How Do You Follow-Up on a Job You Really Want?MGR Accounting Recruiters in
In past job-seeker-focused seminars, the question has come up about how to follow-up with an employer after an interview. Is email the best way? A written note? What about a phone call? Or is that too intrusive??
Every position is slightly different due to the employer’s unique process. However, these steps can be used in all job searches, with possible slight variations in the time between steps:
Email. Email is appropriate although fairly ineffective when used alone. However, an email within 24-48 hours of interviewing is definitely a good idea. Don’t be too wordy, and also don’t send it so quickly that it seems insincere – yes, I’ve heard of people emailing from the parking lot! Instead, send a brief email the day after the interview thanking them for their time and pointing out just a couple highlights from your conversation in order to make the email more personal.
Written note. Also within the first 2 days, mail a handwritten (not typed) note to the interviewer thanking them and highlighting a positive item from the interview. Although you will be sending this at the same time as the email, it will arrive a few days afterwards. This will serve to separate you from the rest of the interviewees – very few people actually mail a thank you note even though it has more impact than email.
2nd email. About 2 days after the period has passed when the employer said they would make a decision, email the manager again and mention that you are still interested and looking forward to the possibility of joining their team. If possible, highlight another aspect of your experience (different that the first few you mentioned) as a way to remind them of your qualifications. “Why 1-2 days after the decision-date has passed?” Because employers always have the best intentions of making a decision by a certain deadline, but due to scheduling issues and other business priorities it is frequent that the day they actually reach a decision comes slightly after what they anticipated. Following-up on the exact day that was stated can sometimes annoy the employer. However, following-up a few days after they said they would make a decision is rarely seen as intrusive.
The phone call! Phone calls are certainly appropriate, particularly if the deadline has passed for when the employer said they would make a decision, but only if you are thoroughly prepared. You should know exactly what you intend to ask as well as exactly how you will respond to all of the possible replies from the employer. What will you say if you were not selected? What will you say if they express a concern about your salary needs? What if they simply haven’t made a decision yet? Being prepared for all of these possibilities is imperative if you decide to follow-up by phone. Otherwise the interaction may become awkward, and this only serves to hurt your chances. People hire people they are comfortable with and if the most recent interaction with you was uncomfortable for the employer, then it hurts your chances not only for this position but for future openings as well. Follow-up phone calls can be very beneficial, but only if handled appropriately.
Post-interview follow-up can be a strong tool in your job search if performed strategically. As with many aspects of a search, the execution and timing are key to success.
Until next time, I wish you the best in your search.
Mark Goldman CPA