Tips for Making a Follow-Up Call a Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Follow up calls are an important step in the job searching process. Whether you are following up on a submitted application or after an interview, knowing when and how to make a follow-up call can help you stand out as a leading candidate for the position you are applying for. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about making a follow-up call including examples of what to say in a follow-up call for different scenarios and tips for a successful follow-up call.

When is a follow-up call important?

A follow-up call is important when you have submitted a job application or have had an interview for the position you are interested in but haven't heard back from the employer for a week or two. Making a follow-up call can help remind the recruiter or hiring manager of your candidacy and is an extra step that shows your genuine interest in the position and the company.

However, it is important to make sure the recruiter or hiring manager is open to receiving a follow-up call. If the job description asks candidates not to call or email to follow-up on their application, it is important to respect this request.

Related: The Essential Job Search Guide

How to make a follow-up call

Follow these steps to help you make a successful follow-up call:

  1. Determine your reason for calling.

  2. Make a list of things to say.

  3. Gather your resume and reference list.

  4. Practice the conversation with someone else.

  5. Try to contact the decision-maker directly.

  6. Leave a voicemail message if no one answers.

1. Determine your reason for calling

The first step in making a follow-up call is to determine what the reason for your follow-up is. You are obviously calling because you want to know if you are being considered for the position, but having a specific purpose for your call can help you decide what to say on the call.

For example, if you are calling to follow-up on an application you might want to call to make sure they received your application and to ask when they will begin interviewing candidates. If you are following-up after an interview you might want to call to thank them for the interview, provide additional information or ask when you can expect a decision to be made.

2. Make a list of things to say

Once you have determined your purpose for making a follow-up call, you should consider making a list of what to say on the call. This list will likely be short since you should plan to keep the call brief. Generally, a follow-up call should have a greeting that includes the name of the person you are calling and your name, an introduction that identifies the title of the position you are calling about and an explanation of the reason for your call. You can use your list as an outline during the call to ensure you don't forget anything important.

3. Gather your resume and reference list

Next, you should gather a copy of your resume and a list of personal and professional references. Having these documents ready before you make your follow-up call can help you prepare to refer to them if the recruiter or hiring manager asks additional questions about your resume or asks you for references.

4. Practice the conversation with someone else

Next, you may want to ask a friend or family member to help you practice the conversation before making your follow-up call. Doing this can help you ensure you know exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. It can also help you feel more confident when making the actual follow-up call.

5. Try to contact the decision-maker directly

When making a follow-up call it is important to try to reach the decision-maker directly. If you are following up after an interview, you should try to reach the person who conducted your interview. If you are following up on a submitted application, you should try to reach the recruiter or human resources coordinator who is responsible for scheduling interviews.

6. Leave a voicemail message if no one answers

If you make a follow-up call and no one answers you should leave a brief voicemail that identifies who you are, the position you are calling about, the purpose for your call and your contact information. It is ok to skip the voicemail if it is your first time calling and you want to try to call back later, but if no one answers on your second call you should leave a message and give them time to respond.

Related: How to Follow Up on a Job Application

What to say in a follow-up call

Here are examples of what to say in a follow-up call in different scenarios:

  • Follow-up call for a submitted job application

  • Follow-up call after an interview

Follow-up call for a submitted job application

When making a follow-up call for a submitted job application, you should begin with a simple introduction such as the following:

"Hi, Mr. Fernandez. My name is Susan Jones and I'm calling about the Sales Representative position you have posted online. I submitted my application and resume via e-mail and wanted to make sure you received it. I am very interested in working for your company. I was wondering when you expect to begin conducting interviews for candidates you are interested in?"

If the person you are contacting about your application doesn't answer, you can use the same introduction for a voicemail and include your contact information at the end:

"Hi, Mr. Fernandez. My name is Susan Jones and I'm calling about the Sales Representative position you have posted online. I submitted my application and resume via e-mail and wanted to make sure you received it. I am very interested in working for your company. I was wondering when you expect to begin conducting interviews for candidates you are interested in? You can contact me at 888-888-8888 any time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. I look forward to speaking with you soon!"

Follow-up call after an interview

When making a follow-up call after an interview, you should begin with a simple introduction and also include any stand-out information that may help remind the interviewer who you are. For example:

"Hi, Ms. Jennings. This is Joseph Lee and I'm calling to follow-up on the Legal Assistant position. I met with you during an interview last week. I was the person who had 5 years of experience working with a team of four lawyers in your practice area. I was wondering when you expect to begin contacting candidates about the next steps?"

If the person you interviewed with doesn't answer, you can use the same introduction for a voicemail and include your contact information at the end:

"Hi, Ms. Jennings. This is Joseph Lee and I'm calling to follow-up on the Legal Assistant position. I met with you during an interview last week. I was the person who had 6 years of experience working with a team of four lawyers in your practice area. I was wondering when you expect to begin contacting candidates about the next steps? Please feel free to reach out to me if there any additional questions I can answer for you. You can contact me at 888-888-8888 any time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. I look forward to speaking with you again soon!"

Related: What to Do if You Aren't Hearing Back From Employers

Follow-up call tips

Here are a few general tips to help you make a successful follow-up call:

Call in the middle of the week

It is best to try to make a follow-up call between Tuesday and Thursday. This gives the person you are contacting time to start their workweek on Monday and to wrap-up work on Friday and helps you avoid the risk of your message being overlooked for other work.

Avoid calling too much

While it is ok to call once or twice as a follow-up, you should try to avoid calling too much. You don't want to annoy the recruiter or hiring manager, so if you don't get an answer on your second call simply leave a voicemail and state that you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

Smile

Smiling while you are talking on a phone call can help you convey enthusiasm and positivity to the person on the other end of the line. Smiling will help you stay positive and upbeat and can help you feel more confident while on the call.

Look for a timeline in the job posting

It is important to review the job listing to check for any dates or timelines that are stated in the posting. For example, if the job posting identifies the employer will begin contacting candidates in two-weeks you want to avoid calling for a follow-up on your application before that date.

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