Imagine this: you wrap up a phone interview with a recruiter and nail it! You feel great about the conversation, as well as the position, company, and culture. It is a perfect fit. The recruiter ends the call saying he will forward your information to the hiring manager and be in touch with you within a week.
Then, two weeks goes by and has left you wondering:
- Did the interview not go as well as I thought?
- Did I say something wrong?
- Did the hiring manager not like my experience?
- Why didn’t the recruiter call?
- Should I follow up? If I follow up, will that help or hurt my chances?
Tweet This: Global insight firm, CEB, has found the average time to fill a job is 68 days.
Recruiter-job seeker relationships are not monogamous.
According to a 2016 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management , the mean number of requisitions (openings) per recruiter is 40. And global insight firm, CEB, has found the average time to fill a job is 68 days . It’s then plausible to assume the average recruiter is screening thousands of resumes and interviewing hundreds of candidates during any given two-month period. That’s a lot of jobs, people, and paper to keep track of even for the best recruiters.
Tweet This: Recruiter and job seeker relationships are NOT monogamous! @ElevatedCareers
So, do you follow up or continue to wait? The Internet seems to be all over the place when it comes to advice on when and if to follow up on your status. But as someone who spent years as both an agency and corporate recruiter, I’m here to say that sometimes recruiters need their candidates to communicate and follow up.
There’s a right (and wrong) way to follow up.
When it comes to checking on your candidate status, timing is everything. Toward the end of an interview, most recruiters will mention a timeframe in which they plan to
Follow up with you. It could be five business days, one to two weeks, or the end of the week. “Under no circumstance should you leave an interview without clarification on the follow up schedule,” advises Steve Levy , talent attraction consultant and advisor for day100. “The channel you use to contact your interviewer should be agreed upon before leaving the interview, too. If not, assume email is best.”
“Under no circumstance should you leave an interview without clarification on the follow up schedule. The channel you use to contact your interviewer should be agreed upon before leaving the interview, too. If not, assume email is best.” --Steve Levy (@levyrecruits)
You do not want to follow up too soon after your interview, as this will surely annoy your recruiter. However, if the agreed upon deadline has come and gone, initiate follow up. “Following up with a recruiter with whom you’ve had a conversation is completely fine and expected,” affirms Matt Duren , lead technical recruiter at Tenable Network Security. “However, don’t get into the habit of calling or emailing daily looking for a status update.”
Levy believes there is one exception to this basic interview etiquette. “If you have a qualified referral to another position for which I am recruiting, feel free to contact me,” he says. “I can’t guarantee you’ll get treated any differently, but I can guarantee that I’ll remember you even more.”
But, what if...
Another week passes and you still have not heard anything? “There is no exact science, but generally speaking limit yourself to one ‘how’s it going with filling the job’ email per week,” Levy says. Though he also shares that some recruiters may tolerate more frequent follow up communication.
What if another week or two passes after that and still NOTHING? Send another professional email asking to be kept apprised of your status, and begin considering your other options.
Tweet This: The squeaky wheel gets the grease, except in job hunting.
Still wondering whether to send a follow up?
If it’s been two weeks and you really want the job, follow up! Write a non-pestering inquiry, “say thanks and restate your interest,” recommends Duren, and politely ask for an update. To quote my grandfather in my college graduation card, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”
Just don’t be too squeaky. That’s annoying.
Have a question? Ask a recruiter.
When it comes to job searching, work-life balance, and on-the-job success everyone seems to have questions. Elevated Careers by eHarmony is here to answer them, and help you land your next gig and unlock your career potential. So, don’t be shy—tweet us your most pressing question and we may answer it as part of our “Ask a Recruiter” column written by Shannon Smedstad, a workplace consultant with more than 15 years of recruiting and branding experience.