The Who, How and When of Following Up After an Interview

You know you nailed yesterday’s interview with that up-and-coming company downtown. The whole meeting was relaxed and comfortable, and you seemed like a perfect fit in the group dynamics. You hit all your major talking points and sailed through that awkward “What are your weaknesses?” question.

However, it’s been a few days and you haven’t heard a word. No voicemails, no emails, and now you’re starting to worry. What did you forget?

The Follow-Up.

A well-timed follow-up note, phone call or email can help you stay on the top of the applicant pile. It reminds the hiring manager of your interest in the position, without seeming desperate for employment. It also allows you to check in on the hiring process, as well as offer any additional information you may have forgotten in the original interview.

Follow-ups are both an art and a science. They should be brief and optimistic, conversational yet professional. There are many different ways to follow up after an interview; how and when you do it is almost as important as the interview itself.

Who should you follow up with after an interview?

Whether one-on-one or group style, you need to connect with anyone and everyone involved in your interview. Send a thank you note or email to each person in the interview within 24 hours to show that you appreciate the time they made in their day to meet with you. It also shows that you are the type of employee who follows through with your work and treats others in the office with respect.

How should you follow up after an interview?

If the interview is with a more traditional company, go with a handwritten note. However, if the position is a high-tech IT spot or a communications/media role, then email is a solid choice. If you’re still unsure, use the last medium of communication, meaning that if the hiring manager has been contacting you by phone, the best way to follow up is also by phone.

Don’t forget about connecting on social media! While it’s best to avoid “friending” or following on the more casual sites, an invitation on LinkedIn is a great way to both follow up and expand your professional network. Be sure to ask for permission before leaving the interview.

When should I follow up after an interview?

There are several key time frames for following up after an interview. First, send out a thank you message within 24 hours. After that, once a week to check in on the hiring process is completely acceptable. Before you leave the interview, ask them for a time frame; if you know they’ll make a decision in a week, you can time your follow-ups more effectively.

What should I say in my follow-up?

Repeat these words: Thank, Remind, Next Steps.

Thank the participants for their time and remind them, briefly, why you are qualified for the job and excited for the opportunity. End the note by asking about the next steps in the hiring process.

Also, a follow-up is a great way to recover if you feel that your first impression might have missed the bull’s-eye. You can provide them with additional resources that really describe your skills or even have your references write notes of praise to send. To show them you’re already thinking like an employee, consider including a link to an article that relates to the company or key concepts explored during the interview.

The follow-up intimidates many job seekers. At Sparks Group, we are focused on helping our candidates feel at ease during the job hunt. Whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time, temporary or contract work, we are right there with you for every step of the hiring process. Contact us today and let’s get you on the path to your ideal career.

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