Just finished your first interview? Don’t sit around and wait for the hiring manager to call or email you. Instead, there are a few steps you should take after that initial round in the hiring process to shore up your chances of getting a second interview and eventually the offer. Here’s a look at a few, so you can properly follow up:

Send a thank you note.

After the interview, send a thank you note to everyone you met with, whether it was a single manager or a recruiter. Make sure you take the time to craft a custom note personalized to each individual. Also, send it quickly – within a day or two of the interview – in case the hiring committee or manager plans to make a fast decision about next steps. In them:

  • Be brief and engaging.
  • Thank the individual for their time.
  • Focus on a few of the highly relevant strengths you bring to the table.
  • Cover any key points you didn’t get a chance to mention in the interview but are important for them to know about.

Check in with an email or phone call.

If you don’t hear back after the timeframe the hiring manager gave, don’t panic. People get busy and the hiring process can often get pushed back. So, go ahead and check in. Simply send an email reiterating your interest in the position and inquiring about when you can expect a decision. Here’s what you can say:

“Good morning Tom, I hope you’re doing well. I’m just following up on the Sr. Analyst position. You mentioned you’d be making a decision this week and I am eager to hear about next steps. Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide.”

Follow up one more time.

Wait about a week and if you don’t hear back, then you can follow up again. Even though you’re likely frustrated at this point, always be professional. Inquire about whether the position has been filled or if a decision has been made. After that, if you still hear the sound of silence, move on.

Keep up your search.

During this entire process, continue with your job search. Even if you think this is “the one,” you don’t know what could be happening behind closed doors at the company. Hiring might get delayed due to an unexpected issue or the decision maker could opt to promote someone from within. In the meantime, another great-fit opportunity could come along that you don’t want to miss out on.

Stay connected.

Even if you don’t get the job, try to stay in touch with the hiring manager. Send them an email asking them to consider you for future opportunities and then connect with them on LinkedIn. You never know when a different job, one that’s the right fit for you, could open up. When you have a relationship in place, it will be far easier to get your foot in the door and the offer next time.

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