Do you ask? Is that too pushy? Is it more polite to wait?
Nothing can make you feel more unsure of yourself as a job-seeker in Kansas City than being in that limbo period—you had a great interview but now the conversation has gone silent. The good news is that it’s more than OK to be proactive and reach out.
Like so many other aspects of the job search process, of course you need to be professional. But it’s definitely OK to ask if you got the job after a successful interview and, in fact, shows initiative and a desire for the role. (Just be sure you’re not inappropriate, annoying or pushy.)
How long to wait before you ask
There’s a lot to remember during an interview, such as what questions about the company you want to ask, the skills you want to emphasize, making sure you don’t say “um” too much.
But one important question to work in is when you can expect to hear something—or you could ask, “What are the next steps in the process?” This is best to ask at the end of the interview. If they give you a day – for example, if they say, “We’ll be making a decision by next Friday.” – then don’t inquire before next Friday. If they give you an exact date, don’t follow up until that date has passed.
However, if the employer doesn’t give you a firm date, a good rule of thumb is to wait a week and a half to 2 weeks after the interview before following up and inquiring about a decision.
How you should ask
When you do reach out, make sure you follow up in the least intrusive way first. Start by emailing the person with whom you interviewed. An email lets you plan ahead, check your wording and grammar, and deliver your message smoothly and in the way you intended.
Start the email by reminding the interviewer who you are: “This is Jane Doe. I interviewed for your graphic designer position last week.” After that, make sure you mention you’re still interested in the job, and then ask if they have made any decisions in the hiring process. It also doesn’t hurt to remind them of a couple key skills or attributes about yourself you think make you the perfect candidate for the position. Finally, tell them how they can reach you if they have any further questions for you, and sign off. Keep it brief!
If you don’t get a response to your initial e-mail within a couple of days, try one more time. If you still don’t hear anything, your next step is to call.
Before you call, think about what you need and want to say, and practice it a few times before you pick up the phone. You might even jot down a few notes and those key messages you want to get across so you don’t get flustered once you’re on the line. Plus, you may get voicemail, which is when it’s helpful to have a script written out for yourself so you don’t ramble or forget to say anything important.
If you get to speak to the interviewer directly, take a deep breath and be ready to introduce yourself as well as your intention: “Hi, this is Jane Doe, calling to check in about the status of your hiring for the graphic designer position.” Before you call, make sure you’re in a quiet environment and have a list of questions ready for the employer.
You deserve to know where you stand
The most important thing to remember is that silence isn’t always a bad thing or doesn’t always mean you’ve been passed over for the job. The interview process can often take a long time, and many times the people scheduling these interviews are trying to coordinate them with their normal job duties. The reality is that sometimes the process takes a while.
Nevertheless, you have a right to know if a decision has been made (or at least where they are in the process). So, if you feel you did well in the interview, take some proactive steps to find out whether or not you got the job. If nothing else, you’ll keep your name top of mind, which may be the boost you need to lift you into the next step of the process.
Carol Schmidt is senior director of the Human Resources team at Morgan Hunter, serving Kansas City-area employers to help them meet a range of hiring needs, from temporary staffing to direct-hire placements. Share your thoughts on Facebook, LinkedIn or on Twitter @MorganHunterCo.