What is the Best Way to Follow-up After Informational Interviews?
I had a great informational interview with someone who said they'd do a few specific things to help me in my search. I haven't heard back from them since. How and when do I follow up so I don't come across like I'm bugging them.
Not a Nuisance
It's not unusual to need to follow-up after an informational interview. We suggest writing a thank you email within 48 hours, expressing your gratitude for the person's time, recapping your discussion, and closing with a gentle reminder about anything they offered to do (e.g. make introductions or review your resume.) By reminding them in an email shortly after your meeting, your contacts are more likely to keep your request top-of-mind and follow-through.
An important piece of the information interview is to offer your help as well. That way, you'll have a reason to follow-up on things that you promised after the meeting. Perhaps you offered to introduce a prospective donor or volunteer, or you had an idea for a clever outreach campaign for their organization. By following through on your task, your contact is more likely to come through for you.
Finally, if you've completed this follow-up and still no response, we suggest waiting about 2 weeks and then sending one "short and sweet" reminder. By then, hopefully you have some other news about your career search that you can share with them as well.
Remember to express your appreciation and acknowledge your contact's generosity in every interaction. People like to do things for others who are grateful and nice. When reaching out with gratitude and sincerity, your communication will not come across as a nuisance, and rather will help to build the relationship instead.
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This article was written by Dana Hagenbuch.