Interview etiquette is tricky enough, but getting your follow up right can be even trickier. Clearly if you want the job, you want to appear keen, and this is why I recommended in my previous article that you should contact either your interviewer or the agency who put you forward as soon as possible after the interview to thank them and confirm your interest in the position.
But how and how often should you contact them after this initial follow up? If you contact them too often in the time following the interview you run the risk of becoming annoying – yet if you disappear off the face of the earth you might give the impression you are not interested – or that you’ve got another job!
The key is to strike the right balance, and most importantly, to try not to lose control of the conversation. The last thing you want is an open ended waiting time, where you are unsure of when or even if they are going to contact you, or what the next steps are in the process.
The best way to avoid this is to always schedule the next conversation. Make sure you have a firm date and time for your next follow up so everyone knows exactly when the next contact will be made, and by whom. So if your contact (either the person who interviewed you or the crew agent) says: “OK I’ll give you a call next week sometime” you say: “Great, so if I haven’t heard from you by Friday shall I give you a call?”
Or if they say: “Everything looks great but there are a few things I need to sort out at this end so we’ll let you know in a few days/weeks” you say: “Absolutely – because you’re so busy, how about we schedule a call for X days time at X o’clock, so you can let me know how things are coming along.” Make sure you both put a date and time in the diary and agree that you will call them, so you’re not waiting for the call.
These techniques should help you avoid getting into the no man’s land of anxiously sitting by the phone for days on end. However, if you haven’t scheduled a follow up call (or if you have, but didn’t manage to connect at the appointed time) and if more than 10 days have passed since the interview with no contact from the interviewer or agency, you can try the following.
Try to phone them (now is not the time for email). If they answer the phone that’s great – get a status update and if the decision has still not been made, use one of the techniques above to schedule your next time to speak. If they don’t answer the phone, leave a message saying: “I just want to let you know I’m still very interested in the position I interviewed for on (date). Since we last spoke I haven’t been able to reach you so I’m not sure if this is because you are really busy, or if something else has come up. Either way could you please let me know what the situation is, as I am still very interested in the position. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.” Make sure you leave your contact details again in case they have misplaced them.
This message should elicit a response from the person as it offers them two legitimate get-out clauses: either that they have been very busy, or that something else has come up, which that lets them off the hook for not having been in touch with you sooner.
However, if for any reason this doesn’t work and you don’t hear back from them within five days of this message being left, you can send an email with the same content as your phone message above, but with the addition of one final sentence: “I very much look forward to hearing from you, however if for any reason you are unable to get back to me about this I wish you all the very best and thank you again for your time in considering me for this position.”
This allows you to achieve some professional closure on the situation, so even if you never hear from them again you have at least drawn a line under it and moved on, rather than leaving it open ended and hanging forever. Energetically speaking it is much better to do this than continue to leave that up in the air – it’s time to close that door and turn your focus to new opportunities.
*See original post here
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.