There are many reasons to follow-up with the hiring organization after your interview:
- to reinforce how you can help them solve their problems with your expertise
- to keep "top of mind" with the interviewers
- to demonstrate that you're proactive and interested in the job and the organization.
And, employer's want to hear back from job candidates. They want interested, pro-active employees, especially for sales positions. But, the key to effective follow-up - without being a pest or sounding desperate - is knowing exactly how and when to follow-up. Use these 3 simple steps to ensure your follow-up is effective.
Step 1: Know Their Hiring Process
Your first step in effective follow-up is just before your interview wraps up. Towards the end, most interviewers will let you know the next steps in the hiring process. But, sometimes they forget. If they don't mention the next steps, simply ask them:
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- When should I expect to hear from you?
- Who should I follow-up with?
- What's the best way to follow-up with you? I'm really interested in this position.
Step 2: Do An Immediate Follow-up
Within 24 hours of your initial interview, send a thank- you note to every person who interviewed you. Ensure that each of your notes is unique by varying your wording and presenting different points. A handwritten letter or card is preferred because it stands out. But, if you were already communicating with them by e-mail, it's perfectly fine to send your thank-you note electronically.
Here's what to include:
- Thank them for the interview.
- Clearly restate the benefit they'll receive from hiring you - how you can help them solve their problems with your expertise. And, give them proof you can deliver results by either re-stating your brief achievement statements (1 or 2 sentences maximum each) or adding new statements based the information you gleaned during your interview.
- Include any additional information you didn't mention during your interview that will help them understand the depth and breadth of your talents and qualifications.
- Restate or clarify your responses to any questions that you didn't answer clearly.
- And, remember to emphasize your interest in the position at the end.
Step 3: Make Additional Follow-ups
It's often difficult to know exactly who to follow-up with after the interview. That's why asking them - Who should I follow up with? - is important. If you didn't find out, just contact the person who requested the interview (or their boss if it was the administrative assistant) and ask them who they suggest you follow-up with regarding the next steps in the hiring process.
If you know the timing of the next steps, it's relatively easy for you to know when to follow-up with them. If they don't call the day you expected, simply follow up the next business day and say: "Hi, it's [your first & last name] calling. I'm calling you to follow-up on the XYZ position. I'm very interested in the job. You can reach me at [phone number]."
If you don't know the timing of the next steps, just call them two to three business days after your interview and say: "Hi, it's [your first & last name] calling. I had an interview on [date] for the XYZ position. I'm doing a quick follow-up with you about it. I'm very interested in position and would like to find out when I can expect to hear from someone regarding the next steps in the hiring process. You can reach me at [phone number] or by e-mail at [e-mail address]."
What do you do if they don't respond to your phone call? That happens more often these days for a variety of reasons. So, here's what you can do:
- Continue to follow-up on a regular basis.
Follow-up every 2 weeks. I suggest you phone them because it's easy to put off replying to e-mails that aren't urgent. Keep your tone upbeat and positive. Let them know you are interested and are doing a quick follow-up. And, don't forget to contact their administrative assistant if you haven't heard back (especially if they set up your initial interview). It's amazing how quickly you'll get a response from a hiring manager when you contact their administrative assistant directly to follow-up.
Here's the most important step in effective follow-up, remember to let go. As important as proactive, positive follow-up is, it is equally important that you continue to move forward on your job search. Moving forward on other jobs helps you maintain a genuine interest in a position without feeling or sounding desperate when you're following up.
Effective follow-ups can help you land the job. Tip the balance in your favor by making effective follow-up a core part of your job search process so you can land the job you really want!