There’s a lot of anticipation surrounding your VA job application and interview, but as with all good career moves, there’s a time and a place for when to follow up on your application.
You may want to reach out, whether to find out what’s going on or in the hopes of speeding things along, and there’s a way to make the most of that communication.
The application stage
After you’ve applied, remember that the hiring team won’t look at your application until the job announcement closes to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly. In short, don’t expect to hear anything until after the closing date listed in the job announcement.
Depending on your qualifications, you can generally expect to hear from the hiring team about 15-30 days after the announcement closes. If you have not heard anything, you can contact the hiring office listed in the announcement to inquire about the status of your application.
- The Follow-Up: Keep your communication professional, even in the face of a rejection. Keep things positive by asking if there was anything more you could have done, or something that helped other candidates stand out. Any feedback you receive can help better your chances in the next application.
The interview phase
After the applications are processed, the highest qualified applicants will be referred to the hiring manager, who will do their own review and begin interviews.
As you move into the interview phase of the hiring process, most of the communication will be flowing in one direction—to you, rather than from you. However, a simple email after the interview is a great way to cap the process and frame your interview experience in a positive manner.
- The Follow-Up: Send a quick thank you note to the hiring manager in the days following your interview. Keep it short and professional. Include something you learned during the interview to show your interest, and close by thanking them for their time and saying you look forward to speaking with them again soon.
The hiring phase
While we are making investments in our workforce and practices to help speed up the onboarding process, it’s important to remember that the hiring timeline can be affected by any number of factors. The number of positions to be filled, hiring urgency and even the number of candidates can slow down or speed up the process.
Still, the wait can be stressful, and you may be tempted to write off your chances if you don’t hear anything. However, reaching out for more information can be just the thing to put your mind at ease and learn something valuable.
- The Follow-Up: If you haven’t heard anything in the weeks following your interview, send a brief email to check in with the hiring manager. Use this opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position and thank them again for their time. Stay positive, and leave the door open to any additional information or clarification.
Work at VA
Remember, when it comes to getting the job you want, patience is key, but good communication is one of the most important steps in getting the job you want and beginning a career serving Veterans.