Why Great Candidates Always Follow Up


Interviews can be quite formal affairs.

Detailed questioning. Highlighting relevant experience. And nowadays the customary presentation. It’s no wonder that with such rigorous and typical settings, most candidates seem to come across as “the same” and hiring managers find it hard to make a decision.

What’s even more interesting is how despite this effort and diligence, most hiring results are still pretty mixed. Most business leaders still get frustrated when hiring and with the world changing faster than ever before, the cost of hiring the wrong person has never been greater.

However in over a decade as a recruiter and working with over 15,000 different candidates, you begin to see patterns. The people who actually go on to perform better once hired tend to exhibit similar types of behaviour. And in particular, I’ve noticed that there is one thing that great candidates do after any interview:

They always follow up.

Here are some reasons why great candidates always follow up.

It differentiates them

Companies are interviewing more candidates than ever before.

Job creation is rising, social tools are increasing pools of potential talent and anyone can send over their resume with a simple click or a swipe.

And once in front of the hiring manager, the stakes are even higher. Candidates are able to research more than ever on-line to prepare and information on the company and role is easy to access.

With hiring managers meeting so many people each week, it’s essential to try and stand out.

Great candidates understand that it’s sometimes the little things that make the big difference. Whether it is sending a thank you note, checking in a few months later just to say hi or even just a simple email exchanging ideas, following up professionally and diligently is something that gets you noticed.

It’s something that most people don’t do.

Great candidates look to stand out.

It shows commitment

Interviews can often become cat-and-mouse affairs.

Interviewer and Interviewee trying to read each other and sell themselves subtly – but not coming across too desperate or needy.

We’ve all invested weeks (even months) selecting seemingly perfect candidates only to then be let down as they “back-out”. In nearly all cases, this can often be prevented by consistently seeking commitment throughout the interview process and only proceeding with those candidates who are genuinely excited in the role.

The best hiring managers understand that candidates who follow up with enthusiasm and genuine excitement are much more likely to be motivated if they land the role. It shows that they are thinking about the job outside the interview room. It shows that they are ready to leave their current role for something more appealing. It even shows that they’re able to take ownership and drive the recruitment process themselves in order to get the best outcome.

Great candidates don’t let go of opportunities that excite them.

It strengthens relationships

But perhaps most important of all, by following up, candidates demonstrate that rare and precious quality that is a trait of all top achievers:

The ability to create and nurture relationships.

Like all good things in life, our business achievements are directly linked to the strength and power of our relationships. By following up independently and taking initiative, great candidates demonstrate that they are able to take control and bring a human touch to the formal world of business.

By connecting with others personally, they show that they know how to collaborate, influence and nurture long term relationships that are the cornerstone of any successful organisation.

Great candidates build great relationships.


Experience, technical skills and competitive intelligence don’t always hold the answer to successful hiring.

In fact, sometimes its the things that candidates demonstrate outside the boardroom that can be even more important.

Great hiring managers understand that by following up, candidates demonstrate qualities and behaviour that can be invaluable in the real-life work place.

Do you follow up?

Like this post? You may want to take a look at How to Resist a Counter Offer from your Current Employer