The job search process can be stressful. Each time you fill out an application, send in your resume or meet for an interview, it produces a little more anxiety, and you can’t wait to hear back. You want to know immediately whether you’re still in the running or even got the job. But there’s a fine line between following up effectively and checking in too many times—you don’t want to seem desperate. And not checking in at all makes you look disinterested or lazy. Here’s how much you should be following up after an interview.
Send a thank you
Always send a thank-you note! Preferably within 24 hours. Though thank-you notes are pretty standard, not every candidate will send one and it’s a good chance to stand out from the crowd. You can also reiterate your interest in the position and mention anything you forgot to say during the interview. Market yourself and demonstrate how well you’ll fit into their culture.
A few days later
At the end of the interview, be sure to ask when you can expect to hear back from them. Then be patient. If they told you you’d hear on Monday, wait a few extra days and then follow up. If you call first thing Monday morning, you may seem desperate and impatient. Give it until Wednesday, maybe even Thursday, and then send an email or make a phone call to find out if a decision has been made.
When they tell you to check in
If they haven’t made a decision after that original deadline, go ahead and follow up on the second deadline. Don’t feel like you’re being a pest—they’re the ones telling you when to check in, so feel free to do so. It’s a great opportunity to evaluate how interested they seem in you. If they seem really friendly and encouraging, you’re probably free to check in again. But if they seem curt, abrupt and stand-offish, it might be a sign you’re not one of their top candidates and it’s time to back off.
When the job is still posted
There’s always a chance that many weeks or months have passed and they still haven’t made a decision. If so, it doesn’t hurt to send an occasional email or two. Maybe you can include an interesting article that’s relevant to your industry or let them know of an upcoming seminar or podcast. Show you’re passionate about your field and enthusiastic about their company.
Thank them again
Even if you don’t get the job, it’s always a good idea to send one last email thanking them for the opportunity, their time and consideration. At least you’ll make sure they remember you in the future when they’re looking to fill another position. Maybe you weren’t the best fit for this role, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be perfect for the next.
For more advice on managing a job search, check out our website at http://www.icrjobs.com.