How To Follow Up After An Interview

Posted by in Companies •

One of the most common question that job seekers ask is "Why didn't they call me back after the interview?". Everyone has been there at one point or another and it has to be one of the more frustrating parts of looking for a job. Once the interview is over and the thank you note is sent, it becomes a waiting game. Just waiting for the phone to ring and compulsively checking your email can drive you crazy.

The way to combat this is by following up with a company after the interview. A follow up phone call is one of the most useful but under-used pieces of interview etiquette. When I think back to the times when I haven't made the phone call, the reason was that I was afraid to call, worried that I would be seen as pushy or overly eager. The problem with this type of thinking is that it won't help you get the job. Here's why:

You've already met a representative of the company and discussed how you could be an asset to their company. This means that you have a business relationship with that person. Calling them back isn't even close to being in the same category as cold calling someone. It's perfectly acceptable, and in fact, expected that you will give them a call to follow up. Here are a few tips to help you get through the call:

Think about why you're qualified for the job. If you are still feeling anxious about making the call, remind yourself of why you are a good fit for the job. Review the interview in your mind and think about all the things that went right. This should give you a needed confidence boost and make it less likely that the anxiety will bleed through in your voice.

Follow up at the appropriate time. At the end of the interview, it's important to ask what when the company is planning to make a hiring decision. If they say three days or a week or whatever, use that as a timeline for when you should call them. Don't call before the timeframe they gave is up. If they said that they will make a decision in three days, call on day four. If the employer wasn't able to give a specific time, then you should follow up in a week.

Don't call on Monday. Mondays are always the busiest days at most jobs, so don't call then. Even if they said they would make a decision on Friday, wait until Tuesday to follow up.

Be careful leaving messages. Before you call, it's a good idea to write out a brief script in case your call is forwarded to voice mail. This makes it less likely that you will leave out important information or ramble because of nerves. Also, if the message is being taken by an actual person, be careful about how much information you give. Simply give your name and number and say that you are following up on a meeting you had last week. Don't mention the details of the job because you can't know how much information the person has.

Don't burn bridges. You shouldn't attempt to leave more than two messages. If you don't get a call back, you can assume that you didn't get the job. Even if the employer never calls you back or if they tell you that they have decided to hire someone else, be as professional as possible. The worst thing you can do is to lose your cool and get mad. You never know when you might need them again, so don't burn those bridges.

Following up only takes a few minutes, but it can really make you stand out. So many people don't bother to call back. Those who do show that they are serious about the job.

