So how exactly should you follow up after a job interview? And what should you do if you don’t hear back from the company?
The first order of business is to write an interview thank you note within 24 hours to everyone you met with. A well-written note from the heart can make a difference in a hiring decision, especially if it is a close tie between two candidates.
But sometimes, companies can take their time–much more time than you’d like–to make their decision. So it’s important to keep in touch along the way.
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Create Your Follow Up Strategy
Ideally, at the interview, remember to ask about their timeframe for making the decision. This will give you a real sense of how urgently they want to fill the role.
Maybe they’re a little bit more general and they’re taking their time. Or perhaps they’re eager to make a decision and have an aggressive timeframe.
Next, find out their preferred way to communicate. Do they prefer email, phone, text, or something else?
Now you have those two important data points you can use as your foundation for following up.
For example, if they say they want to wrap up interviews and have a decision in two weeks, then set an alert in your calendar for two weeks plus or minus one day for your first follow-up communication.
What to Include in Your Follow Up Note(s)
So how do you follow up to show your continued interest without being annoying? Here’s what to include:
- Reiterate your interest in the position.
- Say that you’re checking in and want to know whether they’ve made their decision.
- Add an optional detail about something that you’ve noticed happening with the company. Did you see something in the news or find out something interesting that you researched about them?
- Close in an upbeat way that you look forward to hearing back.
Here is a free template with the exact verbiage you can adapt for each follow up.
Follow Up Frequency
So, how many emails should you send and how often should you send them?
After that first email, wait one week, and if they don’t respond, follow up a second time. Wait one more week, and if you still haven’t heard back, follow up a third time. After a total of three follow ups, it’s time to move on.
It is really bad form if a company is not getting back to you given the investment of time that you’ve both made in the process.
For whatever reason, this happens, and it is frustrating. It is always possible that something happened, like an unexpected organizational change. Or maybe a key decision maker went out of town or became ill so they’re getting back to you much later than you thought.
But with this strategy, you know that you’ve done all you can to continue to show your interest, to be professional, and to always remain positive. You’ll still be in good standing, and, assuming you haven’t already gotten another job, you may still win the job!