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Follow Up Interviews without Bugging Employers

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You know you are supposed to follow up after an interview, but you’re concerned about the employer thinking you’re a pest. Following up is critical because it will distinguish you from those who take no action steps after the interview. You want, however, to do it in the right way.

Simple Guidelines for Interview Follow Up

Find out the employer’s timeline for making a decision. At the end of the interview, ask when you can expect to hear about the hiring decision.

Send a thank you note. You can send a thank you email the day of your interview, but do send a letter by “snail mail,” as well. At the end of your interview, ask for the interviewer’s business card so that you have the correct spelling of his/her name, title and contact information. In your letter, express appreciation for the employer’s time and interest in you, and review the reasons why you are a good fit for the position. Your thank you letter also gives you the opportunity to add any information about your relevant qualifications that you neglected to provide during the interview. (See the article “Writing Your "Thank You" Letter After An Interview.”)

Notify your references. Get permission from each reference prior to giving their name and contact information to an employer. In addition, it can be helpful to give them a “heads up” after an interview to let them know they could get a call from a specific employer. Help them help you by telling them a little about the position you interviewed for, and suggesting any particular information you would like them to share with this employer.

Call the employer if you have not heard from him or her by the decision date. Employers are busy, and hiring someone is an extra responsibility. If you haven’t heard by the date the employer indicated, don’t assume it means you haven’t gotten the job.

Give the employer a call the day after you had expected to hear about the position. Your phone conversation or voice mail message can be something like, “Hi, this is Allison Jamison. I interviewed for the administrative assistant position on (date). I enjoyed talking with you, and think that I could serve XYZ Company well in that position because (briefly note key qualifications). You had mentioned that you expected to make a decision yesterday. I am calling to check on the hiring process, and to see if you have made a decision. You can reach me at (phone number). I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.”

Practice “gentle persistence.” While you don’t want to bug the employer when there is a delay in making the hiring decision periodic follow-up will set you apart from those who don’t make contact after the interview. Continue to build rapport and emphasize your interest in and qualifications for the position during the phone call or in the email.

Continue your job search while you are waiting to hear. Even if you think the job is a “sure thing,” don’t slack off on your job search. If you receive another job offer prior to hearing from the employer, you have additional negotiating leverage. And, if the job you expected to get is offered to someone else, you haven’t lost time in your job search.

Keep perspective on your job search. Don’t place too much importance on one job interview. If the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped, or you don’t get the job offer, learn what you can from the experience and keep on going in your job search. There will be other interviews ahead for you. Job searching is a process of persisting through all the “no’s” until you finally hear that “yes” from an employer.

© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.


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About The Author

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Kevin and Kay

Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck are national certified Career Counselors and authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life. Their websites feature hundreds of job listings from churches, ministries, and Christian employers; a resume bank; and many other career/job search resources and articles. They also offer career coaching and testing to help you discover work that fits your God-given design, as well as assistance with writing a powerful resume, interviewing effectively, finding job openings, and other aspects of a successful job search.