The only thing that feels more uncertain and scary than going on a job interview is trying to follow up on one. When you go on an interview you put yourself in a real position of vulnerability: following up means acknowledging the fact that the person who interviewed you has not contacted you since. You’ve got even less power in the situation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle it and still come off as the right person for the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind when contacting an employer to make sure they haven’t forgotten you.
Keep a Calendar—This applies to your interviews as well as to sending out applications. Keep a calendar. If you are in the middle of an application frenzy and sending out your CV to a bunch of different companies try to keep a record of where and when you sent things out. This is the first step to following up because you’ll be sure you never contact someone too early. Organization is something a lot of employers want to see in a hire so add any other important details, like how you sent your material, important names, or how the interview went. Don’t think that it won’t be noticed if you have accurate information when they do get in contact.
What’s Next—Make sure to ask your interviewer what they expect from you next. Don’t do anything that they specifically tell you not to do. If they say don’t call, don’t call. Doing so is a guaranteed way to make them annoyed. Now is a good time to ask if it’s okay to connect with them on social networks like LinkedIn.
Write Them a Thank-You Email—This common courtesy goes a long way to keeping your name at the top of the stack of applications. What makes sending a thank-you email great is that it’s essentially passive: once you hit send you’ve done your part to follow-up on the interview. Do this as soon as the interview is over. Waiting a few days is probably too much time to say thanks without it seeming weird. Sending an old fashioned thank you card in the mail? Maybe too much.
The Follow Up Email—Okay, how long exactly did they say they would take in getting back to you? Make sure you wait that long, plus another week. Remember, they’re busy too, and you’re not the only person who applied for the job. It’s alright to not hear from an interviewer right away. When it is time to get in touch, make sure that the email doesn’t get ignored: add a question into the mix so that they have another reason to get back to you. You can even save a question that you could have asked in the interview for this follow up email (as long as it’s not anything too significant—you don’t want to look as if you forgot to ask something important when you first had the chance).