Following Up after Your Networking Job Interview

By Peter H. Gregory, Bill Hughes

Part of Getting a Networking Job For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Even great interviews are taxing: They require superior listening skills, instant recall, and social grace. But as you leave the interview, your work is not over. Now you are entering the next phase: follow up. To make your best impression, do the following:

  • Make a follow-up commitment. While you are still in your interview with the hiring manager or recruiter, ask him or her if you may follow up. The time period for the follow-up could be a few days, or a week or more, depending on each person who interviews you.

  • Put follow-up reminders in your calendar. Time has a way of getting away from everyone, so it’s best if you put reminders in your calendar for each person to whom you will be following up.

  • Write thank-you notes. Write a personalized thank-you note to each person who interviewed you. Keep the note short, but do mention something positive that was discussed in each conversation and thank them for their time.

  • Mail your thank-you notes. Put your thank-you notes in the mail the afternoon or evening of your interview or the next day.

  • Keep learning about the organization. Pay attention to the organization’s press release page, the local newspaper, and other news sources. You’ll want to know about any significant events.

  • Read about other open positions. In the days after your interviews, the organization could post additional positions.

  • Do your follow-ups. Whether you committed to making phone calls or sending emails, make your follow-ups on the day you committed to in your interviews. Reiterate your enthusiasm about the position for which you interviewed. Ask if a decision has been made and whether you are still being considered. If you are talking with a recruiter and you noticed new open positions, asking about those positions is reasonable, especially if you were not selected for the job for which you interviewed. If the organization likes you but you were not the best candidate for that position, they may consider you for other open positions. Finally, if there are no immediate prospects for interviews, ask the recruiter if you can follow up later, typically in a month or two. Your persistence may pay off.

  • Keep records of your follow-ups and correspondence. If you didn’t get the job, you’ll want to keep track of your follow-up phone calls, e-mails, and other correspondence. You might be inclined to contact them later, so you’ll want to have a record of what you said and how your discussions went. Also, if someone from the organization contacts you months later, you’ll want to be able to easily find messages from the past so that you’ll appear more intentional and organized. (And you will be more intentional and organized!)