The Job Interview Follow-Up: Call Me. Maybe?

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Posted by The Editors on July 16, 2012
The Job Interview Follow-Up: Call Me. Maybe?
Have you ever been left on the hook, waiting by the phone days after a recruiter said he’d get back to you? Every time your phone rings you get excited hoping it’s him, and then feel let down when it isn’t – just like waiting for a boy you like to call you after giving him your number.

In these situations, it’s hard not to stress. But don’t sit back and wait for that call, like Carly Rae Jepsen singing “Call Me Maybe”). Follow these tips about being proactive, but not pushy, when following up after a job or internship interview.

Wait at Least Two Business Days

Filling this open position is the most important task on your interviewer’s mind, right? Wrong.

Most of the time, interviewers have plenty of duties and work to get done outside of filling the position you are going after. On the day you’re supposed to hear back, but don’t, don’t panic! The recruiter didn’t forget about you; they were probably just too busy to get to you on their to-do list. If you still haven’t heard from them two business days… reach out to them.

Email Instead

Instead of calling (and probably leaving a voice mail) consider sending an email inquiring about the status of the position – and your candidacy. Email is the best here because a digital communication is less of an interruption than a phone call – and you’ll probably come across as more patient and respectful of the recruiter’s time.

Avoid Using “Pressing” Words

It is not in your best interest to sound angry, anxious or desperate, avoid using pressing words or statements like “I’ve been waiting to hear back” and “you told me I should’ve known two days ago. This can make the interviewer feel defensive, cornered and uncomfortable.

Find a respectful way to word your question; mention how you understand that they have a lot on their plate, but you would appreciate knowing where you stand in the process. Be careful not to make it seem like you would rather pursue another opportunity. Saying “While I have other opportunities, ABC Company is still my top choice…” is an eloquent way of letting the recruiter know you do have pending offers in addition to theirs – and they need to compete for your services.

If you have emailed your interviewer and haven’t heard back within five business days, it’s probably best to move forward in your job search. Unfortunately, some businesses won’t give you closure, and will simply delete your resume.

In this regard, job searching is a lot like dating; don’t sit around waiting for a call… sing, “Bye Bye Bye,” and move on with your life. Spend your time more productively by stepping up to your next opportunity!

About the Author: Angela Petrie is a student at Purdue University studying Communication with a focus in Public Relations and Advertising, expected to graduate in May 2014. Along with YouTern, she currently interns at the Center for Career Opportunities at Purdue and volunteers as a Team Supervisor for Boiler Gold Rush (one of the country’s top new-student orientation programs). Connect with Angela on TwitterLinkedIn, or view her online professional portfolio.

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