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After a Job Interview, Should I Call Back to Ask If the Job Was Filled?

After you leave a job interview, you may simply check your telephone every few minutes to see if your prospective employer has called to offer you the job. However, the "wait and see" approach does not keep your name in front of the employer's human resources personnel or hiring manager. Follow-up communications, which include telephone calls, can help your potential employer remember you, and may increase your chances of receiving a job offer.

Taking Cues From Your Interviewer

Developing your follow-up strategy should begin before you walk out of the hiring manager's office. At the end of the interview, politely ask the interviewer about the hiring decision process. This open-ended question invites the interviewer to give you information about how long it will likely take for you to hear back from the employer. You can use this information to determine when you should place a follow-up call. You may also politely ask if you can call to follow up if you do not hear from the employer within the estimated time frame stated by your interviewer.

Determining Your Timing Strategy

If your interviewer does not offer any information to help you determine when to place a follow-up call, you will need to determine your own timing strategy. Typically, you should wait at least seven days before calling a prospective employer's human resources department or hiring manager to find out if you have a job offer. However, in high-turnover industries such as food service or call centers, waiting for a week may cause you to miss out on a job offer. Waiting two or three days before calling following up on an interview is typically appropriate for these industries.

Approach

When you place a follow-up call after a job interview, avoid asking human resources personnel or the hiring manager if the job has already been filled. This can communicate an expectation of failure, which may make the company less likely to hire you. Instead, state that you are following up to thank the interviewer for his time, and ask if there is any additional information you can provide to aid in the potential employer's decision-making process. If the interviewer requests any additional information, answer questions during the follow-up call or forward necessary information to the interviewer via fax or email within one business day.

If you cannot reach the interviewer or decision maker, you can call again on the next business day. However, avoid calling more than once per day unless the interviewer or human resources representative instructs you to do so.

Other Strategies

Follow-up calls are not the only means of improving your chances of keeping your name in front of your potential employer and landing a job after an interview. As soon as you leave the interview, sign and hand address a "thank you" card to the person who conducted the interview, and drop the card in the mail. You can also send an email one or two days after the interview with any questions or observations that were not addressed in the interview.



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