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When to Follow up After a Job Interview

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So, you just had an interview for a position you’re eyeing, but the recruiters haven’t informed you yet about the results. You might think that they proceeded with another candidate, but it’s better if you clear it up by asking for an update. Failing to follow up is like giving up on your job application. Thus, you must know when to follow up after interview. This will help you clarify when you should move on to your job search or wait for the next step in the application process. For effective job search techniques, you will pick up tons of powerful tips in this online course.

Importance of following up after an interview

Following up after an interview is a nice gesture that shows your appreciation toward the recruiters. It demonstrates your enthusiasm for landing the job, which most recruiters like to see. When you follow up with them, you increase your chance of being considered for the position.

Following up not only consists of your appreciation towards the recruiters’ time, but it also extends your inquiry of when you should wait for the result. When you ask for a timeline for when you should expect the results, you put emphasis on clarity for both parties. It doesn’t demand the recruiters, but it reminds them to inform you about the progress with your application.

Plus, writing an effective follow-up email or giving a follow-up call helps you demonstrate your soft skills. You can showcase how you remembered vividly the interview details, the interviewer’s name, and more things that need to be addressed in the conversation. Being thoughtful counts to any potential employer; it proves that you have excellent attention to detail.

When to follow up after interview

So when should you follow up after your interview? Ideally, the most optimal number of business days to wait is five. This implies that if you were interviewed last Wednesday, then you should consider following up the following Wednesday when they haven’t reached out, or their set timeline has passed.

Also, when the recruiters gave a timeline that already passed, you may wait for an additional two business days to provide ample buffer time. If they don’t send you an email by then, consider shooting them a follow-up message.

Why there is a delay in the company’s update

There are many possible reasons why the recruiters haven’t come back to you yet. Just because they haven’t called doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. There are many potential reasons why they take longer than expected to inform you. Here are some common reasons why:

  • The interview process is still ongoing.

One of the common reasons why the recruiters may take a while to get back to you is because the interview process is still ongoing for the position. This means that the company may be interviewing more candidates, and they’re probably waiting to complete interviewing all shortlisted candidates. This is to ensure that they get the best person among a pool of applicants.

While the interview process is ongoing, it’s ideal to send them a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview.

  • The job search is paused.

You can’t get a hold of what happens to the job search. Sometimes, there are internal factors that cause the hiring halt. This is an important matter you need to know as these delays may take weeks or months to resume. Worse, you may even consider moving forward with other prospective companies when you think the waiting time is too long.

  • There is an unexpected event or vacation.

You could experience delays in your application process when a hiring decision-maker, like the hiring manager, takes an unexpected leave or vacation. These are things the organization can’t control which might impact the progress of the hiring process. However, if it’s an emergency case like these, you can expect it to resume in a matter of days. So, give them ample enough time to get back to you.

  • The recruitment team may be too busy.

While it’s normal to be busy at work, the recruiters are still responsible for informing you. If they fail to tell you or ignore your follow-ups, this could mean the organization doesn’t hold value over candidates. This is a good sign for you to consider how unethical the HR department does its job—you might be better off without them.

  • The job offer requires some time to prepare.

Whether you got the job or not, employers like to do some more screenings like a background check to ensure they get the right person. This also implies that the preparation of a job offer requires some time and effort to prepare. So, don’t worry if the recruiters take time to update. Give them a follow-up to set clear expectations about when you’ll know the results.

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Best practices on following up after an interview

Here are some powerful rules on when to follow up after interview:

1. Remember the given timeline.

Most recruiters inform you about a timeline, so consider that first before following up. Abide by the set date they gave before you reach out to them. This way, you won’t seem too demanding. Following the set date demonstrates patience and adherence to instructions given.

2. Give it five business days.

As mentioned earlier, the most optimal number of business days to wait is five. This is primarily applicable if the interviewer didn’t set a timeline.

3. Write your follow-up email.

When it’s time to write your follow-up message, remember the following points to make it appear professional:

  • Pick an appropriate subject line.
  • Address the interview by name.
  • Thank the interviewer as your opener.
  •  State something that will make you stand out among other candidates.
  • Leave your contact information.

4. Move on with your other options if they don’t respond after some time.

While not all recruiters are readily available to answer your message, you must keep optimistic and accept that they might not be responding at all anytime soon. If a significant amount of time, say one to two weeks, has passed, move forward with your other options. You may be waiting too long for an opportunity that’ll never come.

And those are the things you need to know on when to follow up after an interview. By keeping these tips in mind while in your job search, you may increase your chance of landing that job you’re eyeing. For more lessons to help you have a successful job search, here’s an online course we recommend for you.

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