By Mo Chanmugham, Esq.
The interview follow-up scenario can feel like a delicate dance between you and the employer. Especially when you know you had a great interview and they told you that you could expect to hear back from them within a few days. But after a few days have passed and you haven’t heard anything from the employer, you can’t help but start to get a little anxious. Is this a bad sign? Should you follow up? What do you say? While you don’t want to come off as annoying or pushy, you do want to find out whether you got the job or not.
In this article, you will learn how to follow up in a professional and appropriate manner so that you don’t turn off the employer.
Ask Them What The Next Steps Are
Generally, at the end of the interview, you will have an opportunity to ask any final questions. This is when you can ask one of the following questions below to find out what the next steps are:
1. What are the next steps in the interview process?
2. What is your timeline for making a hiring decision?
3. Who is the appropriate person I should follow up with regarding next steps?
The answers to these questions will give you a sense of clarity and control about how to follow-up after the interview.
Get Their Business Card
As the interview comes to a close, make sure to ask your interviewer for their business card. You’ll use this information to send them a thank you note. Hand-written thank you notes are always a nice touch but emailed thank you notes are also acceptable.
The secret to writing a good thank you note is to not make it sound like a generic thank you but to personalize it by referencing something from the interview and to use it as an opportunity to reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and why you’re a good fit. Ideally, you should plan to send your thank you note the day after your interview.
Sending A Follow-Up Email
If the deadline to hear back from the employer has come and gone and you’re anxious to find out if you got the job or not, here is what you can do. It’s best not to follow up the day you were supposed to hear from them. Instead give the employer at least a 24 hour grace period. For example, if you were told you would hear back by end of day Monday and you didn’t, then the soonest you should follow up is on Wednesday. While hearing back from the employer might be your top priority, keep in mind that the employer has a lot of other things going on at the office and giving them this grace period shows that you are being respectful and courteous while also expressing your interest in the job.
According to career expert Alison Green, since the timeline you were given has passed you have a good reason to follow-up. Here is a sample email you can use in your outreach:
“ Dear _____, Thank you again for the opportunity to interview with your firm for the associate position. I enjoyed meeting you and the other associates and wanted to reiterate my sincere desire to be a part of your organization. I just wanted to follow up to see if you have a timeline you can share for the next steps in the hiring process. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.
This example allows you to follow up without being too direct or pushy. Since you’re inquiring about the process and not the hiring decision you are more likely to get a response with an updated timeline if they have not made a decision yet. Ultimately this approach allows you to stay in communication with the employer without pressuring them for an answer.