I often get asked this question: how soon and how often after a job interview should you follow up? It’s a good question, because it can be tricky to navigate this part of the hiring process and you’re pretty much walking a very precarious tightrope between being keen and being too keen.
For many people the post interview period is one of high anxiety. It’s easy to feel a little powerless – you gave it all you’ve got at the interview and now you’re just waiting to find out if they are going to accept you or reject you. And the annoying part about all this is, the more you want the job, the more anxious you feel – a little like waiting for a call from a guy or girl you really, really like.
But it doesn’t have to be that way: in the time following the interview you are not as powerless as you might think. If you play your cards right in the post interview period, you can still influence the hirer’s decision about whether or not you are the right person for the job.
Let’s start with how soon to follow up, and who to follow up with. I recommend you do this as soon as possible, in the most professional manner possible. If you were put forward for the interview by a crew agency this means making a phone call to the agent you have been liaising with and telling them your thoughts on the interview.
Be very careful with this conversation and don’t underestimate how important this is – if you want the job, you mustn’t say anything negative. Emphasise how much you liked the person who interviewed you and how much you think you would be a great fit for this yacht (and why). If there is a crew agent involved you must liaise through them – don’t be tempted to start liaising directly with the yacht at this stage or you risk seriously annoying the agency, which could damage your future prospects with them.
If you have not gone through a crew agency you should have the contact details of the person who interviewed you, hopefully at the very least, an email address. Preferably within an hour after the interview, send a follow up email thanking them for their time and reiterating how much you want the job and why you think you would be a great fit for their team. Keep it short and sweet and don’t be tempted to ask any questions you didn’t think of asking in the interview. If they are considering hiring you, you’ll have a chance to ask those questions in your next conversation.
If you only have their phone number you could send a VERY brief text to thank them for their time, tell them you are very interested in the position and that you very much look forward to hearing from them soon. If you don’t have any contact details for the interviewer (ie perhaps you had the interview straight off the dock) you could consider dropping off a short thank you note at the passerelle a few hours after the interview, or first thing the next morning if the interview was late in the day. Again, don’t linger and take up anyone’s time – this is just you being courteous, nothing more.
OK so that’s the initial post interview follow up sorted. Next week I’ll look at how and how often to keep in touch – and what to do if they don’t return your calls or emails.
As always I want to hear from you – share your thoughts in the comments box below – has this helped you or do you have any additional ideas or questions about following up after an interview?
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Alison Rentoul is ex yacht crew with 15 years of yachting experience, and a professionally trained personal development coach working with crew worldwide, helping them realise their highest potential at every level. See www.thecrewcoach.com for more information.