Strategies For Follow-Up On Interviews And Online Applications.

The biggest complaint I hear from job seekers concerns a lack of timely follow-up on the part of employers.

It’s frustrating to apply for a job where you’re a great fit on paper, but you hear nothing. Or worse, you don’t hear anything after what you thought had been a promising interview.

You can’t force someone to display professional courtesy, but there are some things that might help you generate a response. There’s no foolproof answer, unfortunately, but some methods seem to increase your odds.

First, try to maintain a sense of control regarding next steps. Toward the end of your interview, if the employer hasn’t volunteered the next step(s) in the hiring process, ask what those are. Understand the time frames for making the decisions, and ask for permission to contact him or her if that time elapses without you hearing anything.

Certainly, a follow-up thank-you is in order for later that day. Yet, now that you’ve been granted permission to call back, wait another business day or two beyond the stated time frame to place your follow-up call. Tell the person who answers that the employer asked that you follow up with him today on an interview you’d had. It sounds authoritative and should at least get you to voicemail.

If you get voicemail, slowly state your name and explain that you had been encouraged to follow up on this date regarding your interview. Don’t sound perturbed or desperate. Instead, indicate your interest in the position, share your understanding that occasionally time tables can change because of any number of circumstances, and ask what the new time frame might be.

If you get the hiring official in person, share those same thoughts. Be aware that a lack of hearing anything soon after the deadline isn’t necessarily a death blow to your chances. Strike an empathetic chord with the employer. He’ll appreciate your professionalism.

What happens if you’ve left a voice message but failed to get a response? Typically, your next step is an email. Wait another week to send it. Strike that same empathetic chord and type essentially the same message you’d left on voicemail.

An email ought to include an action step. Typically, it’s asking the employer to reply to your inquiry with a revised timeline.

Following up on an online application is more confusing, primarily because you’ll often not know whom to contact, let alone the company’s name in many cases.

If you know the company, check LinkedIn to try to determine the hiring official. Call for that person, realizing you’ll likely get voicemail. Your message should be similar to what you would have left in the above example of an interview follow-up. You’re conveying your interest in the position and inquiring as to when the initial phase of interviewing will begin.

Remember, employers and recruiters typically receive an inordinate number of applications. So their failure to respond to your inquiry, while frustrating, is more a byproduct of the information age where the “personal touch” has all but disappeared. Don’t let it get you down. Persevere toward your goal, and good luck!  Source/Credit: Randy Wooden for the Winston Salem Journal.

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About Buzz Smith

Welcome. My name is Charles “Buzz” Smith and I’m the SR Curmudgeon of Consulting Services at OPI National Outplacement. My role, in addition to agitating our sales personnel, and consultants is to take the lead on delivering outplacement and career transition services that are effective. I blog about career stuff when my wife of 40 years, Linda banishes to the garden.

Posted on May 20, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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