How Often Should I Call an Employer After My Interview?

In a recent exchange of comments on How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well, the subject of how soon and how often to call an employer after the interview came up. One of my wonderful readers, CE (who recently got a job herself), was helping comfort someone anxiously waiting to hear whether she got the job.

Speaking specifically to the question of how often to call, CE wrote:

I once got a job because the hiring manager said they would hire me if I quit calling them all the time. They said I was persistent, and they hired me! While I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone, I would recommend that you call the prospective employer back to check on the status. Anyone else agree with this or do you have another opinion?

Glad you asked, CE. I covered this a while back in After an Interview: Can Weekly Follow Up Calls and Emails Help Get You the Job? But since this question comes up so often, I figured it was worth discussing post-interview follow-ups again in a new post.

What You Need to Know about Post-Interview Follow Ups

Here’s a quick summary of salient points I hope will help ease at least some of the waiting pain:

  • Thank you notes are a great first follow-up step. While I have hired folks who never sent one, it is a good positive initial follow-up contact and leaves a nice impression.  (Although there was one time when it didn’t.)
  • Show you have patience and professionalism by waiting at least a week – or better yet two (depending on the type of job) – before you follow-up after the thank you note.
  • When you do follow up, make it short and sweet unless you have something new and relevant to add – and keep that short too.
  • Some of the very folks you are waiting to hear back from get over a hundred e-mails a day – many requiring immediate action – so if they don’t respond right away (or at all)…it’s NOT about you.
  • Some companies take weeks just to interview the first round of candidates – plus there are internal decision-making processes that take lots of time.
  • Some companies have policies about not responding at all to follow-up contacts (there are legal implications such as when responses are misconstrued by the candidate), and so these companies wait instead until an offer was made and accepted. Again this is not about YOU.
  • After the thank you and additional follow-up, wait at least 2 weeks before checking your status again – unless they tell you to call on a specific date or to just wait until they get back to you.
  • If there is even a chance you might get the job, the employer remembers you – really! If there’s no chance…no amount of calling will help, and it may hurt your chances next time there’s an opening. So please resist trying to remind them every few days. There’s a fine line between persistence and stalking!

Hope that helps. Feel free to add your own thoughts about follow-up frequency.  And thanks again CE and all my other readers who so kindly pitch in to help those with the post-interview OCD blues.

And last but definitely not least…congratulations on your new job CE!  I’m happy to report she’s not the only reader who has recently gotten a job. There is indeed light at the end of the long interview tunnel! ;-)

Posts to read while waiting to get that post-interview call:

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well

After the Job Interview: Why Haven’t They Called Me Yet?

Stuck in the Waiting Game After 2nd Interview

12 Ways to Stay Sane After a Job Interview

I Got the Post-Interview Temporary OCD Blues

5 Ways Interviewers Make Job Seekers REALLY Angry

Scary Job Interview Thank You Note Story

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of 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 and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi Susan!

    Thank you very much for the advice that you gave me all through out this discussion. Guess what?! I have been selected as one of the programmer. Thank you very! You have been a really big help. :)

  2. Hi Susan–

    I hope all is well.. I am still job searching unfortunately… It feels like there aren’t many jobs these days. I applied for a job on the 13th which is something I have done prior but wasn’t my primary responsibility. It wasn’t my recent job that I did it but the one prior. I applied and was able have an ex colleague send the hiring manager a recommendation. I also had a recruiter put a good word for me to the recruiter who works at that department. He later told me that the recruiter told him (this was I would say about 3 weeks ago) that they have JUST begun and it’s very early in the process. I also followed up with the hiring manager and explaining in the email that I have worked with the office whom this position would work very closely with. I called finally today to the HR to see where things stand and not surprisingly they didn’t give e the recruiter’s name and also mentioned that they’re still reviewing. Does that mean I don’t have a chance? I know i should treat it as moving but still it’s hard when it’s something that you want. I just find it hard to believe that I was able to somehow network and still no word.
    Thanks for your input-
    Dafna

  3. Hi,

    I interviewed for a position on July 16th and it went extremely well. It went so well that I had the second interview with the HR Manager on the same day. I was told by the manager that I would be working for that the hiring process took a long time, but she was hoping to have a decision made by August 1st. The day after the interview I sent thank-you notes to each person that I spoke with. On August 5th I sent an email to the HR Coordinator (the initial person that contacted me) to find out the status of things. Well she emailed me back that Thursday and said that they were in the final stages of the process and I should receive a call from the HR Manager on Friday or Monday at the latest to discuss things. Well, today is Tuesday and no word. I even call the HR Coordinator on Monday around 3:30, left her a voicemail stating that I had not heard anything and to contact me via email or phone just to know what was going on. Okay, so its now Tuesday, still no phone call. What should I do? I do not want to keep calling and become that annoying person, but I really want this job! I know that they contacted all my references because all of them have contacted me since they were contacted. HELP! I am very nervous and anxiuos. Based on her email reply on Thursday, I figured I would have an offer by yesterday and still no word. What other steps can I take with this matter?

