Following Up on a Job Interview

Day 28 of 30 Days to Your Dream Job

Woman talking into her mobile phone.
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You had an interview, sent a thoughtful thank you letter, and are confident that everything went well. However, the employer said he would get back to you in a week and nearly two weeks have passed. What do you do?

Today you will follow up with every employer from whom you have not heard back. When done correctly, following up can not only get you the answers you need but can also remind the employer why you are a strong candidate. Below are strategies on when and how to follow up with an employer.

When to Follow Up

During your interviews, try to ask the employer when she thinks she will be able to get back to you with an answer.

If you do not hear back from the employer by that day, wait a couple more days and then reach out. If you do not have any idea when the employer will get back to you, follow up after a week or two.

Yes, there is a chance you might annoy an extremely busy employer who simply has not had the time to finish the hiring process.

But with a concise, positive follow-up message, you can actually remind the employer of your professionalism and communication skills, as well as your interest in the job.

How to Follow Up

There are a number of ways to follow up with the employer. The best ways to reach out are via phone or email. If you call the hiring manager, consider writing out a script ahead of time.

Again, your tone should be positive and friendly. Remind the employer of your interest in the position, and simply ask where she stands in the hiring process (“You mentioned you were hoping to make a decision by Monday. I was just checking in to see where you stood in the hiring process.”).

You may also ask if there are any other materials the company needs from you. If you and the employer connected on any level, or had an interesting conversation, you might briefly bring it up (“I read the New York Times article about digital media that you recommended.”). Personalizing the message will help the employer to remember you.

If you decide to call, pick a less busy time of day to increase your chances of actually speaking with the interviewer. Avoid calling right after lunch or towards the end of the day.

You can also follow up via email. Keep the email as short, and friendly, as possible.

If you feel the interview did not go very well, you can also mention that you have other materials you would like to send (perhaps another reference, or a sample of your work).

When to Move On

If you leave a message and do not hear back after a couple of days, you can try contacting the employer again in a week or so. However, if you do not hear back after sending a thank you letter and two follow-up messages, it is best to cut your losses and start thinking about the next job opportunity.