Short answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I just read a recent comment from one of my readers who said “I still haven’t heard back from them (after my job interview) and they stopped answering my weekly follow up calls and emails so I just assume they don’t want me. I think that’s rude not to respond to me, but oh well. I will continue applying for more things!”

Of course my heart goes out to her, but I almost jumped out of my skin when I read how often she was following up with both phone calls AND emails after the job interview. I get she was just eager to know “Did I get the job?”, but there’s good reason not to do what she was doing.

While I well understand the agony of waiting to hear back after an interview – and do love her positive attitude about moving on to look for the right job – I worry some of you, including this reader, may actually hurt yourself badly with an overly zealous approach. Bugging a potential employer week after week – no matter how wonderful a hire you might be – is not going to get you the job. In fact, too many phone calls or e-mails can totally turn off the very people in the company you want to impress.

Avoid weekly follow-up calls and emails after an interview

Sending all those e-mails and making all those phone calls does not help your case with the company – and in fact only irritates HR folks and other hiring managers, many of whom have inboxes full of e-mails all demanding immediate attention. An occasional polite post-interview e-mail or phone call can be a good thing…but after that, believe me…if they are interested, they’ll remember you!

Unless you have something you absolutely need to tell them or maybe a new Pulitzer Prize you just won and want them to know about…less is more is a pretty good rule to follow when it comes to contact after the interview. And if they aren’t getting back to you – as annoying as that can be – just assume they have a good reason and do your best to focus on other things…like continuing to look for a great job!

What about phone calls or email before an interview?

Speaking of following up…here’s a post from Kerry over at Clue Wagon that generated some great discussion. Basically, she tells us be wary of online experts who advise us to call or email after sending a resume (before any interview):

Calling to Follow Up? Hand Me a Fork.

(Kerry, a former HR person, is not one to mince words you’ll notice.)

Seriously…unless you have a contact there or a very good reason to call or are in an industry where this is ok (as Kerry also advises in 3 (Possible) Exceptions to the Do-Not-Call Rule), you are probably not helping yourself one bit by calling before an interview to follow up on your resume. Employers sometimes get a hundred or more resumes for one job posting. Believe me…they do not want a hundred or more calls or e-mails for each job they post! (Hmmm…maybe we should call anyone who suggests you do that?)

Of course, for every rule there are exceptions. And I will admit I may have helped myself get to a couple of interviews by using the send-resume-then-make-polite-follow-up-call technique – but then again, it may have been my particular circumstance. And I also might have gotten there anyway based solely on my resume and strong cover letter. (That’s what a good cover letter is for.) So please…if you do try this, just tread gently.

Nuff said.