Post-Interview Call Back Rules
You’ve just turned in the best interview performance of your life, laying out a clear and convincing narrative of your skills and experience and tackling every question put to you with ease and precision. After a closing round of handshakes and fond farewells, you’re convinced that your interviewers were impressed with your performance. All in all, it was a great experience. Now what?
Hurry up or wait?
The hours and days after a job interview can feel like they’re moving in slow motion when you’re waiting on "The Call." Traditionally, job seekers were advised that their only recourse after an interview was to sit tight and stay within an arm’s length of the telephone. Today, however, some experts are advising a more proactive approach in the post-interview process.
According to Lois Pigford, author of The Successful Interview & Beyond, just one well placed phone call can make the crucial difference in the days following a job interview. The challenge lies in striking just the right balance between “enthusiastic go-getter” and “over eager beaver.” Here are some tips on how—and how NOT—to pull off a winning post-interview follow-up call.
DO wait at least two to three days to place the call.
Most hotel and restaurant hiring managers are coping with substantial workloads, and it usually takes them a few days to gather their thoughts after meeting with an applicant. If you place your follow-up call too soon after an interview, the hiring manager is unlikely to have any significant news for you. An interval of a few days is long enough so that they will have had time to get organized, while the interview remains fresh in their minds.
DON’T let gatekeepers intercept your call.
If possible, try to avoid being re-routed to anybody who was not present at your interview. If the receptionist tries to take a message or redirects your call to an unfamiliar HR staff member, your follow-up objectives will not be accomplished. If this happens, politely ask when your interviewer will be available for a brief phone chat.
DO ask whether the position has been filled.
Once you’ve got your interviewer on the phone, begin by politely refreshing their memory and introducing yourself. After you’ve ensured that the interviewer has a few moments to talk, ask whether the position has been filled. If it hasn’t, follow up by asking whether you are still under consideration for the job.
DON’T apply the hard sell.
If you find out that the hiring manager is still in the midst of the decision-making process, avoid diving in with a long laundry list of reasons why you’re perfect for the position. Instead, express your continued interest in the position and your enthusiasm for the company in a straightforward, polite, and—most importantly—brief manner.
DO ask for a timeline.
Just like in an interview, it’s helpful to end your follow-up call by confirming the next step in the process. If the hiring manager doesn’t offer a specific date by which the position will be filled, ask them if it will be acceptable for you to call back in one week. Conclude the call by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to chat and touch base.
If you play your cards right, your follow-up call just might help sway an indecisive hiring manager over to your side. Just don’t overplay your hand—one post-interview call is usually enough to do the trick. If several weeks have passed since your interview and you still haven’t heard anything, plan an additional status update call following these guidelines.