Have you come out of an interview floating on a cloud, but after a week or two still haven’t heard back from the company? Don’t despair. Here are some tips to get through the interview roller coaster.
Let me begin by saying that I have never walked through a job search with a SVP or COO and NOT had the subject come up of either a recruiter or a company not getting back to them promptly. So, let’s just establish that these things happen to the most wonderful of executives. The trick is how you manage the situation and keep your composure during the emotional highs and lows associated with most job transitions.
Follow Up Begins in The Interview
The challenge in deciding appropriate level of follow-up on your part is that some employers prefer you were very aggressive in your initiative, while others may find it off-putting. The solution requires getting more information up front during your interviews. One of the last questions you should ask in a phone or in-person interview is, “Where do we go from here?”
Get a Commitment
If possible, get a commitment to a day or week time frame when they will get back to you. If that day/week passes, then simply follow up with a polite, brief e-mail. You can even follow up with a phone call. Restate your excitement about the opportunity, the date they shared with you, and that you are following up with a courtesy call. If you don’t hear back, follow up again a few days later, just don’t get defensive. Maintain your composure at all times! Keep your phone and e-mail messages short and positive.
Another legitimate reason to follow up is because you’ve heard positive news about the company. Set up an alert in Google for the company, and when a press release or article is published about it, Google will send it to your e-mail. If the information has to do with growth, an award, or any relevant subject of discussion, send it to your contact(s) with a short, positive note. This is very flattering, puts the focus on them, and shows your initiative.
Keep it Positive
You should always follow up confidently, consistently, politely, and with positive excitement. Remember, your personality is being evaluated as if every message or e-mail you leave is a post-interview. Leaving the safety of any of these virtues can backfire on you, so be careful! It is human nature to take job search “rejection” or “silence” personally—even though we all know it is not personal—and many times, it is simply due to the very benign reason that no one has followed up with you. Keep in mind that we cannot judge accurately what might be happening on the other end.
You will be much better prepared to deal with the wins and losses associated with your job search (that are an inevitable part of the process) if you come up with two or three job search strategies to secure your interviews. Do those things consistently each week, while being as objective as you can about the end game. After all, if you list a bike on Craigslist and 3,000 people see it, does that mean you are going to get 3,000 calls? You will (maybe) get a less-than-1% response. This is good to remember in a job search. Do the right things consistently—and keep your pipeline full of potential opportunities.