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3 Follow-up Emails You Think You Should Send When You’re Interviewing, But Definitely Shouldn’t

Topics: Career Advice
3 Follow-up Emails You Think You Should Send When You're Interviewing, But Definitely Shouldn’t
Image Credit: BartekSzewczyk / Getty Images

Written by Richard Moy at The Muse

There was once a job I wanted so badly that any amount of radio silence from the employer was agonizing. So I thought it’d be a good idea to take matters into my own hands. A dozen follow-up emails and an embarrassing phone call to the hiring manager later, I eventually learned that nagging a potential employer is usually not a good way to increase your chances of landing the role.

While it might make you feel better to be “proactive” about following up with the hiring manager, here are a few messages that you should never, ever send under any circumstances.

1. “Hi, I Know We Spoke Yesterday, But Wanted to See if You Had Any Updates!”

OK, truth time. It’s a good idea to send a follow-up email to a hiring manager if a reasonable amount of time has gone by. But in most cases, that means waiting longer than 24 hours. In fact, let’s go ahead and say you should wait 72 hours past the time they told you that they would reach back out.

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Sure, in an ideal world, you’d hear back the second a company made a decision about you. But the reality is that hiring managers have a lot of things on their plates—and that means that an unexpected meeting or task on their end will keep them from getting back to you.

How to Distract Yourself Instead

Keep looking for jobs! Even if you’ve identified the one, it’s not a done deal until you get an offer letter. So while you’re waiting for news from the hiring manager, go ahead and take a peek at what else is available right now. The worst-case scenario is that you come up empty-handed. But maybe you’ll find another opportunity that looks just as amazing.

2. “I’m Not Sure if You’re the Person to Ask, But Did You Receive My Application?”

When you’re in the middle of a long interview process, it’s perfectly OK to reach out to the person you’ve been speaking with when you have a burning question. But if you haven’t even scheduled a phone interview, taking a shot in the dark to see if a random person at the company can review your application is something that rarely ends well.

How to Distract Yourself Instead

Do a little digging to see if you know anyone at the company you’ve applied to work for (and read this article if you need help doing that). Although you should do this before applying for a job, it’s still an option if you’ve already submitted your application.

But, instead of messaging the first person you happen to find on LinkedIn, ask around to see if any of your actual connections can introduce you to the hiring manager. Even if they can’t point you in the right direction immediately, you still might walk away with a new contact that you didn’t have previously.

3. “I Know I Probably Didn’t Get the Job, So Could You Just Tell Me Already?”

This is one of the most frustrating follow-up emails that an employer can receive. Not only is it self-defeating (which makes it difficult to shake the feeling that you’re not actually right for the role), it also assumes that the company has completely forgotten about you.

While there have been plenty of stories of candidates being ghosted by a company, it’s still not a great look to openly assume that the company you’re interviewing with has taken a pass without telling you—and then berate them for not responding more quickly.

How to Distract Yourself Instead

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’re probably feeling pretty down about yourself. Applying for new jobs probably won’t solve that problem, and neither will another editing session of your cover letter.

Instead, find someone you trust to vent about how you’re feeling and tell that person what’s going through your mind, including all the doubts. Stepping back from your search to get a few things off your chest can give you the headspace (and the perspective) you need to get back to it.

It’s great that you’re so invested in your job search. All too often, you’ll hear about people who send out their resume without much thought and cross their fingers. However, there are much smarter things to do when you’re anxiously waiting for a response during the interview process than harassing the hiring manager.

If you play it cool and channel the motivation you have into something other than yet another follow-up, people will start to take notice. And ultimately, that’ll help you get closer to your end-goal of landing that job.

3 Follow-up Emails You Think You Should Send When You’re Interviewing, But Definitely Shouldn’t originally appeared on The Muse.

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