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Post-interview follow-up strategies

The Hiring Process Interviewing Strategies

Question:

At my last interview, I asked the employer when I could expect to hear something back. The date they told me has now passed. How should I follow up?

Answer:

That’s a great question, because there are many ways to go wrong with follow-up. Naturally you want to know where you stand, but you don’t want to become a pest.

You were thinking ahead well during your interview, since you got the date they expected to have an answer. It may be that they’ve filled the position, but then again, maybe not. Sometimes, for any of a thousand reasons, the process just takes longer than they expect.

Since the date has passed, you could call or email and say something like: “When we spoke last, you mentioned that you hoped to fill the position by (date.) I’m even more interested in the position since our conversation, so I’d like to find out what your timeline looks like at this point.”

You don’t want to call “just to check the status.” Everybody else who interviewed is also doing that, probably repeatedly, and making pests of themselves. Asking about the timeline, and perhaps if they need any further information from you, accomplishes the same purpose in a slightly different way. And you’ll know what plans they are willing to share.

Be sure to keep it brief and courteous. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, no doubt, that you won’t be privy to at this stage. Sometimes someone who’s important in the process is out sick or on vacation, and a decision can’t be made until everyone is in the same room.

Reaffirm your interest in the job, and remind the employer (briefly) of the top few reasons you are perfect for it.

Whatever else you do, keep looking! Sometimes it takes a long time for a company to decide, and you don’t want to forsake other opportunities in the meantime. You should always have several irons in the fire.

 

About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.