Take this scenario: after a firm handshake, YOU (the candidate) walk down the hall, or are in the elevator thinking, “Wow I did a fantastic job—that interview went really well.” By the time YOU are at the car or T stop, you realize you neglected to ask about what the next steps were in their process. Panic sets in and you think: When will the interviewer get back to me by? You have now entered the unknown, drawn out game of waiting, waiting and waiting.
What should one do if the interview is left open-ended? The following helpful hints can assist anyone in the “limbo” follow-up stage of the interview process.
- Close the Interview Correctly:
Before walking out of the interview, communicate and determine who will be taking the next step in the process. Do you need to send your references, writing sample, or that recommendation letter you spoke of? Or will you be hearing a decision from the company? In a week? Few days? Set expectations with the interviewer on when you will hear back from them. This is okay and yes, professional!
2. Send a Thank You Note &/or Email
In sending a thank you note either hand written or via email, allows your name to be brought to an interviewer’s attention again right away. Thank you notes are musts that show the hiring manager that you are very interested in the job and appreciate the time they spent with you.
3. Follow Up
If the hiring manager says they will get back to you by the end of the week and it is now Tuesday, it is perfectly okay to send a quick reminder note that you are eager to hear back about the job opportunity and do so tactfully. Take this as a chance to be able to offer any further supplementary qualifications and express a continued interest in working for the company.
There is always a “but…” and in this situation it is… “but am I bothering the Hiring Manager by sending these follow-up emails or thank you notes?” Try to think like the Hiring Manager/Recruiter you engaged with for the position. What would you want done? Thank you notes and follow up emails can go a long way in helping you stand out, right?!