Many jobseekers are wondering how long they should wait before sending a follow-up to a prospective employer after an interview. In this article, we will analyze the main things you have to know to answer this question properly.
The Internet contains many articles telling that a follow-up letter is just a formal sign of politeness. In fact, this is not always true. Two most common views on the aim of follow-up letters can be characterized by the following definitions.
You hardly can find a recruiter or a career expert who will provide you with a clear answer, which one of these definitions is correct. That is because of the fact that the answer depends on the particular employer or recruiter and the approach they use in their work. To define this approach during an interview, you have to ask a question like “When do I get a response regarding my candidacy?” In most cases, recruiters who appreciate follow-up letters provide you with clear instructions on your further actions. For example, they may assign the date of the supposed response. In case if you don’t get any letters after the expiration of the assigned term, you are expected to send a follow-up letter.
However, if a recruiter answers your question uncertainly, it is the first sign of bad attitude. In such case, a follow-up letter cannot change the employer’s decision.
The above-mentioned example shows that employers’ attitude to jobseekers may differ significantly from one company to another. It means that you should always remember that all employers are subdivided into two categories according to this criterion.
The main thing you have to know about employers from the second category is that sending them a follow-up letter is just a waste of time. As already mentioned, they do not treat jobseekers as equal people. Candidates are just labor force for them. That is why you probably will not get any response if you try to send a follow-up letter to a company like that. It is quite simple to define such companies. If you don’t get a clear response to your question about the date of next contact, you probably face one of the employers from this category. A typical answer of the recruiter in this case is “We will call you”.
As you can see, there are cases when follow-up letters are useless. If an employer does not follow the rules of business etiquette, why should you follow them?
Other cases are subdivided into two categories. The first of them is about situations when you get a clear response from the recruiter until the assigned date. The second category combines all cases when the jobseeker does not get a response even in spite of the fact that its date has been assigned during the previous interview.
A follow-up letter is required only in the latter case. We recommend you to wait one or two business days after the assigned term and then – follow up the company’s recruiter. This is a good practice because a late response of the HR manager is often caused by bureaucratic procedures inside of the company and your initiative can accelerate the process of employment.