Job interview 101: Do's and dont's of following up with hiring staff

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You’ve completed the interview. Now what?

Well, most job experts would say it’s time to prepare your post-interview follow up. Figuring out how to go about it can sometimes be tricky, though.

If you’re not sure how to follow up with hiring managers, here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts that three career experts say you should keep in mind.

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Do: Say thank you

Sending thank you notes with your post-interview follow up is a great way to show your gratitude. (iStock)

Mark Anthony Dyson, career coach and founder of The Voice of Job Seekers in Chicago, Illinois, told Fox News Digital that he recommends jobseekers sending individualized thank you emails or cards to each interviewer they speak with.

"Neglecting to thank people for their time is rare, and it's hard to stand out if you don't," Dyson said. "The follow-up is an excellent opportunity to be remembered, and since most people don't, it's a tremendous competitive advantage when you do."

He noted that thank-you messages should include things a job candidate has learned, an appreciation for interviewers taking time to discuss the role, showing enthusiasm for the company and anticipating significant contributions if selected.

Don’t: Follow up too much

Follow-ups shouldn’t be so frequent that you scare off a potential employer. (iStock)

While following up can definitely help a jobseeker display their interest, following up with "multiple calls or emails in two weeks is too much," Dyson said. 

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"If they said they'd get back to you within two weeks, calling or emailing asking about the process is not a good look," he continued. "After two weeks, follow up with a call or email after you’ve found out their contact preference.

Do: Space out your follow-ups

Following up two to three times is generally acceptable. (iStock)

If a hiring time hasn’t reached out in the time frame that they said they would, following up two or three times at weekly intervals "is usually appropriate if there's no hiring decision made," according to Dyson.

A second or third follow-up a week after the first one "Your friendly call to find out the status will give people you talk with a chance to get to know you further," Dyson said. "Air on the side of patience without sounding demanding or entitled."

Don’t: Inquire why it’s taking longer than expected

Post-interview follow ups should focus on job application status and not on what’s taking the employer so long to decide. (iStock)

While you may want to know what’s holding up a job offer out of curiosity’s sake, Dyson said jobseekers should refrain from inquiring about a hiring team’s decision process.

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"Asking why a decision hasn't been made sounds entitled and comes across as pushy," Dyson said. "More often than not, it's a deal-breaker."

Do: Follow up with something memorable 

Sharing details about yourself after an interview might help you stand out when you follow up with an employer. (iStock)

When you follow up with a potential employer, Dyson thinks it’s in a job candidate’s best interest to stand out from the crowd.

"In an email, show you anticipate working with them and send a list of 20 to 25 ways you will contribute to the team or company," Dyson said. "Take time to understand their needs during and after the interview, and list how you can meet those needs."

Don’t: Stop your search

Job seekers should keep an eye out for other job opportunities even if they follow up with hiring managers. (iStock)

Keeping an eye out for other opportunities might be in a job candidate’s best interest, according to Margaret Buj, a multi-region senior talent partner at Mixmax – a sales engagement platform in San Francisco.

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"Don’t stop job hunting after one interview, even if you think it went really well," Buj said. "You never know what's going to happen, your job is not guaranteed until you've signed the contract, and you don’t want to miss out on any other opportunities by putting your search on hold."

Do: Check and respect the followup time frame

Asking when you should follow up after your interview can help you figure out when to reach out. (iStock)

Dawid Wiacek, personal brand strategist at Career Fixer – a NYC-based career coaching service, told Fox News Digital that it’s important to be "proactive" and ask interviewers what’s the "best timeframe and way" you should follow up.

If a timeframe has been provided, and you’ve waited the recommended number of days or weeks and still haven’t heard back, it’s OK to reach out with a followup email that reiterates your appreciation and interest, but it shouldn’t be left at that, Wiacek advised.

"You don’t want to come across as pestering them," Wiacek said. "Instead, add something of value to the email. If you forgot to share a relevant story or anecdote, or you’ve found an interesting article online, add that to the mix."

He went on, "The follow-up note is your chance to show that you listened intently and cared enough to present additional insights, potential solutions, etc."

In the "rare event" an interviewer is "adamant about you not following up, consider heeding their advice," Wiacek warned.

Don’t: Reach out with a basic follow-up or be over-eager

Jobseekers should show interest but they shouldn’t make themselves look too eager or desperate. (iStock)

Wiacek absolutely recommends following up with potential employers, but he doesn’t recommend doing so with an unoriginal inquiry.

"Asking, "What’s the status of my application?" is about as useful and mature as a kid during the start of a road trip asking, "Are we there yet?" Wiacek said.

He also warned that being over-eager in a follow-up could have a detrimental effect.

"Much like in dating, desperation can scare off a recruiter or hiring manager," Wiacek explained. "Even if you’re exceedingly excited about a job, and the interview went swimmingly, a little patience can go a long way."

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While jobseekers await a response, Wiacek said it’s important that they keep in mind that some companies have "very slow interview and vetting processes."

He added, "[Interviewers] may like you very much, but there might be hoops they need to jump through, endless approvals on the back end. Silence on their part doesn’t always equal lack of interest."

Do: Follow up with your job network

Reaching out to former and current employees after an interview could help you figure out if a job role or organization is a right fit.. (iStock)

Checking in with your professional network or with people who currently or used to work at the organization you’ve interviewed with, could be helpful in your personal decision-making, according to Wiacek.

He said he recommends job hopefuls reach out to two to three professionals on LinkedIn or a similar job board.

The prompt Wiacek said jobseekers should write in their followup messages should say something like this:

"Hi there, I'm currently in the midst of interviewing for your company, albeit in another team. I really love the vibe of the company so far, and would appreciate 5-10 minutes of your time if you can swing it this week – or I can email you a few questions if that is easier for you. I simply want to hear about your experience working for the organization."

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