The hardest part of the interview process is often waiting to hear back from an organization. The days seem to pass slowly, you jump every time your phone rings and your heart skips with each new email alert.  Following up and keeping in touch are important, and can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position while helping to pass the time. However, there is a right way to follow up and a wrong way.  Here is your guide to following up professionally, without treading into “pushy” territory.

Follow Up Starts in the Interview

You begin the process of following up as your interview winds to a close. Always ask the hiring manager what the next steps will be. This will provide you with a timeline. If the interviewer tells you they will be doing call backs or making a decision within seven days, you know when you can check in.  This step isn’t just for your benefit, however. It also shows the hiring manager that you are interested in continuing on in the process.

What to Do Immediately After the Interview

As soon as you get home from your interview, you want to do a couple of things right away. First and foremost, write two thank-you notes. One should be in the form of an email, and one should be a handwritten note. The email provides the hiring manager with immediate confirmation that you are interested in the job, and the handwritten note will reinforce that interest a few days later. Cards and letters also help you stand out from the crowd, as many of your competitors will only send a thank-you email.

You can also send LinkedIn invitations to anyone you met with throughout the interview. Even if you end up not receiving an offer, these people can end up being valuable contributors to your professional network, and it never hurts to extend the invitation.

If you worked through a recruiter, check in right away with them, as well. Provide your feedback on the meeting and get their input about how you should proceed the rest of the week. They know the hiring manager well and can tell you how much contact you should initiate, the type of medium(s) you should use, and when. Be sure to copy the recruiter on any written communication you send.

Respect the Timeline

If the hiring manager provided you with a timeline for a decision, don’t check in too early. Allow the interviewer at least a one-day buffer, keeping in mind that hiring decisions often move slowly.  If no timeline was given, wait four to five business days before checking back in. Allow the hiring team time to conduct the rest of their interviews and hold meetings to discuss candidates.

If you are a professional seeking new opportunities in IT, accounting or finance in Western New York, the recruiters at Systems Personnel would love to hear from you. We can connect you with a position that will help you use your skills and allow you to reach your career goals, and we can help you effectively navigate the waiting period between your interview and a final decision. Contact us today to get the conversation started.


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