We’ve all been there. You have a great interview, you send thank you notes, you’re excited for the next step, then… Crickets. Silence. Nothing.
What does it mean? What do I do now? When should I follow up?
Companies can take awhile to get back to you about next steps for many reasons:
- They’re interviewing other candidates
- The hiring manager is on vacation
- They’re busy with something else
You can’t control those things, but you can control what you do about it. So when should you follow up?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but if you had your interview, sent your thank-yous, and it’s been a week of silence, it’s within the professional norm to follow up.
First, call your point of contact at the company, whether a recruiter or someone who referred you. Verbal communication ensures you don’t miscommunicate and it’s another opportunity to remind them why they like you. If they don’t pick up, leave a friendly voicemail:
“Hi Amy! It’s Scott Swedberg. I just wanted to follow up on our interview from last week to hear about next steps. I’ll send you an email as well in case that’s easier. Take care!”
The follow up email doesn’t need to communicate anymore unless there’s something else relevant to the process:
Following up on the voicemail I just left you. I’m excited about the opportunity and wondering what to expect next. By when should I expect to hear back? Hope you’re well!
Not knowing what’s next is a frustrating part of the interview process, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Instead of just waiting, take control and ask what’s next. When the interview is wrapping up and you don’t have anymore questions, I recommend saying: “I don’t have anymore questions except for what’s next” (the tone you use completely changes what’s communicated, so keep it friendly and inquisitive).
If they don’t give you a timeframe on that next step, just ask for one. It’s reasonable to ask them to manage your expectations, and this is more likely to come across as you being interested and organized than anything else.
When you know what to expect, you’ll feel more empowered and you’ll have recourse if they don’t follow through with the timeline.