Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How and When to Follow Up With an Employer After Your Interview

In my line of work, I get asked about this all the time: “Do I call? What happens if they say I didn’t get the job? What if they don’t answer? Can’t I just send an email?” So on and so forth. After-interview etiquette is simple, yet often underutilized. First, take a deep breath and recognize that you have already interacted with your potential employer since you just interviewed with them. You already know them better than you did prior to the interview, so relax. Next, remind yourself what you did and said well in the interview and why you’re qualified for the job. Hopefully, some of your nerves have died down a bit by now. Interview etiquette can get a bit tricky so Spark News is here to help you through your after-interview jitters and to share tips on how to navigate the interview follow up.

A follow-up after an interview, in my opinion, is essential. Why? Most people don’t do it. All of your efforts in building a resume, going to an interview and all of what those first two huge steps encompass is in an effort to make you stand out from the rest. So, if at the end you just stop standing out, you’ve run the race but haven’t finished.

A couple of details indicate when the appropriate time is to follow-up. If the interviewer gives you a timeline of when they will make a decision- for example, if they say, “we’ll be making a decision in three days” then do not call before the three days. For starters, this makes you appear incapable of following directions. Furthermore, you will seem desperate. I would call on the fourth day. If the fourth day is a Monday, however, I would wait until Tuesday or Wednesday. Mondays in general are the busiest days for any business and you do not want to be another reason for your potential boss to be stressed out during an already hectic time. If the interviewer gives you no indication and you forget to ask when it is likely a decision will be made, go with one week later.

When it’s time, call. Do not email or text. Call. Simply say, “Hello Mr. A- I just wanted to follow-up on our interview. Is there anything else I can provide to further my candidacy?” Hopefully you’ve sent a thank you card or email which Mr. A will kindly thank you for and he will tell you either yes or no on the information and offer that a decision has or hasn’t been made. If Mr. A just says a decision has not been made, you can then ask if he knows of a timeline. If he says no, simply thank him for his time with you during the interview and now on the phone, and say you hope to hear from him soon. This phone call is not the time to say all that you forgot to say during the interview. That was what your thank you letter was for. Do not plan to share another example or remind Mr. A of why you’re right for the job. You should’ve gotten all that out during the interview.

It is OK to leave a voicemail. Be sure to refrain from any sort of rambling. I have been known to write out scripts so that I am sure to say what I want to say and how to say it. Be careful in leaving messages with personal messengers (i.e. a receptionist) unless you are positive that everyone in the office is aware a new person will be starting. You never know if you’re replacing the person who answers the phone. The last thing you need to do is cause office drama.

Do not leave more than two messages. If the employer is ignoring your call, move on. Sorry Charlie, you didn’t get the job, but harassing them isn’t going to help. You never know, they could select you later on so be sure you don’t burn the bridge.

IMAGE: Courtesy of AOL

Jesika Moffitt

Jesika works as a Recruiter & Placement Manager for a staffing service. She has an M.A. in Corporate & Organizational Communication from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and hopes to teach someday soon.