I applied for this job a few weeks ago but haven’t heard back. Should I follow up?

Kailangan ko ng trabaho…hindi ako mapalagay kasi hindi pa nila ako tinatawagan.”

How can you avoid this situation?

Before the interview:

Prepare. Preparation gives you the confidence to respond to questions and assures that your comments will make or break your chances of getting the job.

Chat with other applicants. Were they told if they passed or failed? Were they given a regret letter, will they have to wait for a call? How long was the interview?

What are the skill and competency requirements of the job? Were they told if they passed or failed? Will they have to wait for a phone call if they get a regret letter? How long was the interview?

During the interview

Observe the interviewer’s facial expressions and mannerisms. It’s not an absolute fact, but there is always that off chance when an interviewer will show an adverse reaction which indicates that your response to the answer was unsatisfactory. If he does, don’t get distracted, the point here is to get a clue if you have a fighting chance. Good luck, though, if the interviewer is poker-faced.

Use your instinct. If you are well-prepared, you will be able to tell whether your response to the question is sufficient or not. If you are unsure how to respond to a question, make a mental note of it and come back to it later. After all, you won’t fail an interview merely because you couldn’t answer one or two questions satisfactorily (the caveat here is if the question you were unable to answer right is vital to the job you are applying for).

Length of the interview. Despite deciding to fail an applicant after only 2 minutes of performance, recruiters will finish the discussion; this is why asking a fellow applicant how long his interview lasted is vital.

After the Interview.

Ask for feedback. Of course, don’t ask the recruiter if you passed or failed – that’s rude and unprofessional. The interviewer will undoubtedly avoid it or decline to answer, primarily if he has not yet evaluated your application. Inform the interviewer that his candid feedback is critical to your development, especially since you are new to the field.

Have a sense of internal “Quality Assurance.” It certainly helps to evaluate your performance after the interview. If you are trying to improve your chances of landing a job, developing internal quality assurance is a crucial habit.

What did the interviewer tell you, and how did he say it. Some interviewers would notify you if you passed (and proceed to give you a job offer), but not if you failed. If not, look out for clues, like if the recruiter starts giving you additional details about the job, the company, and the culture.

Here are a few examples of a “send home” script:

“Thank you for interviewing with us. We will contact you after 24 to 48 hours.”

“We will contact you after 24 to 48 hours. Don’t call us; we will call you.”
“Keep your lines open; we will contact you after 24 hours to schedule the….”

A “send home” script is a part of the process so the recruiter can move on to the next applicant; it’s a strong hint that you failed.

Should I follow up? If you’re confident that you passed the interview, you should. There is always the fat chance that you qualified, but the recruiter misplaced your file, or the recruiter thought he has already called you, or that your resume was accidentally included in the “not qualified” bin by accident.

What’s the best way to make a follow-up?

  1. Call the number the recruiter used (landline or mobile). The best time to call was in the morning when work started and before he goes out to face the applicants for the day. Introduce yourself. Never sound irate because “they did not call you back” as promised, he is not your boy/girlfriend, and they have a job to do. Be polite. If the recruiter is busy, offer a call back at a time convenient to him. If it is a mobile number, go the extra mile by sending an SMS advising you to call regarding the follow-up.
  2. Unless advised that you can, never send an SMS. It’s easier to pick up the phone than to text, especially for a busy recruiter. If you must send an SMS, always introduce yourself and your application details (see FINAL NOTE below) and make a follow-up on your application. Offer to call the recruiter. He will either contact you or respond to your text. Why send the details? It helps the recruiter find your file; he doesn’t have time to play the guessing game, and he might reply with “Hu u?”.
  3. If you are within the area, you can visit the recruiter, but you may have to wait because he might be busy conducting interviews or job offers. I usually do not recommend this route.

Final note, always take time to note the following; it will make it easier for the recruiter to find your file:

  1. Time, date, and location of the interview;
    b. name of the interviewer;
    c. Type or Name of the account you were evaluated for;
    d. The last process you went through (initial, final, job offer, etc.).

I hope this helps.

3 responses to “I applied for this job a few weeks ago but haven’t heard back. Should I follow up?”

  1. I just had my initial interview yesterday. As a first timer applicant,i I got so curious about what the interviewer told me. She said i’ll be doing outbound (international) but.for the mean time,there is no available so she would just text/call me for updates. While those 2 other applicants were given instruction to be back after 3 days for their final interview. As a first timer applicant,does it mean I have any chance of having a final interview? Hope you can immediately respond to this one. It’ll be a great help for me. 🙂

  2. Hi Corrine. Thanks for leaving a comment. Majority of the time, it does, but there are off chances that it doesn’t. Part of what can help you determine if you did pass is others were given a job offer and you weren’t; another crucial information that can help you is the knowledge of the hiring and training timeline, that is, if the schedule is a week too close and you were given the send home script, it means you failed. Finally, there’s also your gut feel.

    Hope this helps.

  3. does it really mean that when an interviewer would spill out the ‘we’ll call you within the next 24-48 hours’ it automatically means you failed?… ouch!!!! i just got that spiel last night 😦

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