Follow-up is all about making yourself available for further communications. You are basically continuing the sales process under the guise of thanking a company for its time or asking advice for future opportunities. If done properly, you will receive closure to every interview process that you go through - a hard no, or a job offer.
Proper follow-up also showcases a professional demeanor that may improve your chances of being hired. Remember that HR professionals are dealing with many issues. They may have legitimately forgotten about you under the stress of their other responsibilities. A gentle reminder may land you the position. Here is how to do it.
time your follow-up
- Your follow-up should be timed differently based on where you are in the process. In general, the earlier you are in the process, the more quickly you should follow up. An initial phone interview with no response may require a follow up within the week. However, you may want to wait 7-10 days for a second/third interview follow-up.
- Follow your follow-up directions. Some interviewers may tell you directly when to call back. Follow these directions if they are forward enough to give them. Get in touch with them through their preferred communications device. If the interviewer says email, use email, not the phone.
- Set a schedule for your follow-ups. You will likely be juggling multiple timeframes because you are going on multiple interviews. Put your follow-up history in a spreadsheet so that you do not jump the gun and email the wrong company by mistake.
make your follow-up
- Reporting continuous improvement in a follow-up is a great way to rekindle interest. Instead of asking, "Is the job still available?," why not let them know about an additional skill you’ve acquired since the interview? Just be sure it is relevant to the position.
- Ask a question about the interviewer. Another way to grab an individual's attention is to place the attention of your question squarely on that individual. You can ask additional questions about that person's experience with the company, for instance.
- You may want to preface your follow-up with a bit of relevant industry news. If you are really on the ball, you may even propose a solution that you could implement for an upcoming issue in addition to asking about the job availability.
follow the normal
rules of protocol.
- Regardless of whether you are still in consideration or not, the fact is that people did take time of their day to consider you. Thank them for this privilege in your follow up. You never know if your interviewer will have contacts to refer. Do not expect this, but it can never hurt you to think this way.
- Be polite. Never become too familiar. One technique that many people use is to assume comfort early on in an attempt to build rapport. Don’t run the risk of turning off your interviewer by assuming immediate comfort-levels. Even if your interviewer lets you call her by her first name in person, use the professional salutation in follow up emails or calls until you are invited again to be more familiar.
- Always end on a note of thanks. Ask if there are any further questions that you could answer. If you have raised a pertinent question through an industry report or shared an example of continuous improvement on your part, you may be able to start a conversation that builds a rapport. If you end up solving an issue in real time, your chances of getting hired definitely increase.