One of my best friends is in the interviewing process with several hospitals seeking a new nursing position. While she is experienced and interviews well, she’s entirely exasperated by the lack feedback after meeting her potential new manager. She called me the other day to ask what she’s doing wrong, and wonders if she’ll ever hear back from the interviewer.
My advice? First, At the end of your next job interview, ask the hiring manager about next steps. They will likely have a timeline in mind for when to make a hiring decision. Or they could be keeping candidates on ice until they know when a new hire can be made. Whatever the situation, when you ask the question, at least you’ll know before walking away from the interview.
If the hiring manager said they’ll be contacting you in a week or so, it’s absolutely appropriate for you to follow up. You want to sound eager, but not desperate, with an email like:
“Hi Susan, I hope you are well. Last time we spoke, you said you and your team would be make a decision about the open position. I was wondering if you have a update? Please let me know if you need more information from me. I look forward to hearing from you”.
If you didn’t ask about next steps, you can still send a message and ask if they have a timeframe to share with you about the hiring process. There may be a hold on the position, at least you won't be left waiting by your phone waiting to hear back.
Keep in mind that you’re not trying to find out whether you got the job with your follow up (while it's certainly on your mind, that needs to be secondary) You’re simply trying to gain an understanding of where the hiring managers (and other decision makers) are in the process.
Here are some more tips for following up after the job interview:
• Keep your follow up note BRIEF. Don’t send a long letter, a few lines inquiring about the next steps in the process is sufficient.
• Be friendly and conversational. Don’t be overly formal. You want to build personal rapport with the hiring manager and make sure they view you as a real person. An overly formal note might put them on the defensive.
• Don’t be pushy or desperate. Hiring manager may have their own time constraints and other levels of management controlling the timing of the hire. Being too aggressive will hurt your chances.