    • Hi Lovie –

      Its the same situation with me. HR called me on Thursdayy. She said “Hiring managers are interested and she was asking me about the compensation”. She said she will call be back on Friday. I did not hear till the evening. I emailed her. She responded ” I am working on some more things. i will know more on Monday.” I did not understand what does that mean?

      I still did not get an answer from her. It has been a week till now.

      I am not sure what is going on? I am very interested in this position.

      What do you think is going on? Can any one respond?

    • Hi Lovie,

      Its almost the same situation with me. I have been interviewed to a position on Jan 30th. I have been told that they will make a decision in a week. After a week, I sent an email to HR asking for the decision. She called me on 6th Feb and she asked me about the compensation. I was not sure why she was asking me, I asked her ” does this mean “Are the hiring managers interested in me” . She mentioned “YES”. She also mentioned “I will call you tomorrow(Friday) regarding offer and she hung up the call”. I emailed her on Friday evening. She mentioned ” We are still working on some more things. I will know more on Monday”. It has been a week, i did not get an answer till now.

      Can anyone let me know what would be going on? I am very much interested in this position.

      Thanks-
      Amu

  4. Hi Susan,

    I am graduate (no interview experience in the industry). I was called by a company for an interview on 30th July 2013. I went for the interview that day and everything went well. I remember even asking them “what abilities or characteristics are they looking for in an employee” and they reply “someone like you”. In the end of the interview i asked “when will I be expecting to hear from you again” and they reply “we will contact you”. Since then I have not send any ‘thank-you’ notice to them. I know I am being over-desperate and I called the interviewer by his mobile on 1st August 2013 (was a Thursday) and ask him for follow-up. He say he will short list the candidates next week. In the phone conversation he said “you are keen on this job! good on ya!” so I assume I got bigger chance he is going to remember me. On 5th August 2013 (Monday), I called him again. He picked up the call and answered in a low monotone voice saying they will made decision on 7th August 2013 (Wednesday); the phone conversation only last 5 second. So yea, today is Wednesday. My heart was beating and I am waiting for that company to call for the whole day; I did nothing. I waited from 9am – 2:30pm. I was frustrated. I called the receptionist (thinking I was annoying to call his mobile) and the receptionist said he was on a phone and will help me leave a message for him to call back in a few minutes. I waited for 1 an a half hours. It was 4pm and I called the receptionist again and she say he was out of the office. I was more frustrated so I went google and I found this! I know its too late for me because I already made so many calls. So, I am just trying to ask you for you help: “Do you think I still got a chance for this job? Should I give up? Should I make a call again in a week?”

    I hope you can help me with this. Thank you for reading my post :)

  5. Many employers simply don’t respond and I think after you have shortlisted candidates for a position it’s imperative to at the very least send an email with the status of the position.

    I received an offer from a company for a job I wasn’t thrilled about. I informed 2 other employers I was going through interviews with to get a sense if I’d have time to stall the first company’s offer to make a balanced decision. One of the employers told me to stall the company because he wanted to bring me back for a final interview. He actually wrote this in an email. I didn’t hear from him for a week after he said he’d get back to me to schedule something. So I followed up, asking when we could schedule the final interview. After a week, I also had a decision to make so I had to let the other job go. It just wasn’t the right fit. So, at this point I really need to see if I can get a response because I just got rid of a sure thing for a maybe.

    No response from my first email, so I waited another week and sent another follow up. Still, nothing. I figured they hired someone but my goal was simply to hear it from him since he was the one who made is a point to say he was bringing me back. Things always work out though because only days after my last email I received an offer from job #3, the one I really wanted!

    You’d think I’d let him off the hook since I accepted an offer and moved on right? Wrong. I sent him a final email. It was very polite and said that I was simply closing the loop on communication since he never answered my 2 emails even after he said he was bringing me back, made it a point to let him know that candidate relationships are important, and wished him success. He finally responded :) He said they did go with another candidate and she accepted the offer. He then said I was a good candidate and it wouldn’t be long before I was offered a job with another organization. You daggone right it wasn’t long! Only 3 weeks after turning down offer #1. I had to go through about 5-6 meeting/phone interviews/questionnaires with job #3 before being offered the position but they stuck to timelines, followed up when they said they would, and made a decision on the date they indicated.

    Employers need to know that while it is their market, candidates are still people and deserve to be treated with respect. In the end, I’d prefer to work for the employer that honored their word. Everything happens for a reason. If you don’t hear anything after 2-3 calls or emails, assume they have hired someone else. I’d only follow up once per week and no more than 3 times in a month.

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