After a great interview, waiting around (for days, weeks or even longer) while hiring managers make decisions can be agonizing – but that doesn’t mean you should spread that agony around.
To keep a post-interview feedback vacuum from driving you nuts, be proactive! Here are four smart follow-up strategies to head-off a communication “black hole” while staying top-of-mind – and do it all without becoming a pain in the you-know-what:
Get the scoop before you part company.
At the end of the interview, take the opportunity to gently probe about the hiring process and decision-making timeline for the position. If possible, obtain details about:
- key hiring deadlines or decision dates;
- contact information for your interviewer and other decision makers (i.e., correct spelling of names, job titles, email addresses, phone numbers);
- individuals’ preferred method of communicating;
- whether it’s permissible to connect on LinkedIn (and if so, do this immediately);
- next steps in the hiring process.
Finding out these details will help alleviate your anxiety while you wait, while conveying that you’re proactive, detail-oriented and genuinely interested in the position.
This essential follow up step is more than a social nicety; it’s your opportunity to remind the interviewer why you’re the perfect person for the job. Whether you send a handwritten note or communicate via email, be sure that your “thank you” note contains the following elements:
- A sincere “thank you” for the interviewer’s time;
- An expression of your desire for the position;
- A restatement of why you’re the ideal candidate for the opportunity;
- Reminders of key discussion points from your interview (to jog the interviewer’s memory);
- Any new information which may influence the hiring manager’s decision;
- A wrap-up, including details about your next point of follow up.
Try to limit your message to three paragraphs, and send it within 24 hours of your interview. For more “thank you” note advice, read our full post here.
If a key deadline passes, initiate contact.
Finding the silence deafening? Break it. If an interviewer told you that he would contact you within a week with a decision – and it’s now day 10 – it’s certainly acceptable for you to send a polite email inquiry about the job’s status. Just be sure to keep it brief, positive and professional. Never point out the fact that an interviewer failed to contact you (even if it’s true).
Exercise good judgment, and err on the side of restraint.
Every interview situation is unique. As a food & beverage professional or executive, it’s up to you to make good judgment calls about the frequency, timing and method of following up. You want your interviewer to be impressed by your perseverance – not annoyed by your needling.
If the situation doesn’t warrant another direct contact, but you’d like to keep yourself top-of-mind, use your LinkedIn profile to stay on the interviewer’s radar. Share timely food & beverage industry news, comment on others’ posts, or (if you’re a talented writer) publish a post of your own about a topic related to your field.