How to Follow Up After An Interview
Waiting for feedback after a job interview can be a long and frustrating experience for most people. It is hard to know exactly what to expect because there are many mixed reactions during an interview. One minute, you feel that you are rubbing off on the interviewers; the next minute, you don’t think they are that into you. When the waiting becomes hard to bear, you begin to ask how to follow up on an interview.
Most people, including interviewers, speak about one major way to follow up. From our findings, we have discovered 3 solid ways to follow up after an interview. We will be sharing these secrets with you in this article as well as what not to do after an interview.
Before the actual follow-up procedures, you should first warm up to the interviewers with these “pre-follow-up” steps.
Try to leave a good impression.
Following up can be a total waste of time if you didn’t make a good impression during the interview. For this reason, try to make the best impression you can before you leave the premises of the interview. Also, how the interview went tells a lot about what to expect. Some interviews are so good that the hiring manager gives a strong and clear hint that they would contact you. Then, some interviews end up so badly that the job seeker gets thrown out of the building. Although these are rare cases, you will have an idea of what to expect if you pay close attention to body language.
Ask important questions.
After the interview, you may try to connect with the interviewers on a more personal note. However, you need to ensure that you ask the interviewers relevant questions. Small talks like how the interview experience was a little intense for you are encouraged. Interviewers feel a bit of empathy and attempt to calm job seekers down. That is when you should pop the questions. To make the questions sound more natural, you may say, “So, when can I expect to hear from you?” They don’t usually give a specific date. You might hear something like, “within the next 5 working days” or thereabouts. Then you can ask the last question so that it does not seem like you are pushing it. Go ahead and ask them who you should expect to hear from. This is important because the name they give to you is likely the designated person (and most likely the one with the answers) to direct the follow-up messages to.
Write a follow-up email
This is the most formal and widely recommended approach. It is where you start to appreciate having taken the “pre-follow-up” steps. You will end up sending two or three emails to follow up on the interview.
The “Thank you” email.
Most Human Resources professionals, especially those involved in recruiting new candidates, encourage this. Note that you should send this “Thank You” email within 24 hours of the interview. That is when it is most effective. This letter or email is no different from usual formal letters. Firstly, it should be brief- no more than 120 words. Next, start by addressing the recipient by their first name. Thank them for the opportunity and reiterate your desire to work with them. End it by letting them know that you anticipate their feedback.
Friendly reminder email
You may proceed to send a follow-up email reminding the hiring manager that you are still anticipating feedback. Note that you can only send this email if (a big “if”) the stipulated time for feedback has been exceeded. If you are yet to hear from the company 48 hours after the stipulated time to receive feedback, write this letter. It must be brief and concise. In the email, start on a lighter note. Politely remind them that the time you were asked to expect feedback has been exceeded. Also, remind them of the highlights of the interview- especially the compliments they gave you. Include any interesting project you are working on at the moment. Let them know how that would help you thrive if allowed to work with them.
The final (optional) email
If you get feedback after the second email, then there’s no need for this. You may send a final email about a week after the second email. It should also be straight to the point and official. Basically reiterate your desire to work with them. Tell them what you can do to add extra value to their business. End it by restating that you are available whenever they need to get in touch.
If none of these get you a response, you should take the positives from the experience and focus your attention elsewhere.
Find mutual connections on social media
There is nothing wrong with making friends within the company. The best approach would be to start making friends in the company even before the interview. Making friends after the interview is equally encouraged. Since it is easy to meet people on social media, find the staff of the company online. Form a healthy friendship with them that will benefit you before and if eventually, you join the company.
How does this help you with following up after the interview? Two ways: information and advocacy. Information is your primary aim here. Although, if someone could help you put a word in, it would be appreciated as well. Since you want information about the interview results, your friends within the company can help in some ways. Don’t expect them to come to you with a list of names that passed the interview. Neither should you expect them to risk their jobs just to help someone they knew not too long ago.
They will let you know if the results are out or not. Also, they can give you more specific details of when to expect the results. If you are lucky, they might just be in a position to put in a word for you. That is not only rare, it depends largely on your relationship. Finding such acquaintances online is easy. Social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the best places to connect with professionals of this magnitude outside of work.
Show interest in company activities.
