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You made it through the interview, asked all the right questions and you’re feeling confident you could be selected for the position. Now that it’s over, the decision is theirs, to make the next move, right? Not really! Having a thoughtful and proactive post-interview follow up plan is just as important as your approach to the job search.

Should you follow up? How often? How do you show continued interest after an interview and remain updated of where you are in the process while still being respectful of the hiring manager’s schedule?

Follow these tips for a post-interview strategy that will help you at the stay top of the game of your recruitment voyage!

Set expectations early

Start the process of following up even before you end your interview. As your time with the interviewer wraps up, ask what next steps and timing are for the decision to be made. Your goal should be to understand what the interview process looks like for this role if you were to move forward in the process, and when they hope to make a final decision. Some companies may require multiple rounds of in-person interviews, presentations, testing, or other evaluations that take weeks or even months.
Once you have your last question answered, take a moment to thank the interviewer for their time. If you are interviewing with a Manager, share how wonderful of an experience you’ve had with their staff. And use that last moment to reiterate your excitement for the opportunity and interest in working with them. Before you leave the interview, express to the interviewer that you’ll be in contact and will follow up. You can also ask what their preferred method of contact is for hearing from you.

Express your gratitude for their time

Even in today’s digital age, a thank you note is always appreciated. Try to send an email thank you note within 1-2 days. If you do not have the full names, titles, and email addresses of the interviewers, reach out to the HR recruiter or check LinkedIn to obtain them. Use a thank you message to thank the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest, and express anything you wanted to add or follow-up on from the interview. You can also summarize your skills and experiences to further impress upon the interviewer why you’re uniquely qualified for the role. End the message by expressing your interest in exploring next steps. It is important to drop a personalized thank you text for each person you spoke with. Don’t write the same exact thing to each interviewer – make each one unique! You should say thank you even if you don’t think the interview went well or the job isn’t a good fit for you.

Continue Follow Ups

When it comes to timing your follow-up – the key is to use your best judgment based on what has been communicated upfront about the process. If it’s not shared, ask. Then follow up accordingly. If you’re still unsure of the timeline, you’ve sent a thank you note, and have not received a response 5-10 business days later, it is appropriate to reach out to gently remind the hiring manager of your interest and qualifications while they’re still deciding on an offer. You can also ask if the process has been modified and if there is any updated timing they would be able to communicate. Often the process takes longer than the hiring manager would expect. Keep your follow up brief, positive and polite. If this follow-up goes un-answered, it is appropriate to reach out one last time additional 5-10 business days later, following the same guidelines for the second follow up.

Don’t Ignore other Opportunities

Understand when it’s best to move on and focus on other opportunities. A good rule is to not follow up more than twice after you’ve sent an initial thank you text or email. With your job search, it’s best to try to cultivate multiple opportunities at one time so you don’t become too dependent on one role. This plan will help ease your mind when waiting to hear about next steps from a hiring manager post-interview.

From then, try to focus on what you learned. Not only did you obtain information you can use to your benefit in the future, but you practiced interviewing skills and follow-up strategies that will help you be even better prepared for the next opportunity.

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