After perfecting your CV, submitting a flawless application and giving a great interview, many candidates are left simply waiting to hear the hiring manager’s decision, believing that there is nothing else they can do to increase their chances of landing the role.
However, interview follow-up can play a key role in giving you an extra edge over other candidates when looking to secure a job. Finding the balance between being persistent without bothering the hiring manager is key. By staying professional and following established practice about when it is acceptable to follow up after an interview you can demonstrate tenacity and enthusiasm that can help you secure your ideal job.
1. Send a follow up thank you note
Sending a simple note thanking the interviewer for their time is a great opportunity to remain connected with them and keep you in the front of their mind.
By sending separate notes to each individual you met in the interviewing process you can demonstrate that you are attentive to detail and that you understand the importance of remaining in contact with all relevant stakeholders.
Get your ‘thank you’ messages sent out as soon as possible after the interview – within 24 hours at the latest.
2. Ask about the next steps
Politely asking when you can expect to hear back from the hiring manager should be one of your priorities at any job interview. By gaining this information you have a deadline to work to as to when you can expect to hear back from the hiring manager without seeming over eager or bothersome.
If you don’t hear back by this time you have a valid reason to contact them to ask for information on the status of their decision.
“A follow up email after the expected deadline for the hiring manager’s decision shows that you are engaged and enthusiastic about the role”, commented Jose Bokhorst, Director of Walters People Netherlands. “Remember to thank them for the opportunity to attend the interview and offer to supply any additional information they might need to help them reach a decision about who to hire for the role.”
3. Ask to connect on LinkedIn
Every professional interaction is a networking opportunity and job interviews are no exception. Make a point of finding a good reason to connect with the hiring manager via LinkedIn during the interview (offering to share an interesting article you’ve come across for example).
In addition to showing that you understand the importance of networking, doing so will also give a valuable new professional contact, even in the worst case scenario if you don’t secure the role.
“Always be sure to take the opportunity to ask first in person before connecting via LinkedIn with your interviewer,” added Jose Bokhorst. “While some managers won’t be perturbed with a surprise request to connect it is always best to err on the side of caution and show that you have a conscientious attitude to online networking.”
4. Check in at regular times if the process drags out
In some cases, companies will put hiring procedures on hold due to budget issues or internal restructuring. In these instances it can be tempting for candidates to simply abandon the process, but if it is a role you are enthusiastic about this may not be the only option.
Repeated messages asking if there has been any change in whether the role will be filled are unlikely to be successful, but maintaining contact can still be important.
“Think about the conversation you had with your interviewer – did they offer any general career advice or mention any topics they were interested in?” commented Jose Bokhorst. “Find relevant content or articles you can share with them online. By keeping this line of communication open once a month or so, you can increase your chances of being kept in the loop if new opportunities with the company arise.”
Was your job interview a success and are you offered the position? You will find usefull advice in our article on salary negotiation.