There are better ways of checking in to see what is happening in the company than stalking. Everyone appreciates those who show an honest interest in what they do. In showing interest in the company’s activities, you must be careful not to send the wrong message. Knowing what ways to show interest and what not to interfere with makes all the difference.
When and how to show genuine interest
After your interview, look for opportunities to get close to the employees as much as you can. Find ways to get involved or make an appearance at any of their public events. The keyword here is “public”. If the event is meant for company staff and only a few guests, don’t show up unannounced. For example, a sendoff ceremony or retirement party is not a place for you. As long as it is public, you have every right to be there. Do your research and find out ways to contribute to it. Purposely contact the company to ask how you can contribute to it online or offline. While you do this, don’t make mention of your interview experience. Show genuine interest even on the day of the event.
While you are there, act normal. If you are handling something, do it well. Making small talk with people in the event is fine but don’t overdo it, especially with those who interviewed you.
When you finally decide to approach the people who most likely call the shots regarding recruitment, approach them courteously. Say hello and commend their efforts. Engage in relevant yet smart conversations to show your intelligent side- again, don’t try too hard to impress. You could make a friendly remark about how different they seem outside of their work environment. Never pressure them on what they think about your day at the interview. You could only end the conversation by saying, “I hope to hear from you soon about the interview. I see myself working with you, I love the atmosphere you create.” And that’s your cue to leave.
What to never do after an interview
Calling after the interview. Under no circumstances should you call a recruiter or hiring manager on the phone after an interview. The only exception to this is if (a big “if”) they specifically asked you to do so. Likewise, if you asked after the interview if it was okay to call and they said yes. If none of those conditions apply, never attempt to call. There are more efficient and professional ways to follow up after an interview. Apart from being inappropriate, it can be offensive to some. You come off too strong in their opinion and the word goes out fast. No phone calls to the recruiter, receptionist, or anyone associated with the recruitment process.
Texting for feedback. What could be more annoying to a recruiter than having a job seeker pester them with inappropriate calls? You probably guessed this one- receiving texts from the candidate. Not only is this considered highly inappropriate, but it is also immature. For something so formal and important, sending a text shows a level of immaturity and a lack of sensitivity. No matter what the reason is, you should never text a recruiter. Besides being immature and unprofessional, it makes you come off as desperate. The last thing any recruiter wants to deal with is an obsessed employee.
Leaving messages in the comments sections. While this is rare, some have done it. This is undoubtedly the height of desperation. There are relatable reasons for this. Probably the candidate didn’t hear from the company after the interview and tried to take matters into their own hands. While it is commendable to take some form of action, this action will send all the wrong messages. Firstly, it could come off to the company as an attack or ambush of some sort. The comments section is a very public space. No company wants to come off as the one who gives people the cold shoulder after an interview. You would most likely get a response because the company would be trying to save face. However, they will not give you the job of disgracing them publicly.
Going back in person. There is a competition for the “most desperate move after an interview” between leaving messages on the comments section and showing up at the company’s premises uninvited. Again, it sends all the wrong messages you never want your future employers to get about you. imagine the shock on the faces of any interviewer who recognizes you. next, imagine the disgust they would feel when they ask you why you showed up. Don’t ever show up in person after an interview if you were not invited. Some might argue that it shows their seriousness. No matter what the argument is, it is unprofessional and unethical.
Stalking the hiring manager or recruiter on social media. Freedom of speech has never been more upheld than on social media. Besides that, making acquaintances has never been easier. Even the president can be your friend these days. Likewise, the hiring manager or recruiter could become friends with you online. However, doesn’t result in stalking them online. Some keen job seekers start to follow recruiters online only to keep bugging them about getting feedback. This is purely stalking. It scares people and makes them uncomfortable. How many recruiters do you think to want to employ someone that terrifies them? None!
The reality is that the outcome of an interview is not in your hands. At the end of the day, you cannot force your interviewer to give you the job. One of the best things to do in this vital period is to have patience. While you do your best to reach out and get some feedback, know that you are doing the best you can. Overthinking what to do stirs up negative feelings and regrettable actions. There are a few important things to do after an interview in terms of following up. In contrast, there are many things you should never do after an interview to keep your hopes of getting the job alive. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Let us know in the comments section below.