How To Follow Up After Interviews
You have completed a few interviews. Some went well, some didn't. You now have to make a few decisions. That may take a few days. What do you do in the meantime?
Follow up. Really. Follow up with everyone who you interviewed. It may sound impractical especially if you have a lot of people coming for an interview, but it's incredibly important to follow up. Let's look at some reasons why that is so:
Keeping candidates engaged
When someone is looking for a job, your company isn't their only option. They are applying for other jobs; they are interviewing with other companies too. As such, you have to move fast to hire the best talent on offer.
Often, your hiring pipeline will take time. It can take weeks to arrive at a decision. In the meantime, good candidates may move on to other opportunities. Lack of speed in decision making can make you lose out on really good talent.
Following up can help you deal with this. Once an interview is done, you can send them an e-mail thanking them for their time and telling them what's next. This helps set the right expectations. It will also ensure that they are engaged throughout the process.
Building your brand
A lot—and I mean a lot—of companies just don't communicate at all with candidates who drop out of their hiring pipeline due to any reason. It may make sense at the screening stage when you have hundreds of applications to wade through, but once someone has interviewed with you, it's imperative that you follow up.
Remember that people get better over time and if they have a good experience with your company, they may apply again an year down the line when they have some more experience. Every interaction someone has with your company is an opportunity to build your brand.
It's not always possible to give detailed feedback for every application, and that's okay. Just an e-mail saying they didn't make it will go a long way, since most other companies don't do even that.
What should you follow up with?
How exactly you follow up depends on the interview, the job, and, of course, the result of the interview. However, there are a few things that make an effective follow up e-mail. Let's look at some of those.
- Be personal: Do not start your e-mail with a 'Dear Candidate'. Ever. The least you can do is personalise the e-mail.
- Be short and concise: Unless you are providing detailed feedback, you don't have to compose an essay. Be as succinct as you can be.
- Encourage them to apply again (if you hire actively): Let them know a little bit about your company and encourage them to apply again in the future.
Nobody really likes rejection, so no matter what you come up with, it will be hard for the candidate. But the least you can do is let them know.