Follow up after your interviews. It can make all the difference.

How (& Why) to Follow up After a Job Interview

The Great Resignation has seen a mass exodus of people quitting which means there's a good chance you're interviewing right now - or at least considering it. And with totally remote interviewing processes there are things we might forget about while we’re staging our just-right interview set-up…like following up after your job interview. There are right and wrong ways to go about this. Read on for our thoughts…

First, why is following up important?

While ghosting seems to be the unfortunate norm between interviewers and candidates these days, sending a follow-up email after a job interview benefits you in several ways:
  1. It keeps you top-of-mind
  2. It shows you’re a caring person with manners, who people might be more inclined to work with.
  3. It can draw you closer to potential colleagues who may root for you through the hiring decision.

Following up after a job interview might seem agonizingly painful, but there’s no need to overthink it.
Here are some steps we recommend:

1. Send a thank-you note

No later than 24 hours after you’ve met with a person, send them a short-but-sweet thank-you email following up after your interview. In it, tell them (a) how much you enjoyed meeting them (b) thank them for taking the time out of their day to speak with you and (c) remark on something special about the company from your conversation. Bonus points: ask a thoughtful question that was not discussed in your meeting. Then close out with a “I look forward to speaking with you soon” and a nice salutation. (Here is another interview follow-up template for you.) Did you meet with four people at once? Then send each of those people a thank-you note. Should you follow up after a bad interview? Send the person a thank-you note anyway (and see our notes in step 3). These notes are a courtesy that not every candidate does but that EVERYONE values. Truly, this is a don't-burn-bridges situation. You’ll come out on top and potentially walk away with a new connection that could help you in the future, even if the interview didn’t go as planned.

2. Not interested anymore? Change of situation? Let the recruiter know.

Let’s say you’re in your second round of interviews when your current employer tells you, “OMG we’ve realized how amazing you are and want to promote you to Creative Director starting immediately.” First, congratulations, you deserve it. Second, tell any other prospective employers on your radar that you’ve been approached and have decided to take another position. Don’t grovel or apologize a million times; just own your decision and tell them as soon as you’ve made it. The recruiter will be grateful that you’ve let them know so that they can take you out of the running and focus on other candidates.

3. Send a follow-up note

So it’s been a week since you sent the thank you note and you haven’t heard anything from the hiring manager. The Harvard Business Review suggests waiting an extra week after that before sending a follow-up note. The follow-up note (again, short and sweet) should outline that (a) you’re still interested (b) mention anything that sets their company apart from other places you’re interviewing and (c) ask if there is anything else they may need from you to help make the decision. (Again, here are some more templates for you!) Of course, you can probably skip this step if all of your interactions with the company were just downright horrible. If this was the case, though, at least you sent those thank-you notes… and then told their HR that you’ve had a change of heart. Right? Right. And if there is no response after your interview follow-up email, you can wait a week and send another. Or you might have been ghosted, which, if that’s the case, cut your losses. They are not a company you’d want to work for anyway. 

4. The feedback request 

And here we are, at the unfortunate outcome that you possibly didn’t land this job. But on the up-side, you always have the ability to request that the hiring manager provides feedback on your interview performance and portfolio. After hearing from the recruiter that you didn’t land the position, follow up with a request that says (a) thank you for letting me know (b) ask how you can improve for future interviews (c) finish with a kind salutation. Requesting this information will help you in the future and it might also set your mind at ease. For all you know you were so close and there is nothing else you could have improved upon—they just went another direction. Sometimes it’s nice to know all that negativity going on in your head at this moment just isn’t true and there was nothing you could have done differently to change their minds.

Okay, we’re not going to end on that bad note—because we have plenty of open positions on an ongoing basis here at Artisan. Are you looking for your next dream gig? We can help with that.

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