It’s one of the most common questions among job seekers: Should I follow up after a job interview? Most of the time, the simple answer is yes. You should follow up. Very few potential employers will look negatively on you for showing some initiative. The less simple answer is still yes, usually, but you need to apply some finesse.
Let’s jump in and look at some of those finer details.
When Should You Follow Up?
A good rule of thumb is that you should wait at least a week before you follow up. A week is enough time for most companies to wrap up most of their interviews and start weeding people out. Even if they aren’t done picking people for second interviews or the position, they probably can tell you how long it will be.
How Should You Follow Up?
Take your cue from the interviewer. If you only spoke to the interviewer on the interview day and all other communication was by email, send them an email to follow up. It’s how they prefer to communicate. If you talked with your interview on the phone repeatedly in the ramp-up to the interview, give them a call.
When Shouldn’t You Follow Up?
One question you should always ask at the end of the interview is when you’ll likely hear from them. Some companies have very specific procedures and timelines for filling positions. If you interview with one of these companies, the hiring manager will probably give you a firm timeline, such as 10 days or 2 weeks. They’ll often follow that with something like:
“If you don’t hear from in two weeks, feel free to follow up about the position.”
That’s a not so subtle way of telling you that following up before then will not win you any brownie points or friends.
Following Up Helps
Following up about a position is generally a good way of telling a company you do want to work there. Still, you should act reasonably. Give it a week or so before you follow up. Communicate with the interviewer in the way they communicated with you most often. Don’t follow up if the interviewer strongly hints that it won’t be welcome before a certain point.