There Is a Fine Line Between Effective Interview Follow Up and Being A Pest

Job search experts tell you to follow up immediately after an interview with an email or hand-written thank you note to each of the interviewers. This very important step of the interview process is skipped by so many job seekers because they don’t think it is worth their time. Well, quite a few hiring managers and recruiters have told me that no follow up helps them weed out the less motivated candidates.

How to Do It

follow up after a job search using social mediaBecause email is the go-to method for business communication these days, actually taking the time to send a hand-written note just might nudge you above the other candidates. It does not need to be a long note, but make sure it doesn’t look like a canned, generic message that you send every interviewer. The most effective approach is to mention something relevant to your skills or experience that you discussed during the interview and express your eagerness to join their team. Continue the conversation and keep yourself in the running.

At the end of the interview, you can set the stage for following up while also gauging the interviewer’s receptiveness. Ask if they’d prefer that you call or email in a couple of weeks to check the status of the decision making process. If they ask you not to follow up, please follow their advice. Annoying them will get you nowhere. Some hiring managers will be impressed by you taking the initiative to make the next contact. Others prefer to control the flow of information. Most importantly, if you commit to following up in a specific manner by a certain date — make sure you do it. No manager wants to hire an employee that does not follow through and misses deadlines.

What to Say

Well, more importantly, what you should not say is that you are following up on the interview. They know why you are reaching out and being too pushy can backfire. Instead, be courteous and reiterate your excitement about the role and joining their team. Let them know that since your interview you have been thinking about what you can do to quickly succeed on the job.

A message like this can further your candidacy.

“Hi Jason,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today regarding your Sr. UX Developer position. I appreciated learning about the upcoming app release and discussing the emerging security issues within today’s hybrid workplace. I am confident that my experience with the UNBTB-20X vulnerability assessment tool will enable me to provide exceptional value to the development team. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide additional information to demonstrate my interest and qualifications.
Dalton Magee”

Next Steps

If you still have not heard anything after a few attempts, it is time to change your approach.   After a week, send the interviewer an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. If you are already connected, visiting their profile once every few weeks is a gentle way to remind them that you are still interested in the job. You can also join some of the same LinkedIn groups and participate in the group conversations. Share articles of interest, demonstrating your expertise and proper professional networking etiquette.  Hopefully they will see your post in their LinkedIn newsfeed. You can also follow the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and comment on the company blog, should they have one. While there are no guarantees, keeping yourself “Top of Mind” without being annoying frequently pays off.

Most importantly, if you have followed up as recommended and still haven’t heard back, please don’t  take it personally. While common courtesy dictates that they hiring company should get back to you either way, many don’t. They are busy filling other roles and you should move on to pursue an even better position. Want to learn more? Here is a helpful article on the subject from US News On Careers and the link to my LinkedIn profile so we can connect.

Trish McGrath founded her coaching practice in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful.

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