How to Follow-up After a Job Interview (Without Being Annoying)

So you’ve just finished another job interview, and you feel like you’ve aced it. Now what? This post will let you know the best ways to follow up after a job interview without being annoying.

First–before you even walk out the door–ask what the next steps will be. This can relieve a great deal of anxiety you might otherwise experience waiting to hear if you got the job. Many companies, and especially government agencies, take a lot longer than you’d expect to make a decision and to notify applicants of that decision. If the job requires a background check the wait will be even longer.

Send a thank you note or make a follow-up call within 24 hours after the interview. A survey conducted for Accountemps with more than 500 human resource managers found that 91% appreciated thank-you calls and notes following an interview. The survey noted that hiring managers considered email follow-ups the most appropriate, with 87% of respondents indicating their approval of emails, followed by phone calls (81%) and hand-written notes (38%).

Hiring managers were not as satisfied with thank-you notes delivered through social media (38% approval), and text messages should be avoided: only 10% indicated that they deemed texts an appropriate form of communication.

Email a thank you note as soon as possible following the interview; hand-written thank you notes are considered to be old-fashioned and text messages are seen as intrusive. Your message should be brief and positive. Begin by thanking the HR manager for the opportunity to interview, remind her of your abilities, strengths and interest in the job, and close with an invitation to contact you if further information is needed.

Be sure to use good grammar, correct spelling, and a formal greeting (Dear Mr. Smith) and closing (Sincerely, Jake Jones).

Many applicants think that phoning the HR manager is annoying and avoid taking this step. But as this survey reveals, a single call as a follow-up soon after the interview is generally viewed as a positive step. And unlike a thank-you email, it gives you the opportunity to have a conversation while reaffirming your attributes, skills and enthusiasm for the job.

annoyThe follow-up phone call should follow the same format as the email: thanking the interviewer, reaffirming your skills and asking if she needs any additional information. If you feel nervous about making a phone call, write down what you want to say (but don’t read it over the phone!) and practice until you feel comfortable.

And finally, a word about not being annoying. Making that follow-up call or emailing the thank you note is a must-do if you’re really interested in the job. Beyond that it’s best to simply wait, as difficult as this can be. You should never contact the HR manager just to ask if they’ve made a decision or how much longer it will take to do so.

If you’ve followed the advice here and asked about next steps before leaving the interview, you should already have a good idea of how long the process could take. It is in no way helpful to make more than one phone call or send more than one email: you will only irritate the person you’re trying to impress.

If you’d like more information about interviewing for a job, writing a resume, or how to find the job that’s right for you, please contact us. We have a wealth of up-to-date useful information to help you make the right moves.

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