The minutes, days, and sometimes even weeks after a job interview may bring a flurry of excitement and, also, questions. Did I touch on all of the topics I wanted to bring up? Did I effectively answer this or that question? Am I excited about the organization’s mission or goals?
Waiting to hear about next steps during this in-between period can be difficult, particularly when a week or two goes by and you haven’t received an update. There are many reasons why a hiring manager doesn’t reach out as quickly as you hope; they may be busy checking references, managing paperwork, or even handling non-hiring tasks for their organization.
Instead of spinning into the dreaded world of what if’s, make the job search easier on yourself (and the hiring manager) by applying these tips for following up after an interview.
5 Tips for Following Up With a Hiring Manager
1. Before the interview ends, ask about next steps in the process
You should always take an opportunity to ask the hiring manager questions about role expectations and any ongoing or future projects, but don’t forget to clear up the details about next steps in the hiring process. Doing so will not only signal that you’re genuinely excited about the organization’s work and your potential role in it, but will also help you know who you’re going to meet, how long the process will take, and whether there are any tasks you’ll be expected to complete before receiving an offer.
2. Record the interviewer’s contact information
Whether you’re interviewing with a recruiter or hiring manager, make sure you have updated contact information so you can reach them post-interview. It’s always good to pay attention to the spelling and pronunciation of someone’s name, so taking their business card or even just making a mental note of their exact job title and how they prefer to be called can ensure your follow-up message is correct and respectful.
3. Send a thank-you note
Hiring managers sometimes conduct multiple interviews each day, and you’d be surprised how many people forget to send a thank-you note or believe the practice is outdated.
Taking the time to express your gratitude and reference specific points brought up during the interview can go a long way in distinguishing you from other candidates, so don’t forget to send that email. For advice on how to structure this message, check out our post, The Post-Interview Thank-You Email | Template Toolbox.
4. Share a professional update
If something of note happens in your professional life that relates to the role you interviewed for or improves your candidacy, don’t hesitate to update the recruiter or hiring manager. Maybe you completed a certification course you had mentioned taking during the interview, or your team recently won an award for a project you worked on; consider sharing this update over email or sending a message on LinkedIn.
Whatever you want to share, make sure to mention how it relates to this potential position.
5. When in doubt, check in over email
If the hiring manager hasn’t reached out to you according to the timeline they shared, or it’s been over two weeks since your interview, you have every right to check in with them. You can certainly keep the email short and sweet to inquire about the process, but it’s also smart to use the opportunity to comment on the organization’s recent work, reiterate something you talked about in the interview, or ask if there is any more information you can provide to clarify your background or skillset.
If you haven’t heard back immediately, don’t assume the worst
Even when you take all of the above steps, something may happen to slow down communication on the hiring team’s side that has nothing to do with your candidacy. It’s likely that everyone involved has good intentions to move the process along, so be careful about how many times you decide to check in after an interview.
And if you do get some less than ideal news after following up, don’t let it knock you down. You have unique experiences, skills, and achievements that any organization would be lucky to have. If this job doesn’t work out, your next interview just might be for the role of your dreams!