So the interview went well, (you think!) but what happens now. How long will it be till you hear? How many candidates did they interview? How did you perform against the others? Can you influence the outcome now?
Knowing how to follow up after interviews is a dilemma –you want to influence things for the best, and certainly don’t want to make a mistake now and undo all the good work you did at interview.
So how should you handle the situation?
1. Ask what the next step is, ideally at the end of the interview. If you haven’t done that, maybe you can contact a secretary or PA and ask them. It shows them that you are still interested. If the company say they will be in touch by next Monday you can follow up on Tuesday if you have not heard back from them.
2. Should you follow up?
If you have not heard back from them, don’t assume they are not interested in you. Sometimes in business, events overtake people and plans slip. Call, and politely ask if there is any news. If you can’t speak to the right person, leave a brief, professional message confirming your continued interest and asking for news.
3. Use your judgement
Some companies like aggressive post-interview follow up, because it fits with their culture. In fact sometimes companies do not contact candidates, to see who follows up .This might be the case in a sales position when they will be looking for that behaviour in the job role. In this case, how you follow up is effectively part of the interview process.
4. Be careful not to appear too pushy.
Other companies might view candidates who do follow up to be a little too aggressive for their culture. So this is a balancing act – use your intuition based on the people you met and the corporate culture you experienced to know how aggressively to follow up after interview.
5. Leave a voicemail
You can say something like: “Hi Mrs Smith, this is Pauline Hayes following up on our initial meeting, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you. I will be in the office all day today; my number is 001-1234-1234. Thanks” Don’t say you will call back if you don’t hear from them, because they may wait for you to call. Leave the ball in their court.
6. Or send a thank you letter or email.
Email is less formal, and much more immediate than a hard copy mail, so judge which is best for your thank you letter. Use your interview notes to summarise the key points discussed in the interview – the kind of person they are looking for, their main challenges, and anything positive about your application that was discussed during the interview. Keep it short.
7. Include a follow up list of references and testimonials
If you have references and testimonials you have used during your job search, include them in your letter or email. Third party testimonials have a great impact. Collect them from previous employers, and clients you have worked for.
8. Whatever the outcome, remember to be courteous to everyone. You may not get this position, but your interviewer may have another position in mind for you, or know someone who might be interested in talking to you. So remain polite and dignified at all times