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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

[video] 5 tips for following up after job interviews

Bethany Wallace AvatarBethany Wallace
April 26, 2016


Just because your interview went well doesn’t mean you can rest. Following up after a job interview is absolutely important and affects your chances.

Imagine this scenario: You finish the interview. You stand up, straightening your new suit jacket. The recruiter smiles broadly and extends her hand.

“Thank you so much for your time today. You should definitely hear from us within the next two weeks about our hiring decision.”

It’s in the bag, you think to yourself while you shake hands with her, smiling and thanking her for the opportunity to interview with her company and colleagues.

You get in your car, call your mom (you know your mom is the most important person in the world, no matter how old you are), and brag about the job you basically already landed.

But wait. Your part isn’t finished in the job search, even if you do land this job. You have to follow up.

What is this follow up that I speak of, you might ask?

Also read: An entry-level job seeker’s guide to interview outfits

Check out the following five-minute video for five quick tips for following up after job interviews.

If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Ask about the hiring timeline

You should ask the recruiter during the interview process when they expect to fill the position–this is their hiring timeline. If the recruiter or hiring manager offers up information during the interview about when you can expect to hear back from them, great. If not, ask! Don’t leave the interview without information about when it might be appropriate to call or email to check on whether the position has been filled. When you check on whether the position has been filled, don’t just ask, “Has the position been filled yet?” Ask if the position has been filled, but if it hasn’t, ask if you can provide any further information to help them make their decision and to ensure them that you’re the right candidate to fill the position. The first step in following up is asking for permission to follow up.

2. Follow up no sooner than advised, and with the right person

Do not nag recruiters. Human resources professionals and talent acquisition leaders are busy people and are usually trying to fill multiple roles simultaneously. The worst thing you can do is call an employer immediately after an interview and continue to call every single day after your interview.

If you have contact information for the recruiter or hiring manager who interviewed you, follow up with that person. It’s best to follow up with someone who’s going to remember you rather than to follow up with someone who has to look you up in a computerized system.

3. Send thank you cards to everyone who interviewed you

Yes, this is the digital age. And sure, recruiters and talent acquisition leaders use smartphones and laptops and love apps as much as you do. However, they also love to receive snail mail—not bills, but handwritten cards and letters. There’s just something novel these days about receiving real mail. If you take the time to write a kind thank you note to your interviewer(s), it won’t go unnoticed. In fact, many interviewers mention that those candidates who send thank you cards stand out from candidates who don’t. Who doesn’t want to stand out when following up? Why not spend 1/3 of a dollar and a few minutes of your time to thank your interviewer for interviewing you? Your gratitude might pay off.

4. Send your thank you cards immediately after the interview

Don’t wait too long to send thank you cards. Becky Warren, Career & Disability Services Coordinator at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, suggests bringing stamped thank you cards to interviews and filling them out in your car immediately after the interview (and mailing them before leaving town). By writing and mailing cards almost immediately after the interview, you are more likely to remember details of the conversation you had with the employer. Include compliments and kind words based on conversations you had with the interviewer in your thank you cards. For example, “I enjoyed hearing about how you began your career as a technical writer. I hope to land this job and get started on a similar career journey.”

5. Keep in touch even if you don’t land the job

What if you don’t land the job? Should you feel sorry for yourself and indulge in chocolate for days? Maybe for one day, sure. Afterwards, pick yourself up and invite your interviewers to connect with you on social media. Send them an email thanking them once again for the opportunity to interview. Ask them to keep you in mind for other job openings within their organization.

Also read Networking: A Definitive Guide For Students and Grads to Succeed in the Job Search

This is part of professional networking. Never close a door once it’s opened. You never know when your paths may cross in the future. While one open position wasn’t a fit for you, there may be another opening in three months that’s the perfect fit. If you maintain an open line of communication—and demonstrate a gracious attitude when you’re not selected for the original job opening—your interviewers just might remember you the second time around when they’re sourcing for candidates.


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