Friday Follow Up: The Art of the Follow Up Call

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Flickr image by echiner1

When my career began as an executive recruiter (head hunter) I was fortunate enough to have great mentors and people who taught me the art of scheduling a cold call. I follow a simple method that keeps me from being a pest but allows me to follow up. It’s a simple tip that I now apply to everything from sales calls to post interview follow up. It almost always works.

72 hours after an interview I place a follow up call to the interviewer. If I’m fortunate enough to speak to the interviewer I thank them for the opportunity to interview and express my interest in the position. I inquire about next steps and scheduling the next interview. If they’ve decided not to pursue a second interview I thank them for their time and ask them to consider me should another opportunity arise. If I don’t reach them I leave a voicemail thanking them for their time, inquiring about the position, and leaving my number. (We’ll discuss the art of the voicemail in a later post). After I hang up, I set an appointment in my outlook calendar for three business days later. If I’ve not heard from the interviewer in those three days I place the call. If I speak to them on the phone, I thank them & express my interest in e position. If not, I leave another message similar to what I left the first time. I then set an appointment in my outlook calendar for one week later. If I’ve not heard from the interviewer in that time frame, I make the third call. If I speak to them, I thank them & express interest. If I get voicemail the third time I thank them for their time at the interview & let them know I remain interested but do not want to continue bothering them so I will simply wait for their call instead of continuing to call back. I leave my number & am very polite.

This method looks something like this on my calendar:
Interview date: Friday September 27
1st follow up call: Wednesday October 2 (3 business days after the interview)
2nd follow up call (if I haven’t heard back): Monday October 7 (3 business days after the 1st call)
3rd follow up call (if I’ve not heard back): Monday October 14 (1 week after the 2nd call)

This method is persistent but doesn’t make you look like a stalker. There’s nothing that will take you out of the running faster than calling multiple times to follow up in a matter of a few days. Decisions take time & making multiple calls in just a few days or even in one day makes you look desperate & unprofessional.

Be on the lookout for future video posts as I demonstrate the art of leaving a voicemail. Enjoy your Friday!

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