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Post-Interview Actions to Take – and to Avoid

In my last post I stressed that after your interview, you should not try to follow up by calling the people with whom you interviewed.  They are most likely swamped with work, other interviews, etc, and will resent the intrusion.  Instead, my advice is to call HR.  Calling HR shows you know the proper etiquette and are respectful of the interviewers’ time.

As a Hiring Manager I have to tell you that I really don’t like getting calls from potential candidates I’ve interviewed.  Why?  Because if I don’t intend to hire them, it’s an awkward call, and if on the other hand I’m still interested, I will already have my HR people be following up.

However, as a candidate if you simply feel you must follow up directly with me, I much prefer an email (although I still won’t appreciate the intrusion!).  An email lets me respond when I’m able to, and I can be much better prepared if it’s going to be a “dear john” type of response.

If you really want to ensure as much as possible that your email is well received, or at least not resented, here’s a special tip:  Instead of just asking the status of a decision, find a relevant article and send it.  In your email, simply say you’ve been thinking about what you heard in the interview and found this interesting article that you wanted to pass on.

Then, close by saying you hope to hear from them soon.  This again reinforces that you do your homework and allows you to make a more subtle inquiry on your status.

If you feel you simply must call the hiring manager on the phone, which again I must stress is a risky strategy, here’s how to approach it.  First, send an email politely saying that you’re following up.  Then, suggest three different days and times to call them and ask if they can fit one into their schedule, and if not could they suggest a day and time that they can make.

This way, the hiring manager knows when the call will come and can be prepared.  You have a much better chance of getting a response to this type of an inquiry.

After all is said and done, while post-interview things such as thank you notes, copies of relevant articles, etc, are nice and probably should be done as a matter of course, the bottom line is that I’ve probably already made up my mind about you as soon as the interview is over.

If you do well in the interview, are the most qualified, and impress me to the point where you’re the one I’ve decided I want to hire, I’ll hire you whether or not you send a thank you letter or anything else.

In fact, I’ve never known a Hiring Manager who passed on the best candidate simply because they didn’t send a thank you letter.  Do people really think hiring managers wait around after interviewing all candidates to see which ones send a thank you letter?  We don’t.   However (there’s always a however, isn’t there?), if two equally good candidates are running neck-and-neck in the final selection process and all other things are equal, that well written thank-you email might – just might – be the tipping point.

For the most part, though, I’ll probably take action – or not – even before your thank you letter is received.  In my last post I stressed that after your interview, you should not try to follow up by calling the people with whom you interviewed.  They are most likely swamped with work, other interviews, etc, and will resent the intrusion.  Instead, my advice is to call HR.  Calling HR shows you know the proper etiquette and are respectful of the interviewers’ time.

As a Hiring Manager I have to tell you that I really don’t like getting calls from potential candidates I’ve interviewed.  Why?  Because if I don’t intend to hire them, it’s an awkward call, and if on the other hand I’m still interested, I will already have my HR people be following up.

However, as a candidate if you simply feel you must follow up directly with me, I much prefer an email (although I still won’t appreciate the intrusion!).  An email lets me respond when I’m able to, and I can be much better prepared if it’s going to be a “dear john” type of response.

If you really want to ensure as much as possible that your email is well received, or at least not resented, here’s a special tip:  Instead of just asking the status of a decision, find a relevant article and send it.  In your email, simply say you’ve been thinking about what you heard in the interview and found this interesting article that you wanted to pass on.

Then, close by saying you hope to hear from them soon.  This again reinforces that you do your homework and allows you to make a more subtle inquiry on your status.

If you feel you simply must call the hiring manager on the phone, which again I must stress is a risky strategy, here’s how to approach it.  First, send an email politely saying that you’re following up.  Then, suggest three different days and times to call them and ask if they can fit one into their schedule, and if not could they suggest a day and time that they can make.

This way, the hiring manager knows when the call will come and can be prepared.  You have a much better chance of getting a response to this type of an inquiry.

After all is said and done, while post-interview things such as thank you notes, copies of relevant articles, etc, are nice and probably should be done as a matter of course, the bottom line is that I’ve probably already made up my mind about you as soon as the interview is over.

If you do well in the interview, are the most qualified, and impress me to the point where you’re the one I’ve decided I want to hire, I’ll hire you whether or not you send a thank you letter or anything else.

In fact, I’ve never known a Hiring Manager who passed on the best candidate simply because they didn’t send a thank you letter.  Do people really think hiring managers wait around after interviewing all candidates to see which ones send a thank you letter?  We don’t.   However (there’s always a however, isn’t there?), if two equally good candidates are running neck-and-neck in the final selection process and all other things are equal, that well written thank-you email might – just might – be the tipping point.

For the most part, though, I’ll probably take action – or not – even before your thank you letter is received.  Don’t put too much emphasis on post-interview actions.  But be sure to do them!

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