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September 12, 2011

By: Erica D.

You have found the perfect job and you are just praying that you are chosen for your dream position. Now, you want to play things right. You want to make sure that they know that you are very interested in the position, yet you do not want to come off too eager like a high school teenager with a crush on a pretty cheerleader or the football quarterback. But, you can barely contain yourself! How do you follow-up after the interview without coming off like a stalker?

Before the interview is over you should be thinking about following up. As you leave the interview be sure to ask if it is ok to follow-up with the HR Director or supervisor who interviewed you. Make sure you have all the pertinent contact information and a general time frame for when a hiring decision might be made. With this information, and asking for permission to follow-up, you set the stage for your follow-up as well as let the hiring manager know that you are sincerely interested in the opening with their company.

While you might not wish to seem overly eager, it is perfectly fine to follow-up the day after your interview to voice your appreciation for the interview and the opportunity to meet with them. Keeping your name in front of their face just once after the interview is a good idea. Anything beyond this may be viewed as being an annoyance and may actually hurt your chances of getting the position if you come on too strong.

So, you wait patiently for that day to arrive. You have it marked on your calendar and you rehearse what you want to say. Should you follow-up by email or should you make that phone call? What should you say? What should you not say? What can put you over the top if it is a close call? Are there any “Jedi mind tricks” that you can play on them to force their hand into asking “Are you really the employee that we are looking for?”

First of all, relax! While doing everything by the book and hitting all your marks in the interview and when you follow-up can improve your chances of landing that job of your dreams, there are no guarantees that these simple facts alone will land you that job of your dreams. Follow up when you said you would to prove that you are thorough and that you follow through with what you say you are going to do.

Send that email if you feel that you will be more composed through written word or call if you feel that you can pull it off. If you have to leave a voicemail and you do not hear anything back after a couple of days, feel free to follow-up one more time with a phone call. People do get sick or busy so do not take it personally or as a bad sign if you do not hear anything back. Often, no news is good news and if you were not a candidate you may have heard back already.

One hard and fast rule that you really need to abide by is to never ever lie, even during a follow-up call. You may be tempted to tell a little white lie in trying to get a decision out of a potential employer by saying that you have another job offer on the table in hopes of making yourself seem more desirable. Just avoid this practice at all cost. Lying is unethical and you stand a very good chance of having it come back to bite you somewhere along the line. A potential employer might even decide not to offer you a job based upon this information, thinking that you already have a job offer thus swinging their decision in the direction of another candidate.

If you do not hear anything back after your second follow-up after the date that was given to you to follow-up on by the hiring manager, then simply move on. Sometimes, these days, jobs are given to acquaintances of other employees or even candidates that may have interviewed for a different position with your dream company. Many times the interview process is simply a dog and pony show that is put on while it is well-known that one particular job candidate is going to be given the job.

Fret not. Your day is coming and someday soon it will be you that gets the call asking you to accept that dream position that you just interviewed for. There is always the chance that their choice candidate might not accept the position or they might back out thus leaving you as the candidate of choice! So, make sure to not burn any bridges, keep your cool and follow-up with style!