Owning the Follow Up

Interviewer: “Jane, thank you for coming in to meet with us today.”

Jane: “No, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon.”

Don’t be like Jane. Outside of having a resume that is too descriptive, the most common job search mistake I have seen over my career is candidates not owning the follow-up. And it’s not just a problem at the end of an interview, it’s a problem throughout the entire application process.

Own the follow-up.

Hiring managers are busy. Recruiters are busy. Priorities shift, emergencies happen, and sometimes things go dark on the candidate end and you have no idea what is going on. Then you start to wonder if you should email the recruiter.

Own the follow-up. I can’t say that enough.


So, how should Jane have handled the situation?
Interviewer: “Jane, thank you for coming in to meet with us today.”

Jane: “No, thank you, I really appreciate the opportunity. What do the next steps in the process look like?”


Jane is putting the interviewer on the spot and now will have an idea as to how the next few days are going to go. The answers obviously vary from situation to situation, but for the sake of this article, let’s say the interviewer says that they have a few other interviews and hope to get together as a team next Wednesday to determine the next steps. What should Jane do?

Jane: “That sounds great. If I don’t hear from you by, say, next Thursday one way or the other, I’ll send you a follow-up email.”

It’s that simple. It’s not going to guarantee Jane the job, but it will at least give her clarity in a week. And in today’s world where follow-up is a lost art, it definitely improves her chances. Jane will send the hiring manager an email on Thursday just checking in. She might even include an article she saw that applies to the company or the job. She may learn that she didn’t get the job, or that they haven’t had a chance to meet with the team, but she still has some control over her fate in the search.

Own the follow-up. If you have an interview coming up and feel like you need to polish your skills, consider one of our interview prep packages.

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