Jenny Foss (@JobJenny) had a good article over at Forbes recently, 4 Non-Annoying Ways To Follow Up After An Interview, where she gave some tried and true job seeker advice out for post interview contact. If was what you would expect from a Forbes article: Ask about next steps, send a thank you note, connect via LinkedIn, etc. Safe stuff. Not knowing Jenny, I looked her up on her blog – JobJenny.com and after learning a little about her – I think she probably wanted to write the 4 Most Annoying Ways – but didn’t want to throw her Forbes gig out the window – so I’m here to try and do it for her. Let’s face it – Forbes isn’t asking me to write any time soon!
The one thing that all HR and Talent Pros can connect with is having to deal with stalker candidates who are relentless at contacting you after an interview. The ironic part of this, is they are most likely following someone’s bad advice – usually a parent (If you don’t call them, they won’t know you’re “really” interested), or a grandparent (Back in my day we would go back the next day and knock on their door again to tell them how interested in the job we were) telling them what they needed to do. Even worse – many times they are following the advice of a Pseudo HR Pro who is shoveling out free career advice like they actually know what they’re talking about – until you realize they haven’t actually worked in HR since the 1970’s. For those of us in the trenches – having to deal with overly aggressive candidates following up can be the biggest pain of our day.
So, here are 4 Annoying Ways To Follow Up After An Interview (if you’re a candidate, stop doing this!):
1. Use Your Inside Connection in my company to get feedback. Nothing screams cheesy more than doing this! Hey, my uncle works in tech support, I’ll just have him contact Tim in HR to see how I did. When this happens to me – I go overboard to the connection on how bad they did, so much so we are actually rethinking your employment because of your relationship.
2. Send me a Thank you note to my Home. Yes, this has happened to me – and yes it was way creepy. The last thing I want to deal with when I walk into the door of my home is some crazy candidate from work. No, it does not show initiative – it shows your propensity to be a stalker.
3. Ask me to be Facebook friends. Look, I don’t even want to be work friends if we hire you, and I certainly don’t want you picking around my Facebook page. I would rather you tattoo a picture of my on your chest and put it on a billboard before befriending you on Facebook. Don’t do this!
4. Leave me a voicemail everyday for 2 weeks. Again, this doesn’t show initiative, it shows desperation – Like the veteran running-back who run into the end-zone and tosses the football to the umpire – act like you’ve been there. You can follow up once – a quick “thank you” and a “I’m definitely interested” is all that it takes.
I can’t even begin to tell you some of the crazy ways that candidates have tried to stay in touch and get noticed over the years – but most bordered on insanity and just helped me screen them out as a possible selection. The ones who seem not interested, are the ones I usually had to stalk myself! (Seem familiar ladies!?) I would tell you to just use common sense – but that seems to be thrown out the window on most folks – so I’ll say less is more and be respectful of the hiring managers time.
Great reads, Tim!
Thanks for the knowledge and chuckles.
Love it! 🙂
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I also think it is on the HR/Hiring Manager to give timely feedback even if it is “we haven’t made a decision” The candidate has a right to know what is going on. If the candidate is calling every two days then obviously no one has given them any indication of what the next steps would be. I think it is important as interviewers to outline this process before the candidate leaves. Let them know when the next communication will be. It is a two way street. I would not want to work for a company that can’t even give me the courtesy of letting me know that I was or was not still in consideration after a week. If as hiring managers communicate. These “annoyances” wouldn’t happen.
one exception – the sales pro who will have to hit the phones hard – I love to see one of those guys call me ever day, and keep the messages fresh and find exactly the right balance….
thanks 4 clarity!
Annoying from the HR Practitioners point of view – not the contact. Nothing wears on HR Pros more than an internal coming by and asking about an interview, knowing it’s really coming from the candidate.
hum made me ponder here 1. depending on context and nature of relationship. If the receiver has an issue they should let that person know the relationship is strictly Utility based.