There’s nothing easy about a job search. Each time you put yourself out there, it’s done with high hopes, knowing full well that your effort doesn’t always produce the return you’re looking for. This is why it’s natural to get overly excited when you get a callback and ace the interview. You feel like you’ve landed the job, all you need is to hear it officially from the hiring manager.
When you’re in this position, follow up is important. Just keep in mind that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. If you’re strategic in your approach, you’ll paint yourself in an even better light. If you’re annoying and/or irksome, your resume will likely end up at the bottom of the pile.
What’s the best way to approach follow–up after an interview, and when does it become too much? Here are a few tips to keep the balance.
Start by Saying Thank You
It’s always acceptable professional courtesy to extend a thank you for the interview. When should you follow up with a thank you? Preferably within 1-2 days. You don’t necessarily have to rush right home and compose an email, but waiting longer than this sends a signal that winning the position isn’t a priority for you.
Following Up on Their Terms
At the end of an interview, it’s always a good idea to ask when you should expect to hear back. You’ve invested your time in the interview, and it’s reasonable that you’re provided with an idea of the timeframe they’re looking at for considering candidates.
Don’t follow up before the date that you were given, but if you haven’t heard back within a few days after that point, it’s acceptable to reach out.
Third Time’s a Charm or Three Strikes and You’re Out?
If you’ve already reached out twice and still haven’t heard back, should you try again? This is a bit of a gray area. If the hiring manager has given you every reason to believe you’re a top candidate, then it doesn’t hurt to follow up – just not right away. Give them a little breathing room and check back in a week or two – or even a month later if you haven’t heard back. Following up more than this can make you appear a little desperate and shows you don’t value the hiring manager’s time.
The Final Farewell
If you know the position has been filled or were informed you didn’t get the job this time, it’s fine to send an email thanking them for the opportunity and asking that they keep you in mind for any future openings. Just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t mean they didn’t like you. It’s just that someone else was a better fit at this time.
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