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How to ask about a job application post interview

Posted on 15 September 2021

How to ask about a job application post interview

8-minute read

​Have you ever been in this situation, a recruiter or HR specialist calls you and shares an opening. They run through the opportunity, get you excited and agree to formally make an application on your behalf, only then to fall off what seems the face of the earth never to be heard of again.

 

Or how about this, you have an interview with a company, again you get excited but this time you are a little more on edge because you have actually invested more time into the process outside of an initial call. However, the result is the same, no feedback and a disappearing act that would leave magicians all over the world wondering how they did that.

 

Welcome to modern recruitment. It sucks, right?

 

In this article, we want to share the common reason as to why you might have been ‘ghosted’ (the very unfancy term used for when this happens) and some steps you can take that can help minimise this from happening.

 

How do we know these steps work?

As recruiters, we also get ghosted by applicants who arrange calls and then in a puff of smoke never respond again, so we also know what it feels like. We created this very simple 3 step process, which has helped increase our response rate from these mystical ghost-like characters with either a reason to close off the process of a call to progress forward and the good news, it can be implemented very easily if you ever need to chase a recruiter, HR or hiring manager for feedback.

 

So why does this happen?

Before we share what steps you can take, it is best to understand why this often happens (you not receiving feedback we mean). Put simply, a recruiting process is a chain of command, you share your CV to the recruiter, the recruiter shares it to the hiring manager, the hiring manager sometimes shares it with their team, the team then respond to the hiring manager, the hiring manager then responds to the recruiter and then the recruiter responds to you (the more people involved, say HR for example, the longer this process becomes and the more difficult it is to speed it up).

 

Having a better understanding of the process from a simplistic view, consider this. If the hiring manager is busy for several days and fails to share it with their team or alternatively some of the team members are on vacation but the hiring manager didn’t inform the recruiter, this is where delays can creep in.

When feedback is slow and there is nothing to share, your recruiter might simply forget to update you or they might feel awkward based on the fact they don’t actually know what is happening. There are a lot of reasons, but generally, if you don’t receive CV feedback it is usually because your recruiter or HR contact do not know either, that means there is an issue with the process that they cannot control (this should then become a red flag for that company for communication).

 

The same thing can be said about interview feedback. You fail to hear again usually based on the lack of feedback being presented to your recruiter or HR contact. Of course, we believe that despite no feedback, a simple update can be shared around this to keep you in the loop, but not everyone thinks like that, especially when your recruiter or HR contact is overstretched with work or have KPIs on their head that revolves around transactional business (references and even interviewing a recruiter to work for you is highly recommended in our opinion, remember they represent you!).

 

Our 3-step process to asking for feedback

Let’s now take a look at our 3-step process you can adopt post-interview to help maximise feedback and speed the whole process up. Note, a thank you note following an interview is not part of this process, so if you need to enforce all of these steps post-interview you will then send 4 emails as follows:

·        Thank you note (1-2 hours following the interview, we will not cover in this article)

·        Follow up 1 (3-5 days post-interview)

·        Follow up 2 (6-10 days post-interview)

·        Final follow up (your decision)

 

The best-case scenario is that you don’t even need to use all three follow-ups but be prepared, the final follow up is an ultimatum, but we will get there in a moment.

 

Follow up 1 (3-5 days post-interview)

The first follow up can be sent to your recruiter or HR contact 3-5 days post-interview, this should allow enough time for feedback to have taken place or can at least prompt your contact to push a little more, but it also enough time for you to allow feedback to happen organically.

We recommend you repeat your interest and feedback, leave the door open and keep the email upbeat and positive.

 

Follow up 1 Example

Hello (contact)

I am writing to check in and see if you managed to receive any feedback following my interview for the (opening) at (company name).

I am still interested in moving forward, having come away with a better sense of the project and team after speaking with (interviewer).

Please let me know the next steps when you are aware of them.

All the best

(your name)

 

Follow up 2 (6-10 days post-interview)

The second follow up should take place 6-10 days after the interview, but we also recommend spreading this out at least 4 days from your first follow up as to not seem desperate. 6-10 days is more than enough time for the interviewer to provide feedback, even if they decided to compare your application against another (which might be the case as to why you have not got feedback).

This email should still be professional, giving them the benefit of the doubt that feedback might have been delayed for something out of their control. In the email, you don’t have to specifically share your feedback, you can simply ask for news and share an update as to where you are with your other processes (if you are in them) to help encourage movement.

 

Follow up 2 Example

Hello (contact)

Following on from my interview with (company) on (date of the interview), I wanted to check in and see if we had any news about the next steps, or if a rejection, any news as to why.

To keep you in the loop my side, I currently have (other process updates) and will look to make a decision in the coming weeks.

Looking forward to hearing from you

(your name)

 

Final follow up (your decision)

The final follow up time-wise is up to you, we say this because it is an ultimatum email. If you send this email, you must be prepared to stop the process with the company you are waiting for feedback on.

We recommend again, this email should come roughly 4-5 days post the second follow-up, meaning roughly 2 weeks post=interview.

No feedback for 2 weeks indicates a much bigger problem to us, either your application is being used to compare against others and you are a ‘reserve option’ or the internal processes are too slow and bureaucratic which can give an indication of the internal working within the business.

When you write this email, professionalism must remain but this time you decide the time frame of which they must respond before you personally walk away from the opportunity. It is the final step, as if it doesn’t work, it will mean you stop the process yourself, but after not hearing anything for around 2 weeks, we feel this is the best option anyway.

 

Final follow up Example

Hello (contact)

Unfortunately, I haven’t received any feedback following my interview with (company) on (date of the interview). Please be aware that I will stop the process if they are unable to provide feedback by close of business on (date you suggest) as that would then be X weeks since we spoke.

I respect you might not have feedback to share, but I do not want to have open-ended applications and would rather focus my energy on organisations and processes that are responding.

Please update me when you can, if I don’t hear anything, I will assume the process is concluded.

Looking forward to hearing from you

(your name)

 

Of course, you can use this format with CV feedback as well, you will just need to adjust the emails slightly. We hope that by having a deeper understanding as to why feedback might not be coming back to you and a simple method to help encourage movement from your end, you will be in a better and more aware situation if this happens to you in the future.

 

Bringing simplicity to the chaos of recruitment is our focus, so if you feel this article is beneficial to someone in your network feel free to share it with them.

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