Career Q&A: Interview Follow Up 101

Doing job interview follow up work is important, but it's also tricky. In this Career Q&A, a reader wants to know how to follow up on an interview without coming across as annoying or desperate. 

Question: I just interviewed for a UX design job and feel the meeting went really well. The hiring manager seemed impressed by my portfolio and responses, and we seemed to have a lot in common – a good sign considering he would be my future boss. Now that the job interview is over, what should I do next to increase my odds of landing the position? – TCG Blog reader/job seeker

Answer: First off, congrats on making it through the job interview! These meetings can be awkward and stressful. So, what next? The last thing you want to do is let this momentum fade by sitting back and waiting for the hiring manager to make the next move. In fact, nine in 10 managers surveyed by our company said they like being thanked by promising job candidates. With that in mind, here are six interview follow up tips.

1. Choose the right medium

Save the informal "thx!" texts for your friends (unless you can send a typographic text message). In our survey, we also asked managers to cite the most appropriate way for job candidates to express gratitude. An email was the top response (87 percent), followed by a phone call, handwritten note and social media; just 10 percent of those polled said sending a text message was acceptable. A carefully composed email does not take long to write, so there is no excuse to skip it.

2. Act fast 

Touch base within 24 to 48 hours of your job interview while the details of your conversation are still fresh in the hiring manager's mind. Wait any longer, and it may come off as an afterthought.

3. Keep it concise 

Limit your message to a highly focused and personalized paragraph or two, or a few minutes on the phone. Reiterate your top selling points, mention what excited you most about the job and company, and offer your thanks for the opportunity to interview for the UX role.

4. Acknowledge everyone when doing your interview follow up

If you interviewed with multiple people, follow up with your main contact and also send a thank-you email or card to each individual you met with. (To help with this effort, think ahead and ask each person you meet for a business card when you're introduced.) Make each message unique by referencing a specific point of discussion you found interesting.

5. Keep it clean 

Proofread thoroughly before sending your email or dropping your note in the mailbox. The last thing you want to do is raise questions about your attention to detail because of a careless typo.

6. Don't be a nag 

Your efforts to show your interest and initiative can backfire if you go overboard. Follow up once and then back off. Badgering a prospective employer with repeated messages or calls won't help your cause. The hiring process can drag on for any number of reasons, so it pays to be polite and patient.

Do you have career questions you want answered? Send them to [email protected] and we'll answer them here on our blog. (If you want to remain anonymous, just let us know!)

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