How to Follow Up After an Interview Without Bugging the Hiring Manager

March 8, 2023
You wrote the perfect application and aced the interview. But there’s one more opportunity to make a good impression—the follow-up.
Envelope with thank you note

You’ve applied for a position, your interview went well, and you’re looking forward to hearing back. But there’s one thing left on the list—the follow-up. You want to show enthusiasm, but you don’t want to seem overeager or annoying. Do hiring managers even want to hear from applicants? AOAExcel talked with optometry recruiters and practice owners to get their perspective.

First off, yes—following up after an interview is important. “It’s always a great idea to follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter after an interview,” says Caitlin Covey, physician recruiting manager at Eyecare Partners, “it shows that you have a real interest.” Practice owner Jason Wilson, O.D., agrees. “Doctors are busy, and it may take them a while to get back to you,” Wilson says, “but they’ll notice if you keep showing interest.” Even if you’re on the fence about the opportunity, it’s still to your benefit to reach out, as Jill Maher of Maher Medical Consulting explains: “Optometry is a small world. Those you are communicating with today may be someone you work with in the future.”

As for timing, experts tend to agree on a window of between a day and a week:

  • "Sending a quick thank you message within 24 hours speaks volumes for professionalism,” says Chelsea Page, senior physician recruiter at Access TeleCare.
  • “I recommend sending a thank you email within 24 to 48 hours after an interview,” says Maher.
  • “Follow-up through email anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks is typical and expected,” says Covey.
  • “Applicants should follow up about a week after the interview,” says Mason Smith, O.D.

Email is the popular choice when it comes to communicating with hiring managers. That said, social media like LinkedIn or a phone call could also be beneficial if utilized tactfully. “While an applicant is waiting to hear back, it’s great to check out the company on social media, and an invite to connect on LinkedIn is acceptable,” says Covey.

No matter when and how you reach out after an interview, the key is to show gratitude and interest. “You always want to be respectful and appreciative that someone took the time to interview you,” advises Maher. “Be consistent with your communication, and be sure to respond in a timely fashion when following-up or checking-in with a hiring manager.” Page adds, “Regular communication often sets you apart and shows your willingness to contribute positively to a team.”

AOAExcel is an AOA member benefit that provides doctors of optometry with the resources and education they need to practice with confidence. Visit the AOAExcel Career Center to view job listings from across the country. For more advice on interviewing, networking, and other topics, visit the AOAExcel Career Center’s Resource Updates.

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