Question: I recently interviewed for a job that I really want. When and how should I follow up with the hiring manager?
You definitely do want to follow up with the hiring manager. You want to thank them for their time and you want to remind them that you are the best fit for the position.
Your first follow up should be a hand written note. These days most of us are already bombarded with emails and text messages. So help our US Postal Service out AND make a favorable impression by writing a quick thank you note. Use a nice card (it does not have to be expensive) and send a note right away. Mail it immediately after your interview. You might even consider writing it in your car (while parked please) after you leave the interview. That way your thoughts about the interview and the position are fresh in your mind. Do NOT make this a generic ‘thanks for your time’ note.
Write something that shows you really paid attention. For example, something specific (and professional) that you remember about the hiring manager. “It was nice to observe the open rapport you have with your team; I know I will enjoy working for you.”
Or “I enjoy working in a fast paced environment like yours
so I look forward to coming in and hitting the ground running.”
Do not stop with the hand written note. During the interview you should have asked about next steps in the hiring process. You should have asked something like, “When do you expect to make a decision?” Or “When can I expect to hear from you?” Use the information you learn from the interview to follow up again. This time you might consider email or a phone call. If during the interview you asked, “What is the best way for me to reach you?”, then you know if the hiring manager prefers an email or a phone call or a text message. Follow up and based on the information you receive, you might plan to follow up again. If you are told the position has been filled, reply with a professional thank you and a wish for their continued success. If you are told the position is still available, reiterate your interest and briefly remind the hiring manager of your qualifications. Again, you want to be specific and discuss their specific opportunity and the position.
Should you follow up a third time? As long as the position is open and you have not been told “Don’t call us, we will call you.”, then yes keep following up. How often? If you are given a schedule as to when a decision will be reached, work toward that schedule. If not, consider every seven to ten business days. You do not want to be a pest, but you do want to show that you are proactive and interested.
Until next time; wishing you peace at work. Remember to send
your questions to Ask@MargaretMeloni.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous that's OK. I will not publish your name.