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What's the proper etiquette for contacting a hiring manager following an interview?

I am currently seeking a contract job in the SAP security area, and last week I had an interview. It was quite different from traditional interviews -- right after our introductions, the interviewer asked me to ask her a question. I asked her about the work environment and then about the job they were offering. The interview was quite interesting and I enjoyed talking to her. At the end of the interview, she gave me her contact number and told me to call her to clarify any doubts, etc. It seemed unusual that an interviewer was trying to have any contact with the candidate. Here's my question: What can I assume that she is expecting from me? Is she just trying to develop a professional relationship? Or is it a kind of test to judge me? I am expecting the interview result this coming week, and I'm hoping for the best.

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Great question! We don't get many interview questions, but they are always good to answer. This does sound like a slightly unusual interview practice. If you're interested in the position, I would indeed recommend calling this hiring manager back. I would keep the call back brief and very professional. Just let her know you are calling to reiterate your interest in the position. You might want to mention an area where you are looking forward to contributing your skills.

You could ask her if she has any more questions she needs from you, and if not, you could close by saying something like, "I look forward to hearing from you when you're ready to make an offer." That's kind of an aggressive thing to say but if you say it politely it may come off as someone who is confident in their skills. Or you could tone it down and just say, "I look forward to hearing from you when you make your decision." If she seems to be interested in talking with you on a social basis -- it wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened! – politely steer the conversation back to the job interview's next steps.

This was first published in December 2005

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