Do you follow up after every interview? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
Pure bullshit, the do not care if you call or not. Most of the time there is no job and they just advertise to show they are expanding.
Eva D. Groesbeck
Eva D. Groesbeck
Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.
barry e
barry e
What if yiou have over a 30 day period two meetings with the three senior execuitves of a large corporation regarding you developing a new type of business for the company and last meeing was one week ago and you called and left a message re update.How long should you wait if you havent heard back and should it be e-mail or another follow up call?
 wendy b
wendy b
the article I read was very useful to me u might should put in there? ppl need to ask at a interview
Melissa Kennedy
Melissa Kennedy
Thanks for the great comments!Bruce - It means you should go online and fill out an application.Nureen - email or traditional mail are both fine. They have pros and cons
Bruce W
Bruce W
What does it mean when the potential employer calls and asked you to fill out an application online after the interview?
Nureen M
Nureen M
I always send a thank you note for the interview but I'm still not sure what is the correct venue. Is it acceptable to send it via e-mail or is it still better to send a hand written note.And is  there a preferred sign-off. I have always used "Best regards" but is Sincerely also being done?
Jack Y
Jack Y
I always follow up after a interview
Mark P
Mark P
Very helpful advice. Thank you so much. I'll follow these tips.
Jon J
Jon J
I like this article, I was feeling apprehensive about calling after the prescribed time. After reading the article, I will definitely follow-up with the person who I interviewed with. Funny as I was reading the article I was thinking about calling first thing Monday, glad I read the entire article. Tuesday is good Lol:) Thank You
 mark v
mark v
I applied to one company and follow up ,the guy id so pissed off
Rene M
Rene M
Well said! I am age 64 and still getting interviews with prospective employers. I have followed your advice almost to the letter for many years and landed many jobs. Bottom line; don't stop after the interview. You're not the only one who applied for the job. Stand out as someone who wants the job without appearing desperate. This will keep the interview fresh in the interviewers mind. If at some time during the interview you struck some common ground or interest, use that to refresh the interviewers memory of you when you call again. If turned down, thank them for their time and express your desire to have another chance soon to prove you're a good fit for the company.
Jerome V
Jerome V
It's very trouble-free to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this piece of writing at this website.
Edward M
Edward M
Thanks for the insight!   My question is should I call regarding interviews that I have had several weeks ago after I've sent two follow-up emails?   Or is there a time frame where I waited too long to place a follow-up call?
Robert S
Robert S
Thank you for these insightful comments. So many times in the past, I have thought to call, but felt I would be perceived as too pushy. I will do so on the next opportunity.I am still hopeful even though I have been out of work since September. I have almost relegated myself to working in the fastfood industry just to have a job and get out of the house.!
 Patricia R
Patricia R
This information is very good to know and will help a lot of people. So I'm gonna go and get this job.
Teresa S
Teresa S
great informationThank you so much
Susan m
Susan m
Thanks for the info. Was helpful. I have not so far followed up except 1 time. I was so crushed actually hearing the words that they had chosen someone more qualified I have never done it again. Usually they say call me if you do not hear from me by ... . Well to me, if I have not heard from them by ... I didn't get the job so why bother. Obviously the one who did get the job got the call!
Jisha s
Jisha s
you would think most people would know to do this, but today when there are so many applicants who are qualified to fill the position, we merely move on to the next posting. We should instead be of the mindset "someone is going to get this job... why not me?
Esther R
Esther R
I always do a follow up thank you after an interview. Usually by email because of the busy nature of today's economic climate.  I believe an email follow up is a good tool to use because you can reiterate why you are a good candidate.  A phone call is usually sent to voicemail and not listened to until the end of the day, where as an email is checked regularly.  Also, if you submit your resume online, I believe it is good practice to do a follow up email within two weeks expressing your continued interest and re-attaching your resume and cover letter and putting the desired position in the subject line.  I have recently had an employer contact me after they had my resume for over 30+ days because of me resubmitting my resume and follow up.  What I don't like is when you don't hear from a prospective employer at all and it is safe to assume if they don't contact you at all, you were not a good candidate for that position. When they do a brief telephone interview and you don't hear from them again it's because you weren't expecting a telephone interview and weren't prepared or you were busy at that time. I don't think this is a fair practice because I wouldn't think that you are just sitting around waiting for a phone call, you are busy looking for a job.  I had one employer not returning my phone call because I was on an other interview at the time they had called and had one not return my phone call after I called an hour ahead of time to reschedule the interview because I was working with a client on my current job that was running later than I expected.  Job seekers seem to be doing all the right things but employers not so much...if they say they will call with a decision or for a second, third interview within a week, then they should do that...
 janie p
janie p
Thank you, these helpful hints seem to be very logical and reasonable suggestions.
Lisa C
Lisa C
I've made follow up calls after  most if not all interviews and not one company had the courtesy to bother to call me back or to notify me via email or mail.   Companies don't have to do anything they don't want to in this market. So when you follow up don't expect to get any kind of response back.   Don't even expect a letter of notification even if they say they are sending one either way because companies don't do that either.
JOE P
JOE P
Very infomative.  Thanks.
 Bonnie S
Bonnie S
Excellent information. I fall into the category of feeling pushy - but that is more a generational thing. Will try this the next time ...
deborah n
deborah n
My question is when I apply for a job it goes really well. I follow up. They call maybe one reference and then I don't hear back. I know my references are solid. I'm concerned about a past employer.  I have done the follow up. I have even mentioned if they have any questions about them to please let me know hoping I would find out what is holding me back. I still don't hear back from them.  I work in health care and I have been trying to get back into for the past few years.  I wish I knew what to do.  I want to go back to school for my CNA and this would help me greatly to go back to work in health care.

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