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5 Ways to Follow-Up After Every Interview

Are you afraid of following up too often, too many times, or annoying a potential employer? Or maybe you aren’t even sure of how to follow up with a recruiter more than once. This blog post is for you.

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I’ve been chatting with many recent college graduates who are job hunting. And one common topic seems to be the interview process. One girl talked about how there is a lot of information about preparing for interviews but not very much information about what to do after an interview. She shared that she knew THAT she should follow up because it shows a person’s interest in a position, but she didn’t know HOW to follow up without seeming needy or annoying. So I did more digging.

Turns out, a lot of recent grads feel the same way. They know that they should be following up after interviews. But they aren’t sure what that follow-up process looks like. Some of the questions I got were:

  • How many times should you follow up?
  • How often should you follow up?
  • What do you say when you follow up?

The truth is that every situation will be different so there isn’t one answer to these questions. But having a general framework will help you get started.

Here are five ways to follow up after every interview

1. Send Thank You Note(s)

Judging by how many times “interview” + “thank you” have been searched, it’s likely that you’ve already heard about this tip.

ASAP, send a thank you note to each person who interviewed you.

But there are a few things I didn’t find in most blog posts that talked about creating a post-interview thank-you note:

  • Send individual thank you notes to each person who interviewed you
    • Just because you had a panel interview doesn’t mean you should send a blanket thank you note to everyone Individually. Or worse, send one email with everyone in it.
  • Make sure your thank-you note is specific to the conversation you had with each person
    • Each person you interviewed with will likely be someone you would have to collaborate if you got the job. So be sure to share with each of them how you could help them get their job done.
  • The thank-you note should help the recipient remember the conversation the two of you had and what they liked about you
    • You have to assume that the person who interviewed you has too much on their plate to remember the conversation the two of you had. So make sure the thank you note has something that will remind them of what you talked about. Here’s an example:
      • Once during an interview, I was informed that in between the time my interview was set and the interview occurred, the person who managed the internship program got a promotion. This meant that the internship program was up in the air until they found her replacement and her replacement had time to settle in and decide if they wanted to continue the program.
        Since I was so glad they didn’t just cancel the interview, I sent a thank-you note. It wasn’t just any thank you note with specific tid-bits of the interview. I also painted a picture of the Chicago skyline and drew a picture of my college mascot (both of which, the interviewer and I had a connection to).
        A month or so later, I got a call from her replacement offering me the internship. On my first day, I saw that thank you note pinned to my new boss’s bulletin board with a post-it note that said “call her” on it.

2. Follow-up with yourself

Don’t forget that interviews are not just for you to prove to the employer that you are the right candidate for the job. Interviews are also a time and place for you to decide if the company and role are the right fit for you. It’s important for you to set aside time after every interview to reflect on what you learned and how you felt the interview went.

Here are a few reflection questions to get you started:

  • To help improve your interview skills:
    • What could I have answered better?
    • What did I learn about how my role supports the people who interviewed me?
    • What are the goals of this role?
    • What does success look like for someone in this role?
  • How to know if the job is the right fit for you:
    • How does this role and company help me get to my end-goal?
    • How do my core values align with the company’s core values?
    • What are the things I need to accept this job offer?

3. Follow up on anything you said you would during the interview

If you haven’t heard back after 2-3 days, send a follow-up email with anything you said you’d get back to them about. For example, if they asked you how you would improve their social strategy, and you answered with general social media best practices and said you would need to look more into it.

If you move on to the next round right away, come prepared with your follow ups. If you said you would look into something, it would look bad if you showed up to the next round of interviews without having looked into it.

Skip this section if there wasn’t anything you said you would look more into.

4. Share Helpful Articles

If you haven’t heard back after 1 week, send a follow-up email with 1-2 helpful articles.

From the interview, you should have been able to get an understanding of how the role you are applying for will help the people who interviewed you. Send a short email to them with a link to the helpful article and an explanation of what they will find in the article and how it will be helpful to them. Here’s an example:

  • Let’s say you are applying for an entry-level social media position and the hiring manager wants to improve engagement on Instagram:
    • Research articles and case studies for examples of what other brands have done to improve engagement on Instagram.
    • Find the top one or two resources and compare what you learned from the resources to what the brand is doing on their Instagram.
    • Email your thoughts and these resources to the hiring manager.
      • Hi Jane,
        I was thinking about your goal to increase engagement on Instagram and came across this article: name & link to the article.
        It talks about *insert summary here*
        I hope you can find some inspiration in these articles. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
        Thank you,
        your name

Remember, the goal here is not to show off your skills. The goal is to be as helpful as possible to the hiring manager.

5. Final Follow-Up

If you haven’t heard anything 2-3 days after sharing helpful resources, do a final follow-up asking for the status of the interview process. This can be a simple phone call or email.

Now you know the five ways to follow up after every interview. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, every situation will be different, but having a framework that has different ways of following up is a great way to get started. The five-step framework we went over in this blog:

  • is a great way to show employers that you are interested in the position and the company
  • allows you to reflect on your experience
  • gives you a way to follow-up with an employer in ways that are extremely different from each other so they shouldn’t get tired of hearing from you
  • will help you get more touchpoints. And the more touchpoints you have with an employer the more you get to know them.

Give this system a try after your next interview. And don’t forget to grab the productive job-hunting cheat sheet so you can always know what step to take next in your job hunt.

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