We’ve heard this question time and time again from job seekers. How long should I wait before following up after an interview? How can I be persistent without being a stalker?
Ah, the dance begins.
First of all, during the interview you should ask when to follow up. Sometimes the recruiter and/or hiring manager will provide additional information like, “We’re completing a round of internal and external interviews but our boss is on a business trip so the earliest you’ll hear from us is three weeks.”
Or they may suggest you follow up within a week. Whatever the answer is, the point is you should ask to find out timing.
And then ask how they prefer to be contacted. If they say via email then by all means email them.
If you follow up and you don’t hear back after their suggested timing has already elapsed, feel free to follow up again. Be polite and keep in mind they expect you to follow up, similarl to how they expect you to send thank-you notes.
Recruiters anticipate you’ll get in touch with them so yes, being persistent is part of the process. Crossing the line and stalking would include daily emails and phone calls. You can politely ping them to remind them you’re interested in the position without appearing desperate.
If you’ve reached out twice and still haven’t heard back, leave it at that. Be patient. Even if you have the recruiter’s cell phone number, refrain from texting or calling them. That gets intrusive and that’s when it starts to feel like stalking from their perspective. To that point, there’s no need to connect with them on Facebook if you haven’t already connected on LinkedIn.
Less experienced job hunters may begin to get nervous with radio silence but again, this is part of the process. Recruiters are focused on pouring attention and communication into candidates who are in process, not the ones who aren’t. You may eventually get an automated email from the system if someone else has been hired. You may end up hearing from them two months later to inform you the position lost its approval, it was put on hold and now it’s available again. It’s all out of your hands.
So many things go on behind the scenes — all you can do is follow up appropriately and remain professional.
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