (internal hire, loss of client, etc.) that has altered hiring plans.  In some cases, over-worked HR staffers simply fail to close the loop with other candidates. Whatever the situation, it’s time to move on.

2 thoughts on “5-Step Approach to Interview Follow Up

  1. Great follow up process, I’ve often found myself wondering the best way to follow up. I never want to be a nuisance or seem uninterested. This is valuable advice.

  2. Dear Ron,
    Thank you for the post, really great advice.
    I have a particular situation and I would like to ask for your advice.
    In August 2011 I had 2 interviews with Burson –Masteller Spain (I live in Madrid), first with the HR department and after with the head of marketing department. I offered to volunteer for the company, and the HR head called me on an interview. He liked my curriculum and achievements and me I suppose, as he said he would recommend me to the marketing – events department (my expertise area). The marketing department head called me and I had an interview with him also, two weeks later.
    At the end of the interview, the head of Mk department told me the interview was great he liked my CV and experience, but for the moment there were no openings. He also added they usually have openings and he will get in touch with me once an opening appears.
    After the interview I sent the thank you note (by email) and he answered me (it never happened to me before). After 1 month I called to say hello and ask if he had news. No news he said, they were working on getting a big client, but no news for the moment. I continue to stay in touch by sending him info about the events, conferences on the market (all by email), approximately once a month (of course I previously asked for his permission). He always answered me with a “thank you”.
    Now I am stuck. Can you please help me with a piece of advice? What should be my next move? I do not want to bother him, but also I do not want to get forgotten.
    P.S: I would like to add I am connected with him on Facebook also, so he can see my online activity.
    Thank you very much for reading my post.
    Best regards from Spain,
    Corina Manea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *