Say you've recently completed a technical interview and your last interviewer has handed you back to your original contact in HR, who you haven't heard back from yet (a few days after the interview, let's say). Is it considered acceptable to follow up by pinging the HR contact and requesting any feedback and/or details about next steps? And if it's acceptable, is it wise to do so or is it better to sit back and wait?

I assume the HR contact would have much more to handle than just one candidate's interview, so it's probably a bad idea to annoy them, but it might also be a bad idea to appear unenthusiastic about the position as well. What's the best way to strike a balance between not seeming pushy or impatient or desperate, but also not seeming uninterested either?

And how should the invisible subtext be read? Would the expectation generally be that if they are no longer interested they would say so quickly, so a delay is probably a good sign, or is it the other way around?

  • ... I'm assuming you didn't ask the important, "What are the next steps?" question in the actual interview?
    – enderland
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 3:14
  • 1
    @enderland - No, I did that. The next steps involved having the HR contact get back in touch with me, and probably more interviews.
    – aroth
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 3:36

2 Answers 2


The safest method to ping them is a 'Thank you' e-mail. Write a sincere, personalized "Thank you" letter in less than 24 hours after the interview. Some interviewers actually look for this (especially sales jobs) and it won't hurt. You can also bundle up your "what do I do next" question with the thank you email.

If they don't reply the thank you, it's neutral, no harm done. If they reply, you know that they're open to being contacted, and that it's safe to follow up later.

Similar applies to dating (but I suppose with a thank you SMS immediately after).


It's good to feedback to the person who interviewed you lining out the points discussed. Specially if it is not an entry-level position. This will also help you to make sure that you will finally get what you were promised as terms and conditions, scope of the job etc. It shows that you are engaged and paid attention during the interview. Since it ideally does not contain new information, it should not annoy the HR person. I would not go and start asking questions or ask for feedback in such a communication however. What IS ok, as long as it has not been discussed already in the interviews, is to ask for "the way forward" or "next steps".

How the reply is to be read can be VERY different on the situation and cannot be judged in such a broad context. Long waiting time might be that there are many other interviews, or that they are busy. It really depends on the level of the application - CEO or trainee?

In the dating context, it's pretty much the same since it's all about keeping in contact with people without being intrusive. However in a dating context, someone might simply hope by not answering to stop the contact, which should not be the case in a good corporate environment.

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