Can weekly follow-up calls and emails after an interview help get you the job? Is it the best way to get noticed? Short answer: Noooooooooooo!
People wonder what to do after the job interview. Of course, that’s normal. You want to take action and help yourself. But you also don’t want to hurt yourself.
On that point, I just read a comment from one of my readers:
“I still haven’t heard back from them after my job interview and they stopped answering my weekly follow up calls and emails so I just assume they don’t want me. I think that’s rude not to respond to me, but oh well. I will continue applying for more things!”
Of course, my heart goes out to her. But I almost jumped out of my skin when I read how often she was following up with both phone calls AND emails after the job interview. I get that she was just eager to know “Did I get the job?”
But there’s good reason not to do what she was doing. What you do after an interview can count as much as before or during. And she was not helping her case by seeming so impatient and needy.
While I well understand the agony of waiting to hear back after the interview — and do love her positive attitude about moving on to look for the right job — I worry some of you, including this reader, may actually hurt yourself badly with an overly zealous approach.
Bugging a potential employer week after week, no matter how wonderful a hire you might be, is not going to get you the job. In fact, too many phone calls or emails can totally turn off the very people in the company you want to impress.
Avoid weekly follow-up calls and emails after an interview
Sending all those emails and making all those phone calls does not help your case with the company – and in fact only irritates HR folks and other hiring managers, many of whom have inboxes full of emails all demanding immediate attention.
An occasional polite post-interview email or phone call can be a good thing. But after that, believe me … if they are interested, they’ll remember you!
Unless you have something you absolutely need to tell them or maybe a new Pulitzer Prize you just won and want them to know about … less is more is a pretty good rule to follow when it comes to contact after the interview.
And if they aren’t getting back to you – as annoying as that can be – just assume they have a good reason and do your best to focus on other things … like continuing to look for a great job!
If you are waiting to hear back, you might find some helpful hints here:
What about phone calls or email before an interview?
Speaking of following up … be wary of online career “experts” who tell you to aggressively call and email, especially before an interview. I can tell you from first-hand experience it can leave a bad impression before they even meet you.
Seriously … unless you have a contact there or a very good reason to call or are in an industry where this is ok, you are probably not helping yourself one bit by calling before an interview. Even just to follow up on your resume.
When I handled hiring, I knew which resumes caught my eye. Calling never changed my mind — but calling more than once might, since it showed a person who didn’t respect my time.
Employers can get a hundred or more resumes for one job posting!
And they may be handling more than one job opening at a time. Just imagine if they got a hundred or more calls or emails for each and every job they post!
Of course, there are exceptions. And I will admit I once helped myself get to an interview by initiating a contact beforehand. But then again, it may have been my particular circumstance. And the type of job.
And I also might have gotten there anyway, based solely on my resume and strong cover letter. (That’s what a good cover letter is for.) So please … if you do try this, just tread gently and respectfully. And take cues from the person you contact!
So what’s your take on how often to follow up AFTER an interview? How have you handled your own post-interview follow-ups?
Waiting to hear back after a job interview?
[Post updated in 2020]
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work To the Wise and Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development, as well as her many adventures as a serial job seeker.