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Follow-up Call After an Interview: Dos, Don’ts, and FAQs

Deepa Kartha
A follow-up call after an interview is an important step to be taken by the interviewee. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the proper etiquette that has to be followed while making this crucial call. Here are some important guidelines regarding the code of conduct, while calling your interviewer.
Contrary to the popular belief that the role of an interviewee ends with the interview, he actually has to undertake a number of post interview steps, to touch base with the interviewers. Many people do not like the idea of calling their prospective employer after a job interview, as they think that it may look as if they are trying to be pushy.
However, in recent times, it has become necessary for a candidate to follow-up with the company or the interviewer by making a call, writing a letter or an email.
Among these, making a call is the quickest and easiest way of communicating with the interviewer. Calling the interviewer shows that the candidate has a continued interest in the company, as well as the position. However, while making the follow-up call, the candidate should sound confident, but refrain from sounding desperate.
This may cause them to lose their chance of getting the job. Hence, it is crucial to maintain a professional code of conduct while calling the interviewer. Here is a list of interesting FAQs, that will help you in making the follow-up calls.


How to know about the duration taken by the interviewer to make the decision?

The best way to understand the tentative duration of the interviewer's decision, is to inquire about the "next steps" in the recruitment process at the end of the interview itself. This will give you a fair idea about the timing of the decision.

Why should one call instead of sending an email or letter?

Making a call gives you an opportunity to have a quick and direct communication with the interviewer. Many companies consider people who make such calls to be serious about their careers and truly interested in the job. In such case, your call may gain you extra brownie points, and also positively influence their decision to recruit you for the position.

What is the ideal time to make the call?

Interviewers might be busy in the morning and may not entertain your call. To ensure that you are not disturbing the interviewers during their busy working hours, it is always better to call them after the lunch break or during the last working hour.

What should be the duration of the call?

Your phone call to the interviewer should be short and to the point. It should not last more than two to five minutes. Remember that your interviewer's time is precious, and you have not called to chat with him.

How to initiate the conversation with the interviewer?

Before going into the details or purpose of calling the interviewer, it is important that you introduce yourself. State your name, the post you have applied for, and also the date on which you had given your interview. Tell the interviewer that you are still interested in the position, and inquire whether the company has made any decision yet.

Should the question about your selection be raised?

Yes, you should raise the question of your selection, but without sounding over enthusiastic. You can mention that you are really interested in the position, and are looking forward to getting an opportunity to work with the organization.

How to end the conversation?

Be extremely polite while conversing with the person, exhibit interest in the position and organization. Offer to give a call back in a week's time if you do not listen from him. Do not forget to thank him for parting with his precious time or apologize for consuming his valuable time.

What if the receptionist transfers the call to someone else?

Insist on speaking to one of your interviewers; if the call is transferred to some other person, you may not be able to find out the decision. If the right person is not available, inquire about his availability and call back.

What if the call goes to a voice mail?

It is always better to have a short note about this conversation ready with you. This will help in speaking with the person as well as leaving a voice mail message. While recording a voice mail message, just mention in a line or two that you are only doing a follow-up on your interview meeting and are awaiting a call back. Don't forget to leave your number.

What if the interviewer says that the candidates are still being evaluated and decision is pending?

If the interviewer says that the decision has not been made yet, do not hesitate to ask whether you are being considered for it, and inquire about the time when you can call him back. On the other hand, if you get a negative answer, give a polite reply before putting down the phone.

What if interviewer says that some other candidate has already been chosen for the position?

Do not let your disappointment show, instead, say that you are pleased to have met the interviewer. Do not forget to mention that you will like to be considered for a similar position with the company in future. This will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Dos and Don'ts

  • As Mondays are usually busy days for all offices, it is better not to make the follow-up call on this day.
  • Though you may be angry and frustrated for not getting a call from them, especially if your interview went well, do not let it show in your tone while calling.
  • Do not show your desperation by being too pushy to get the information.
  • Maintain a polite and professional tone while talking to the interviewer.
  • Do not call the very next day of the interview to inquire about the status.
  • After calling them once in a week, do not call back until the next week.
  • Do not add the interviewer on social networking sites.
  • Repeatedly coercing the interviewer to give his decision may not create a favorable image.
  • Practice patience as recruitment is a long and complex process, and may take some time to complete.
  • Don't send gifts or flowers along with the thank you note.

Other Mediums for Follow-up

You can also send a thank you note or letter to all the interviewers. Not all interviewees understand the importance of sending a thank you letter after giving the interview, however, it is actually a good way of making a positive impression.
Whether you are confident of getting the job or know that the answer will be a negative one, you should send a thank you note to the people who interviewed you. Before leaving, take their business cards where you will get the correct spelling of their names, their address, as well as email addresses.
Though it is fine to write a common letter to everyone, sending individual notes will have a favorable impact. Do not forget to check for spelling and grammatical errors, especially re-check the names and positions of the interviewers.
You can also send the thank you letters through emails or fax. You can also add the interviewers on professional networking websites, and communicate with them through these platforms.
One must remember that a watched pot never boils. Hence, such calls should not be made more than twice. One must practice patience and wait for their call. If you still do not get any reply, consider it as a lost cause and keep trying at other places.
One of the biggest mistakes that many people tend to make is that, they stop their job hunt once they are sure that they will get the job. This can increase the person's frustration if he does not get any reply from the interviewer or the company.
Hence, it is important that one should not stop the job search after giving an interview. However, follow-up is really important, and if you are not getting a call from your interviewer even after a week, pick up your receiver and make a call yourself.