Post-interview Follow-ups: Etiquette and Best Practices
After completing a job interview, many candidates breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that their work is done. However, the interview process doesn’t end with the last question. In fact, what you do after the interview can be just as important as how you performed during it. Following up with a thoughtful and professional post-interview communication can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager and potentially increase your chances of landing the job. In this article, we will explore the etiquette and best practices for post-interview follow-ups, providing valuable insights and research-based strategies to help you navigate this crucial stage of the job application process.
1. The Importance of Post-Interview Follow-ups
Following up after an interview is not just a polite gesture; it is an opportunity to reinforce your interest in the position and demonstrate your professionalism. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 22% of hiring managers are less likely to hire a candidate who doesn’t send a thank-you note after the interview. This statistic alone highlights the significance of post-interview follow-ups in the eyes of employers.
By sending a follow-up message, you can:
- Express gratitude for the opportunity to interview
- Reiterate your interest in the position
- Address any concerns or questions that may have arisen during the interview
- Highlight relevant qualifications or experiences that were not discussed
- Stand out from other candidates who may not take the time to follow up
Overall, a well-crafted follow-up can help you leave a positive and lasting impression on the hiring manager, potentially tipping the scales in your favor.
2. Timing is Key
When it comes to post-interview follow-ups, timing is crucial. You want to strike a balance between being prompt and giving the hiring manager enough time to make their decision. Sending a follow-up message too soon may come across as pushy, while waiting too long can make you appear disinterested or forgetful.
The general rule of thumb is to send a follow-up within 24 to 48 hours after the interview. This timeframe allows the hiring manager to process the interview and gather their thoughts, while also showing your enthusiasm and promptness. However, if the interviewer provided a specific timeline for their decision-making process, it is best to align your follow-up with that timeframe.
Additionally, if you interviewed with multiple individuals or participated in a panel interview, it is essential to send individualized follow-up messages to each person. This demonstrates your attention to detail and respect for each interviewer’s time and input.
3. Crafting an Effective Follow-up Message
Now that we understand the importance of post-interview follow-ups and the optimal timing, let’s delve into the key elements of a well-crafted follow-up message:
Begin your follow-up message by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview. Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration, and convey your appreciation for the chance to learn more about the company and the position. This simple act of gratitude sets a positive tone for the rest of your message.
Reiterate Your Interest
Next, reiterate your interest in the position and the company. Emphasize why you believe you are a strong fit for the role and how your skills and experiences align with the company’s values and goals. This is an opportunity to remind the hiring manager of your qualifications and enthusiasm.
Address Any Concerns or Questions
If there were any concerns or questions that arose during the interview, address them in your follow-up message. This allows you to clarify any misunderstandings or provide additional information that may strengthen your candidacy. However, be concise and focused in your response, ensuring that you don’t overwhelm the hiring manager with unnecessary details.
Personalize Your Message
Personalization is key when it comes to follow-up messages. Reference specific points from the interview or any personal connections you made with the interviewer. This shows that you were actively engaged during the interview and that you value the individualized experience.
Keep it Professional
While it’s important to showcase your personality and enthusiasm, it’s equally crucial to maintain a professional tone in your follow-up message. Avoid using slang or informal language, and proofread your message for any grammatical or spelling errors. A well-written and error-free message demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.
4. Choosing the Right Medium
When it comes to post-interview follow-ups, there are various mediums you can use to communicate with the hiring manager. The most common options include email, handwritten notes, and LinkedIn messages. Each medium has its own advantages and considerations:
Email is the most popular and widely accepted medium for follow-up messages. It allows for quick delivery and gives you the opportunity to attach any additional documents, such as a portfolio or references. Additionally, email provides a written record of your communication, which can be useful for future reference.
Handwritten notes can be a thoughtful and memorable way to follow up after an interview. They show that you took the time to write a personalized message and can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. However, handwritten notes may take longer to reach the recipient, so consider the timing and urgency of your follow-up before choosing this medium.
If you connected with the interviewer on LinkedIn, sending a follow-up message through the platform can be a convenient option. LinkedIn messages are professional and allow for easy communication, especially if you don’t have the interviewer’s email address. However, keep in mind that LinkedIn messages may not be as formal as email or handwritten notes, so adjust your tone accordingly.
5. Following Up Without Being Pushy
While it’s important to follow up after an interview, it’s equally crucial to strike the right balance and avoid coming across as pushy or desperate. Here are some tips to follow up without being pushy:
- Be polite and respectful in your communication
- Avoid excessive follow-ups or multiple messages in a short period
- Keep your follow-up concise and focused
- Don’t demand an immediate response or put pressure on the hiring manager
- Respect the interviewer’s timeline and decision-making process
By following these guidelines, you can maintain a professional and respectful approach while still expressing your interest and enthusiasm for the position.
Post-interview follow-ups are a crucial part of the job application process. By sending a well-crafted and timely follow-up message, you can leave a positive and lasting impression on the hiring manager, potentially increasing your chances of landing the job. Remember to express gratitude, reiterate your interest, address any concerns or questions, personalize your message, and keep it professional. Choose the right medium for your follow-up, whether it’s email, handwritten notes, or LinkedIn messages. Finally, follow up without being pushy, respecting the interviewer’s timeline and decision-making process. By following these best practices, you can navigate the post-interview stage with confidence and professionalism.