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How to Request an Update After an Interview

by Mark Applegate, studioD

Waiting for an update after an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. Rather than spending the days after your interview replaying back in your head every answer you gave, use this time to improve your chances of getting the job. If you are tactful, you can both get an interview status update and improve your standing with your potential employer.


Regardless of how excited you are to get the job, you must wait an adequate amount of time before asking for an update. This shows that you respect your interviewer's sometimes daunting task of finding the right employee. The norm is to wait at least 24 hours after your interview before contacting your potential employer unless your interviewer specifically gave you follow-up guidelines in the interview process. Your goal is to keep yourself at the top of your interviewer's list, not annoy her.

Send a Thank-You Note

Send a personal email or even a handwritten thank-you card expressing your appreciation for the opportunity on the day after the interview. If the company uses a digital-format resume builder program and seems to only correspond electronically, send a well-written email; however, if the firm sends snail mail and you may be expected to correspond with clients in this way, it may be more appropriate to follow up on paper. Point back to a memorable statement or discussion from the interview as a reminder of who you are. Subtly add a statement or two in the note that adds value to your potential employment or that builds on something you talked about in the interview that you felt was recognized as valuable. Be sincere and proofread your correspondence carefully.

Next Contact

Once you are sure your interviewer has had time to read your email or note, call to check the status of the application unless she gave you specific timing guidelines in the interview. Ask for your interviewer by name and greet her with warmly. Find a way to remind her of one point that you discussed in the interview including an aspect of your experience or an upcoming project for her company. Find a way to add one new piece of evidence that you are right for the position during the call. Practice with a peer or in front of a camera to perfect this call, and do not allow yourself to sound needy or desperate.

Follow Up Again

If your first status update was left open-ended, do not be afraid to check again after another week. Scour through your recent work history to find experiences of special value to the company and use this second contact to provide your interviewer with a piece of your experience that you omitted in your initial discussion. If you find out in this second contact that you were not chosen, graciously thank her and ask for any feedback on your interview. This shows that you are interested in self-improvement, and it may open the door to a future opportunity with the company. If it seems appropriate, request a connection by a professional social media venue like LinkedIn to further follow up if the process continues to drag on. This will allow you to subtly add value by forwarding new information or articles of interest to your interviewer.

About the Author

Based in Bolivar, Mo., Mark Applegate has been a professional writer since 2003. An experienced Christian entrepreneur, Applegate work covers business, careers and technology as well as religious topics. He has primarily published in print in the "Cedar County (Mo.) Republican" and the "Republic (Mo.) Monitor" along with an host of online publications. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and currently serves as the information technology director at a local public school.

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