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Should you follow up after an interview?

So you've applied for a great job. You've been to the interview - and it could go either way. Now you're checking your emails every ten minutes and jumping every time your phone goes. It's a dilemma that many job applicants face: should you follow up after an interview or wait for the employer to contact you?

At the end of a job interview, the employer should give you a rough idea of when to expect to hear from them (for example, by the end of the month, some time next week etc.). If they don't indicate this, be sure to ask them before you leave the interview room. That way you will be able to make an informed decision on whether to follow up after the interview or not.

Employers seem to be split down the middle on whether a follow up, or a thank you, email is a good idea. Most don't like phone calls, which can seem pushy and intrusive. However, if you're applying for a job in sales, these may be the kind of qualities that an employer is (secretly) looking for.

A follow up email can be a polite way to thank the employer for their time and re-state your interest in the position. You can also add a short (one or two sentences) spiel on why, given the extra information you've obtained at the interview, you think that you're a good candidate for the role.

However, like follow up calls, some employers regard these emails as a little pushy - especially if candidates were given a timeframe within which they would be contacted.

If you haven't heard from an employer within their stated timeframe, it is perfectly acceptable to call or email to follow up on the interview. Be polite - thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest - and ask them if they could give you an update on where they are in the recruitment process.

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