HR Insights, Recruiting and Staffing

4 Annoying Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

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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 about post-interview contact.

It 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 — 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 because, let’s face it, Forbes isn’t asking me to write for them any time soon!

They may be getting bad advice

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 that 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.

4 Really Annoying Ways to Follow Up

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 talking to the connection on how bad they did — so much so that we are actually rethinking your employment because of your relationship.
  2. Send a thank you note to me at 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 in 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 poking around my Facebook page. I would rather you tattoo a picture of me on your chest and put it on a billboard before befriending me on Facebook. Don’t do this!
  4. Leave me a voice mail every day for two weeks. Again, this doesn’t show initiative, it shows desperation. Like the veteran running back who runs into the end-zone and casually tosses the football to the referee, 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.

Just use your common sense

I can’t even begin to tell you about 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 all that interested are the ones I usually had to stalk myself! (Seem familiar ladies!?)

I would tell you to just use common sense here, but that seems to be thrown out the window for most folks, so I’ll say less is more — and be respectful of the hiring manager’s time.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is Executive Vice President of HRU Technical Resources , a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community – so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him at sackett.tim@HRU-Tech.com .