The Right Way to Follow Up After the Interview

John Krautzel
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Now that your job interview is over, the stress of playing the waiting game begins. Should you just sit back and wait for a phone call, or should you attempt to make further contact with the hiring manager? Use this follow-up checklist to make sure you're handling yourself appropriately after an interview.

1. Discuss a Timeline

Before the job interview ends, ask the hiring manager about the next steps in the hiring process. Find out when the organization plans to make a final decision, and inquire about how candidates are informed. If the interviewer indicates that a hiring decision could take a week, don't make contact until that much time has elapsed.

2. Jot Down Important Information

Immediately after the job interview, sit down and write a few notes. Jot down details about the questions you were asked and the answers you provided. Make notes about the job duties, the interview panelists and important details about the organization. If you discovered a common interest with the hiring manager, note it. Taking notes helps you refresh your memory when it's time to follow up, which is especially important if you interviewed with multiple employers.

3. Send a Thank You Note

Write thank you notes as soon as your interview ends. Send a quick email thanking each interviewer for their time. Briefly express your enthusiasm for the position, and summarize how your skills and background qualify you for the job.

4. Contact Your References

If you haven't already alerted your references, now is the time to do so. Send an email, or make a quick call to each of your personal and professional references. Let them know where you interviewed, and explain that they may be getting a call soon. Ask your references to contact you if they do hear from the potential employer.

5. Continue Your Search

Don't put all your job eggs in one basket. You may feel extremely confident about a particular job interview, but you never know if another candidate is more qualified for the job. Continue scouring job boards, attending networking events, applying for positions and going on interviews until you receive an official job offer.

6. Make a Follow-Up Call

If a week passes and you haven't heard from the employer, it's okay to reach out to the hiring manager. Simply state that you're following up, and ask if a hiring decision was made. Even if you didn't get the job, conduct yourself professionally, thank the hiring manager and ask him to keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Following up too soon after a job interview can make you seem overbearing, but staying silent may come across as unassertive and less than confident. Consider this follow-up checklist to make sure you're presenting yourself well after each job interview.

Photo courtesy of Levo League at


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