Should one send a follow-up email after an interview?

So I have been part timing and freelancing since getting my Masters and looking very hard for a full time job. I had an interview that went extremely well at a corporate firm that I very much wanted to work for and I was (almost) sure I was in. When I departed I said, "I hope to hear from you," and the interviewer said, "You will in about two weeks, and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to contact me."

Well I got a new temporary/part time job so I decided to ask how the process was going (about a week and half after)  and if I was still in the running (maybe I show up to to the part time and say I'll be out in two weeks, or something). The email I got back said "To be honest, when we did not receive a note from you after we met we figured you were not interested,"  and went on to gush about me and my work, book-ending it with something to the effect of we've moved on to other candidates...

What the literal fuck!  Did I not get the job because I didn't send a note back? I felt I was clear with my interest, and I felt being a good sized firm that the note wouldn't be well received (hindsight is 20/20, though).

Opinions? I would also like to hear from anyone who does hiring - do people interview and then get the job and are like "eh, not interested," so a follow up note is necessary?

Aug 28, 14 11:55 pm

Some expect a follow-up note and some find it a bother, how are we to know which firm is which?  that is not for us to ask.

Aug 29, 14 12:43 am
I kind of agree that it's BS that they said they'd stay in touch in two weeks but because YOU didn't say anything they ditched you in a week and a half. How strange...
Aug 29, 14 12:52 am

That doesn't really sound right...

Aug 29, 14 9:30 am

It's etiquette to send a thank you note (hard copy preferably) if they took the time to interview you.  It may be less common, but I found that all of my peers who took the time to hand write notes had a better employment rate (and found their next jobs a lot easier too).

Aug 29, 14 9:35 am
x intern

This may have also just been an easy way for the interviewer to let you know you didn't get the job that avoided the awkward questions you would have asked if they just said you didn't get it.   

Aug 29, 14 10:08 am

Samuel, speaking from the perspective of an employer (retired) I agree with BenC & Robbmc, something doesn’t smell right and I also agree that it was most likely a way to cut the rejection short. I also think the remark was a bit in-face blaming you in some way.

I do feel that our new ways of communicating have cauterized the formality of discourse. People still send out paper wedding invitations with paper RSVP’s and send back paper thank you notes at the conclusion of the affair. These formalities have not changed in 100 years and they apply to all formal discourse today which includes the interviewing process. Emailing back and forth with questions and ideas is best but the milestones should be marked on paper.

“Get back to you in two weeks” is a suspect clue that he wanted to keep trolling and if you let them they will and most likely will find a bigger fish to fry. If you ever hear that again, and you will, that means you have more work to do to get HIM off the market. Anyone who says “We’ll get back to you” is just lying to cover the truth. Your job at that point is to evaluate everything you gave them and play-back both sides of the conversations for clues, then riddle them with new things, clarifications and ideas. This thing never stops and in my project interviews all these things applied. I always mailed a letter with the “thank you” at the top then filled the page with new thoughts & clarifications as a way of continuing the interview….and it worked.

Beware of “Well thank you for your time” that is the Death Knell that signals that you’ve got no chance and for those still send a “Thank You” and move on to the next.

Aug 29, 14 12:01 pm

Thanks everyone - needless to say I will from now on follow up with a (at the least emailed) follow up note in the future. 

There actually was one more development after my post: I email back saying "Thank you" for the reply, and asking if (trying to be positive and cherry despite) were there any internship opportunists I could take advantage of - the interviewer's reply was that he would look into it and let me know in one week and gave a date in which I would hear by. So, that made me happy, but more confused. It doe seem like this was a way of saying "NO, you didn't get the position" but parts seem like it was just as the interviewer said "To be honest, when we did not receive a note from you after we met we figured you were not interested."

Thanks again.

Aug 29, 14 3:51 pm

You should usually send a follow-up, but it should be expected and a natural part of the conversation.

I just went through the interview process, and in every instance there was something we discussed (an old project, a piece of my work or another student or architect's work that wasn't online/ in my portfolio, a new project, a detail, a lecture, etc...) that I was going to send a link to/ images of. It is just a conversation like any other... you should have something more to say, or strive to develop a rapport and an ongoing dialogue about architecture.


That said, it sounds like they are a bit unprofessional and either didn't hire anyone or didn't want to hire you. It is best to be honest in all business dealings no matter how harsh it may sound.

Aug 29, 14 7:19 pm

Carreras advice is gold, thank you for that. As an entrepreneur, Ive adopted a similar protocol so it is nice to know what I have been doing is appropriate and effective.

Aug 30, 14 2:03 am

In an employment market where there still are many more candidates than job openings, it's natural for an employer to favor candidates who are overtly enthusiastic about the job - all else being equal. 

Let's be pragmatic about this. It doesn't take much effort to send a note after the interview expressing gratitude for their time and reiterating your strong interest in the job. Why take the chance that not making that small effort may send the wrong signal?

Aug 30, 14 11:02 pm

They were just looking for a excuse to shoo you away. Truth is, they probably found someone much more "enthusiastic" (which probably means someone with 5 times more experience, who would still charge lesser). That should tell you how fucked up this business is.

Aug 30, 14 11:54 pm

SOD - I disagree. No firm needs to make up a story like this - esp. the part about gushing about the OP and his/her work. All they need to say is "we found a candidate better suited to our needs."

Aug 31, 14 12:06 am

Do not email a thank you note. Send a hand-written thank you note no later than the day after you had the interview. Always. Make a polite telephone call ten days to two weeks after the interview to let them know you are still interested. (emails are all to easy to get automatically routed to the junk file and are unprofessional in this context anyway)

Aug 31, 14 8:40 am
Why not? I emailed my thank you notes. Got a job offer about two hours after I emailed it with the place in currently at. From what I've seen it is just as likely to get ignored via mail as it is by email, maybe even more so.
Aug 31, 14 4:01 pm

Well I guess you can’t dress everybody up and take them out to dinner. I suppose too that you could draw images of architectonic pliancy on their storefront windows in the morning dew and wait on the sidewalk for an answer….its about manners…decorum, having respect for the formality of the process.

Aug 31, 14 9:48 pm

File, you'd be surprised, there are many assholes out there, who want to make an example out of you.

That said, I always email thank-you notes the very evening of the interview/meeting, mostly because I know there are many jerk-offs out there.

Sep 1, 14 9:07 pm

Yes, do send thank-you notes! Email one first, of course, but also cover your bases and mail one the traditional way: they don't expect most candidates to do so.

Sep 2, 14 4:04 pm

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