The Right Way to Follow Up After Your Job Interview

Envision now that you are approaching the end of a long-anticipated job interview. Hopefully, you are calm and confident that you secured every question with an incisively suitable answer.

Yet, no matter what your status at this point, your role is still not complete. Before you walk out the door make sure you ask “What is the next step?” It’s remarkable how few people ask for this information. If you fail to do so, it leaves you in the uncomfortable position of not knowing when sufficient time has elapsed to make follow-up contact.

If the interviewer responds with an indication that the results should be known in about seven days, for example, feel free to call after eight or nine, if you haven’t heard from them first. However, don’t allow too much more time to pass.

Interview Follow-up - laptop keyboard keys

Upon Leaving

After you have left the interview, assessed the experience, and collected your thoughts, find somewhere to sit down with your laptop, tablet, or smart phone and immediately send a “Thank You” message to your interviewer(s) for their time and consideration.

It is not “too soon”; in fact, it demonstrates that you are a competent individual who gets things done expeditiously. In fact, the reaction it will evoke may likely set you apart from the other candidates, in the best way possible.

First Tasks

Immediately add your interviewer(s) to your contact list. Even if you don’t get the job this time, having their information on hand could be beneficial in the future. It’s also is a good idea to ascertain whether you share any commonalities with your interviewer, which may be helpful conversation starters for future meetings and correspondence.

As a follow-up, most interviewers prefer a brief telephone call either early or late in the workday when they are less likely to be in a meeting or otherwise occupied. Although less personal, some interviewers prefer a brief e-mail. In every case, be respectful of their time, avoiding lengthy communiqués, and spell-check everything you send.

Although you may have been inclined to look up your prospective hiring manager on LinkedIn, there are differing viewpoints on whether or not it’s a good idea to actually connect with them on the social media site, post-interview. (One helpful viewpoint can be found here.) However, if you made your initial contact with your interviewer through LinkedIn, sending a post-interview message through their profile is perfectly suitable.

Confine yourself to one, or possibly two, questions. Reiterate a point made during the meeting by demonstrating an aspect gleaned from your previous discussion with a new insight; you might even suggest a solution to a particular difficulty that was brought up during the meeting.

If the correspondence goes smoothly, you may even decide to initiate an open-ended invitation if there’s a chance you might be of assistance on any issues of interest. Perhaps, suggest a follow-up meeting for coffee, but only you have potentially significant information to provide that could be helpful to them.

Remember, however, to realistically gauge the climate of the exchange, and of course, avoid going overboard with multiple, repeated correspondences within a short time-frame.

Keep Smiling

Telemarketers are frequently instructed to smile when they speak to customers over the phone. Why is smiling necessary when you can’t be seen? The reason is that the act of smiling actually manipulates the emotion that your voice exudes. Your interviewer can actually detect that positive attitude over the phone, and will consequently respond more favorably than if you weren’t smiling.

Interview Follow-up - professionals shaking hands

Remain Fresh

When you are speaking to a hiring manager, be sure to maximize your best traits and strongest qualifications in relation to the requirements of the job. If you detect any enthusiasm on their part, lightly investigate a little further to discern when you might expect a decision to be forthcoming.

This is the perfect opportunity to ask an additional (brief) question or two and provide some supplementary information. Memorable people get hired; people who find themselves too reluctant to follow up often find themselves with an extended job search. Sometimes they end up settling for a less than desirable job because they didn’t pursue the one they wanted with vigor.

Continue Looking

Don’t attach all of your employment hopes onto one single job. Even if the opportunity seems ideal, it’s still wise to have other options. Additional job offers can sometimes provide you with leverage, as well as extra confidence.


While a proper post-interview follow-up is crucial, be sure to not appear over-zealous. Furthermore, if your interviewer(s) asks you to call back in three days, for instance, then follow suit and call back in exactly three days.

The hiring process often takes longer than expected, particularly if there are a large number of applicants and candidates to sort through and contemplate. Try to remain patiently tolerant, yet don’t forget to let them know you’re still interested in the job.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200