Post-Interview: Following Up with a Phone Call

Post Interview Follow UpAfter you’ve prepared to ace a job interview and the interview is over, you might feel like you knocked it out of the park. Now what? Sending a polite thank you card is a great idea, but what else can you do?

Calling to follow up with a potential employer can help you stay fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. But be careful – with phone calls, there is a fine line between sounding like an enthusiastic go-getter and becoming just plain annoying. To help you make a post-interview follow-up call that will leave a positive impression, practice using these tips.

Stay Patient.
You may feel that you should be a shoe-in for the job, but it may take the interviewer a while to get back to you. Time seems to move incredibly slow when you are waiting for “the call.” But, keep in mind that hiring managers can have substantial workloads and may be physically unable to get back to you. If you call too soon, they might not have much news for you. It’s best to wait two to three days before following up.

Speak with a Person.
When calling, try to speak with a person instead of leaving a message on a machine. Preferably, speak to someone who was present at your interview. If you reach a receptionist and the interviewer is unavailable, ask when they would be available to take a brief call. If you must leave a message, limit the number of voicemails you leave to one or two spread over a couple days – flooding the interviewer’s inbox will likely annoy them. After a significant amount of time has passed and if they still haven’t returned your calls, focus your time on other opportunities. Would you really want to work for someone who doesn’t respond to you anyway?

Keep it Brief.
When you’re able to speak to someone, keep your conversation short. There is no need to recite your credentials or detail why you’re perfect for the position. Hopefully, you already covered that in your interview. Instead, just express your continued interest and enthusiasm for the position. Use this opportunity to politely ask if the position has been filled or if you’re still under consideration. If you’re still in the running, ask for a timeline for their decision. Finish the call by saying “thank you” for the opportunity to speak with the interviewer.

When trying to reach the interviewer by phone, being assertive can sometimes come off as over-anxious, so restrain yourself from being too pushy. Taking a proactive and confident, yet relaxed, approach to the post-interview follow up can be a simple act that helps you land the job.


  1. David B. Wright

    Very good post – here are some more tips:
    Stand up when you’re calling – when you stand up, your voice sounds more confident and you’re getting more oxygen because you’re able to breathe deeper. This helps your voice have more impact and you’ll be able to leave a better impression.
    Smile – you may not think this matters when you’re talking on the phone, but it actually does make a difference. Try it out with a friend and see if they can tell the difference. You’ll sound more positive and friendly. Even though the person with whom you’re talking won’t be able to “see” you, they will be able to hear it in your voice.
    To your success,
    David B. Wright
    Author, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves

  2. benz

    Great post! Here’s a tip that I used:
    As we all know that the final decision hardly come in 2 or 3 days, therefore you should get ready for 2nd or 3rd or more follow up calls. What I mean is don’t try the same approach every time you call him or her. Start the conversation in a more open manner. By starting off that way, you make follow up calls more friendly and easy going, rather than just a call to check the status of your interview results. So how do I do that? Let say, I check on the news, and find an articles writing about that company new product or services or sales increase or whatever… then I started from there. Know what, we even become friends after such follow up calls!
    Wish you all great success in 2009
    Ben H. – Free Job Posting Site

  3. Natalie

    A subtle question we can ask if we want to make a follow up on our application is their timeline for the recruitment process or ask them for the next step. From their answer, we’d be able to check if they are interested or not.

  4. First Contact Resolution

    Natalie makes a good point. If you feel that the hiring manager you are talking to on the phone is responding positively to you there’s no reason you cannot ask subtle questions to get hints about whether you may get the job. After all, what’s the harm in asking a question.

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