Post-Interview Follow-Up

How to Navigate the Post-Interview Follow-up Period without Going Insane

Previously, we discussed the value of the post-interview thank-you letter in influencing the hiring decision to land a second interview and a job offer. You’ve done that, and now you’re playing the waiting game. This post will cover smart strategies on how to communicate with your interviewers during the post-interview follow-up stage. Let’s begin!

Unfortunately, most of the job search process involves waiting. This part can be particularly agonizing during the post-interview follow-up stage, when you are waiting to hear about the next steps in the hiring process.

You don’t want to come across as pushy, desperate, or overly eager and hurt your chances of getting the job. However, you do want to balance assertiveness with persistence, while remembering that Hiring Managers are interviewing multiple candidates and, oftentimes, trying to fill several positions at once.

How often should I follow up?

Post-Interview Follow-up #1:

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t worry. Hopefully, you asked the interviewers about the next steps in the hiring process:

  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Follow up on the specific day or timeframe the interviewer mentioned unless you hear from them sooner. If that date passes and you have not heard anything, send a short, polite message to inquire about the position anywhere from 5 to 10 days after the interview. For example:

“I am writing to find out if I am still under consideration for this position. I am still highly interested in the [Name of Position] opportunity and look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.”

Post-Interview Follow-up #2:

Wait at least another 5 to 10 days from your initial follow-up message. Keep them short and simple. This approach is your best shot at getting a prompt update without coming off as too pushy or desperate.

“I hope all is well. During our last communication, you mentioned you expected to make a decision about the [Name of Position] opportunity I interviewed for on [Date of Interview]. I’m still very interested in the position and am eager if you can share any updates. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information to assist you in the decision-making process. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

How many times should I follow-up?

It depends on the level of responsiveness and your level of tolerance. I believe in being pleasantly persistent and following up until I get an answer. If you’re unsure where you fall on this scale, a good rule of thumb is to use the baseball method, 3 strikes and you’re out.

Many people worry about pestering the interviewer. Just remember, the interview isn’t over until you’ve heard whether or not you’re moving onto the next stage of the hiring process. Following up is normal and expected, and you have every right to make these inquiries.

Tips for showing your continued interest in the job

You don’t want to keep sending the same email, but you can add variation to your follow-up notes in a couple of ways:

  • Share interesting articles, press releases, or LinkedIn posts about the company or a specific topic mentioned in the interview.

  • Mention a new accomplishment, such as a company award in your current role or a related project that connects to the job.

Should I tell the company if I received another offer?

Yes. It lets the employer know you are in demand and may not be available for much longer and motivates them to speed up the process and prepare an offer from their end.

Here’s how you could approach this scenario:

“I wanted to follow up and ask whether you have any updates regarding the [Name of Position] role I interviewed for on [Date of Interview]. As you know, I am actively job searching and interviewing with several organizations.

Yesterday, I received an offer for a position but had not responded as I wanted to speak with you first. [Name of Company] is my #1 choice because of [Insert details about what excites you about the role]. I just wanted to make you aware of the situation since they are looking for a reply as soon as possible. Can you share any details of where you are in your hiring process so that I can make a fully informed decision?”

Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Don’t assume you didn’t get the job. Hiring and interviewing takes time, especially when there are multiple candidates in the mix.

  • Wait for the established timelines to pass before following up. If the company asks you not to contact them during this time, listen.

  • No matter the response, keep your tone light and professional. You never know when you may encounter that employer again.

  • Stay patient (easier said than done, I know). Take care of yourself by participating in hobbies and activities that will help you stay positive during the waiting period.

  • Use your time to keep applying and building your network. Connect with your interviewers via LinkedIn to stay in touch.

Don’t let other suitable opportunities pass you by if you’re passively waiting for a second interview or offer. A great interview doesn’t guarantee a job offer, even if it’s a perfect fit. Keep applying, keep interviewing, and stay focused on what you can control. Don’t drive yourself crazy by waiting on one opportunity, even if it’s your dream job. Plus, there’s a chance you get this offer and others which you can leverage during the negotiation process.

Scientech Resumes is dedicated to helping science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals find fulfilling work through targeted, branded, and keyword-optimized resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and other career marketing documents. Schedule a FREE 20-minute discovery session to get some real-time feedback on your current resume and job search strategy or connect with me on LinkedIn. Let’s get you where you want to go, with greater results!

Kate Williamson

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