The Lost Art of the Follow-up

Your interview went really well. You explained why you’re the best candidate for the job, made great eye contact and remembered to thank the interviewer on your way out.

So now it’s time to sit back and worry until you hear something, right?


Take charge of your job search by reviving the “lost art” of the follow-up. These ideas for effectively reconnecting after the interview will help you make a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer – and may tip the scales in your favor:

Find out the hiring timetable. Before you leave the potential employer’s location, confirm with the interviewer when you can expect to hear something back. Knowing a company’s hiring timeframe can greatly alleviate post-interview anxiety and prevent you from compulsively checking your email and phone.

Send a well-timed “Thank you” letter. While this step may seem obvious, the vast majority of job hunters fail to do it.  So leverage this opportunity to stand out from the crowd:

  • Confirm the best way to follow-up. If you contact interviewers via their preferred method of communication, your follow-up will be better received.
  • Make it letter-perfect and timely.  Gather business cards for everyone who interviewed you, use LinkedIn, or call the company directly to verify contact information.  Have a friend proofread your letter and send the note within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Draft your letter as soon as you get home.  Compose your note while the interview is still fresh in your mind.
  • Customize the letter.  Instead of sending a generic “one size fits all” letter, step into the interviewer’s shoes and address the points which seemed most important to him or her. 
  • Briefly restate your case.  Review your qualifications and identify relevant accomplishments or experiences that you did not mention in the interview.  While you want to include these details, remember to keep the letter both brief and professional.

Break through the silence. If an interviewer doesn’t contact you within the period specified, it’s acceptable to send a single, polite inquiry. Make a brief phone call or send a quick, professional email asking about the status of your candidacy. Don’t draw attention to the fact that your interviewer has failed to follow-up with you. Instead, keep the communication positive and simply refer to the time frame he provided as the reason for your inquiry.

Don’t harass. Every interview situation (and interviewer) is unique. As a job seeker, it’s up to you to understand the “rules of engagement” and make good judgment calls about the frequency and timing of follow-up. Use the employer’s hiring timetable and preferred method of communication to be persistent – without becoming a pain in the neck.

Learn from the experience. If you hear back that you didn’t get the job offer, don’t bury your head and pout. Find out why. Ask the hiring manager for feedback on how you can improve your skills to be a better fit in the future.   

Looking for a job?

PrideStaff can put you to work quickly. When you register with us, we can help you:

  • Improve your resume and interviewing skills
  • Broaden your experience with a variety of temporary assignments
  • Earn money while you look for a full-time job

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.