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After your interview, you may feel it’s time for a breather! But don’t relax just yet—following up after your interview can make the difference between staying top of mind and falling to the bottom of the resume stack.

The benefits of following up

You can use an interview follow-up as a way to remind the interviewer of the great conversation you had. You can also clarify answers you feel you flubbed, or expand on any answers you felt could have been more complete.

You can help ensure your follow-up process goes smoothly with these seven follow-up steps:

  1. Keep a general follow-up draft on hand. The key word here is “general,” since you’ll want to customize your follow-up note to include specific details about your conversation. By keeping a basic framework of what you want to say, you can make it much faster to write and send your follow-up message.
  2. Collect contact information at the interview. Most people will hand out a business card when you meet them at your interview. If not, it’s acceptable to ask them for their contact information before you leave.
  3. Contact HR or your recruiter if you need to. Since interviews are stressful, you may forget to ask for contact information. That’s OK—you can always ask your recruiter for the information, or call the Human Resources department at the company.
  4. Send either an email or a notecard. What you choose to send depends on how quickly you want your message to get through, and if you want to give your thank you a personal touch. If you’ve interviewed for a position for which they’ll be hiring right away, an email might be the best mode of communication. But if you know the employer’s in for a longer hiring process, sending a card can be more effective—it might even sit on the interviewer’s desk and serve as a reminder of your interview!
  5. Follow up right away. There’s no benefit in waiting around to say thank you. Write your message, proofread for grammar and spelling, and hit “send” or drop your notecard in the mail right away!
  6. Thank everyone you spoke to. In some cases, there may have been more than one person in your interview. It’s always a nice touch to send a separate thank you to each person involved in the process. This can help showcase your attention to detail and your passion for getting hired.
  7. Follow up one more time. The hiring process can be stressful for an employer, so you may not hear back right away with an answer. They may have indicated how long they expect the hiring process to take or how many candidates they’ll be interviewing—and you can base your follow-up on this. If they were nearing the end of the process, you might want to follow up a week after your initial contact. If they had a ways to go, two weeks might be more appropriate. Send a short email inquiring about the process, asking whether they’ve reached a decision and offering to provide any additional information to help them make their final choice.

Know when to say when

If after your second follow-up you don’t hear back, it may be safe to say you didn’t get the job. Some companies will reach out to let you know they’ve made a decision, and some will not. In any case, the right job for you is out there! It’s time to move on to your next opportunity.

Looking for a new job?

If you’re in search of a new job and not sure where to look next, check out McGrath Systems! We place candidates with positions in the fields of engineering, IT, human resources, administrative/clerical or light industrial. If you’re interested and want to learn more, give us a call!


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