Protocol for Calling an Employer Post-Interview
If you're uncertain about whether to contact the interviewer after the interview, the following 10 points in the post below discuss the options and various approaches to consider when making your decision, courtesy of Biron Clark.
If you’re wondering, “should I call after the interview?”… then you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to walk you through when you should call (and NOT call) the interviewer after an interview.
There are a couple of cases where a phone call after the interview is a good idea, but many cases where this is *not* a very good idea, so we’ll cover everything below…
When Should You Call the Interviewer After an Interview?
The first question to ask yourself is…
1. What do you want to say?
In general, hiring managers and employers are BUSY. So if something is really simple and can be said via email, that might be a better choice.
I’m a big fan of contacting the company after an interview in general – if you forgot to mention something, if you thought of a question to ask, etc.
However, in many cases, email is a much better choice.
So that leads us to the next question to ask yourself when deciding whether you should call after the interview…
2. Would email be just as effective?
If your answer to this question is “yes”, I’d consider sending an email.
Since hiring managers are busy, they’ll be able to read this when it’s convenient.
You could even use a follow-up email after the interview to schedule a time to touch base on the phone. That way you know you’re getting them at a good time.
However, if they haven’t been answering your emails, then a call makes sense! That brings me to the next point.
3. Have you already tried emailing?
If you sent an email and waited 3-4 business days without a reply, then calling the interviewer or employer is a good logical next step!
If the company isn’t answering your emails, they really can’t blame you for calling them. So go ahead!
4. Are you following up for feedback?
If so, I strongly recommend an email instead (if you haven’t already).
However if you’ve tried emailing and gotten no response after a couple days then calling is a good option.
As mentioned in point #3 above, don’t be afraid to use the phone if you’ve exhausted other options like email.
5. Are you calling to thank them?
If this is the case, I’d recommend sending a written thank you note or email.
It’s not recommended that you call the interviewer after an interview to thank them for their time (although an email or note is definitely a must-do!).
6. Are you unsure about the next steps?
Try to ask this at the end of each interview in the future, but if you’re unsure what to expect moving forward, you can definitely contact the company to ask.
However, an email is much more suitable for this as a first option in most industries.
It does depend on your industry and the specific people you’re talking to, though. So let’s talk about that next…
7. Are you worried the interview went badly?
If you’re unsure if the interview went well, or have a bad feeling, you really can only wait at this point. Calling won’t make things better, and it might just make it worse.
So if you finished your interview in the last day or two, just wait for feedback.
You can also read this article with 14 ways to know if your interview went well or badly.
8. Is there something important you want to clarify or forget to mention?
This can definitely be a good reason for calling the employer after the interview.
If you have one specific thing you want to add or one question you wish you had answered differently, you can call them up and mention it.
However, like with almost everything mentioned above, you could also do this via email if you’re more comfortable. It’s up to you. But this is a valid reason to call after the interview.
9. Did the interviewer or employer invite you to call?
This is an obvious sign it’s okay to call. If they gave you their phone number or a business card with their number on it and said to reach out if you needed anything, then go for it!
However, if you dug their phone number up through Google or something else, I’d be more hesitant and would recommend email instead.
10. Who’s your audience?
I come from a background in Tech Recruiting, and Biotech/Pharma before that. Those are pretty modern industries that use technology a ton.
As a tech recruiter, we’d use instant messaging and LinkedIn messenger to send resumes, etc.
However, I know other industries are still much more formal/traditional.
So when you decide whether you should call after an interview, you’ll need to consider the specific people you’re talking with.
What industry is this? Is it very formal and relies more heavily on phone than email? Or is it more modern and tech-savvy?
And who is the hiring manager or person you’d be calling? What do they seem to use to communicate more often? How has the employer communicated with you up until this point? (For example, when scheduling your interviews, etc.)
Asking yourself those questions will give you clues about whether it’s a good idea to hop on the phone, or just send an email instead, after the interview.
Don’t Overthink It! If You Want to Make a Follow-Up Call After the Interview, Do It
I’d recommend following the advice above, but if you’re still not sure, just pick up the phone and call the interviewer or hiring manager. It’s okay!
The worst thing that happens is they see you’re excited about the job and not afraid to take initiative when you want something.
And most importantly – you’ll get whatever your concern is off of your mind so you can go back to focusing on applying for more jobs, preparing for other interviews, etc.
Should You Call the Interviewer after an Interview? – Quick Instructions
Most things are communicated just as well by email, so that's a better first step usually.
However, if you've already tried emailing and have not gotten a response, calling on the phone is okay.
It’s also okay if the interviewer gave you their phone number and invited you to call if you needed anything.
Some very traditional industries prefer phone calls and would look down upon an email, so use your best judgment to assess your industry, too.
And finally, if you just have a strong preference for calling, you should go ahead and call the interviewer after the interview. It’s better than spending days waiting nervously and feeling distracted when you should be getting back to your job search (yes, you should be applying for more jobs until you accept a job offer!!).
Aside from the cases mentioned above, an email is typically a better first option for contacting most employers after an interview.