Mastering the Follow-Up: How to Seal the Deal After Your Interview
As a young professional, interviewing for jobs can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
You’ve spent hours researching the company, practising your answers, and perfecting your outfit. And finally, after acing the interview, it’s time to sit back and wait for a response, right?
Following up after an interview is just as important as nailing it in the first place.
In fact, a study by CareerBuilder found that 22% of hiring managers are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t follow up after an interview.
So here are some Do’s and don’ts of following up after an interview.
Let’s dive in…
Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview
A short and sweet email thanking the interviewer for their time can go a long way. Make sure to personalize it by referencing something specific from the interview.
Not only does it show gratitude, but it also reminds the interviewer of your qualifications.
This allows you to express your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and reiterate your interest in the position while the interview is still fresh in their mind.
Don’t be afraid to follow up if you haven’t heard back within the time frame specified by the interviewer.
However, it’s important to strike a balance between being persistent and being pushy.
If the interviewer has provided a specific timeframe for their decision, it’s reasonable to follow up once or twice within that timeframe to check on the status of your application.
If they haven’t provided a timeframe, a good rule of thumb is to follow up once a week or every other week.
When scheduling your subsequent follow-ups, make sure to space them out appropriately and respect the interviewer’s time.
Avoid sending multiple follow-ups in a single day or week, as this can come across as pushy and unprofessional. Instead, wait a reasonable amount of time between follow-ups and be patient with the hiring process.
Keep it professional
Your follow-up emails should always maintain a professional tone. That means avoiding using slang or emojis.
If you got on well with your interviewer, referring back to that in-joke you bonded could be a good idea to jog their memory, but only if you feel very confident that they’ll remember.
You could otherwise get a very confused interviewer…
Watch those typos
This one is vital!
There’s nothing that’ll make you stand out (in a bad way) as much as a spelling mistake. It will give the impression that you don’t care all that much.
Always run your correspondence through a spellchecker like Grammarly before sending it off.
Repeat your interest
If you’re still interested in the position, let the interviewer know!
Reiterate why you’re a great fit for the role and how excited you are about the opportunity.
Be too pushy
There’s a fine line between being persistent and being pushy.
Avoid bombarding the interviewer with emails or calls. If you don’t hear back after a few follow-ups, it may be time to move on.
Expect an immediate response
Remember, hiring processes can take time. Don’t expect an immediate response to your follow-up email.
While it’s important to follow up, you don’t want to overdo it.
Stick to a few well-timed emails, and avoid showing up unannounced at the company’s office or calling multiple times a day.
Badger the interviewer for feedback
While it’s natural to want feedback on your interview performance, it’s not appropriate to constantly ask for it.
If the interviewer has feedback for you, they will likely provide it with no or only light prompting.
Don’t be negative
Avoid expressing any negative feelings about the interview or the company in your follow-up emails.
Even if you didn’t feel like the interview went well, try to remain positive and professional.
What are the best methods for following up?
There are several methods for following but the best method depends on your communication style and the preferences of the interviewer.
How did you communicate in the past? That’s most likely the best method to continue going forward.
Here are some of the most common methods for following up:
- Email: Email is a popular method for following up after an interview because it allows you to express your gratitude, reiterate your interest, and provide any additional information that you may have forgotten during the interview. Make sure to keep your email professional, concise, and easy to read.
- Phone call: If you prefer a more personal approach, you can follow up with a phone call. This is a good method to get your personality across. Make sure to practice what you’re going to say beforehand and speak clearly and confidently.
- LinkedIn message: If you connected with the interviewer on LinkedIn, you can follow up with a message on the platform. This allows you to continue the conversation in a professional setting and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Thank-you notes: This is a real power move. Sending a handwritten thank-you note after an interview can be a great way to stand out. Make sure to include a brief message reiterating your interest in the position and why you’re a great fit for the job.
Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash
Here is a good template…
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [Position] role at [Company Name]. It was great meeting with you and learning more about the company culture, and I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and discuss the position with me.
I’m very excited about the possibility of joining the team at [Company Name] and utilizing my skills and experience to contribute to the company’s growth and success. I believe that my [relevant skills/qualities] would make me a valuable asset to the team.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions or if there’s anything else I can provide to assist with the hiring process. Thank you again for your consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Following up after an interview can make all the difference in the hiring process.
By sending a thoughtful thank-you email, being persistent, maintaining a professional tone, and showing your interest, you can increase your chances of landing the job.
On the other hand, being too pushy, expecting an immediate response, going overboard, badgering for feedback, and being negative can harm your chances.
Keep these dos and don’ts in mind when following up after your next interview, and you’ll be sure to leave a positive impression on the interviewer.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to keep your tone professional, polite, and positive.
Remember that the purpose of following up is to express your interest and remind the interviewer of your qualifications, not to pressure them into making a decision.
How is your interview game?
At Forward, we specialise in helping young professionals nail their career goals, including acing those interviews! If you feel like your professional life could use some levelling up, why not get in touch for a free consultation?