Ask Barb: Interview Follow-Ups

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Sep 12, 2012

Dear Barb:

What is your position on following up after interviews? I’ve asked many recruiters and recruiting agencies alike about post interview policies and I get varying answers – only to reach two basic conclusions:

  • There seem to be few standards. I ask and customize my approach based on the guidelines for each client’s policies and preferences.
  • Any follow-ups whether done by email or phone call are quite often ignored and not returned, so why put forth the effort?

If clients are interested in my candidates they will call. If they are not interested, my calling them is not going to change the final results. My manager and I totally disagree on the importance of following up. Your suggestions at this point will be welcomed by both of us.

George C., Madison, WI

Dear George:

The last thing you want during the hiring process is to be out of sight, out of mind. Too often, employers are interviewing multiple candidates for job opportunities from various sources. As the job market continues to become more competitive, they will utilize any resource that can provide them with top talent.

When you follow  up you are emphasizing your confidence in the abilities and interest level of your candidates. You set up your follow-up call during each contact with the hiring authorities.

A client not calling you back is an indication that you are viewed as a vendor and not a trusted advisor. They don’t understand the value of feedback. It also indicates that you have not shared expectations up front to your clients.

If you call to follow up, don’t ask for a status report; instead, offer additional information to entice your clients to call you back. If your candidates have been screened out, you want to backfill additional candidates so you have two to three candidates in the final interview process.

It is better to follow up too often and too early than too little and too late!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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