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How many times should I follow up after a job interview?

Congratulations, you landed a job interview after weeks of searching. You spend weeks leading up to the interview preparing your answers, selecting an outfit, and mentally preparing your departure (and the look on your bosses’ face) at your current job.

Next thing you know, you’re interviewing, acing every question, joking with the interviewer, and you leave feeling refreshed.  You immediately send a thank you email expressing your gratitude and reiterating how great you are for the job. Then….communication is suddenly dropped… silence…. no response… and now you start to wonder.

  • Did they get my email?
  • Will they remember me if I don’t follow-up again?
  • Did they even like me?
  • Did they hire someone else?

Unfortunately, this happens all too often with job seekers and companies. It’s not intentional, but it is extremely frustrating for the jobseeker who spent time, money, emotion, and effort interviewing for the job. My clients come to me often and ask if they should reach out again and most importantly, why is the interviewer not responding. Without being there to watch the dynamics or know the inside scoop, here is my advice:

Remain calm and continue your search. I get it, it’s easier said than done, but you have to remember this… life goes on and time waits for no one. While you’re waiting for them to respond, you could’ve been interviewing somewhere else which increases your chances of being hired quicker. I always try to remind my clients, that the hiring process is often complex and doesn’t always go as quick as they would like. Here are a few scenarios to better help you understand the possibilities.

  • The HR Manager or other key decision makers may be out of the office (on vacation) or have more pressing priorities that delay the hiring process.
  • The company may have hired internally. Unfortunately, companies are required to post positions and interview for legal purposes. They may have already had a candidate picked out before you even stepped in the door. Is this frustrating… yes! Does it happen? Yes, and more often then you think.
  • The company may be going through an unexpected transition or restructure, which ultimately changes their priorities and puts new hires on the backburner.

As far as how many times you should reach out. My suggestion is always, two! Two times is the sweet spot. It shows excitement and politeness, but it doesn’t shout “I’m desperate, I need this now and have no other options.”  When desperation kicks in, it is harder to properly control emotions and communication. It may also come off as forceful or downright annoying. The employer already knows you’re interested, but things may be going on internally that they have no control of and what once seemed like a great candidate may now be perceived as pushy and bothersome.

To avoid this circumstance, ALWAYS ask about timeline during your interview. Standard interviews typically end with the interviewer asking, “do you have any questions for us.” Use this time wisely and make sure to always ask about their timeline and next steps. Their answer will give you an idea of what to expect, so that if there are any hiccups you can make mention of why you’re following up.

Most importantly, continue your search. Your goal should always be to land a few interviews during your search. The more options you have, the more leverage you can use while negotiating salary, benefits, and scheduling. Best of all, you’ll never feel like you’re settling because you are choosing where you truly want to spend 40+ hours per week!

Good luck friends, you got this!

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Hey there!

Chelsea Jay Resume Writer & Career Coach

I'm Chelsea Jay

As your coach, I'm here to remind you that you can redefine your career at any point in time & for any reason.

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