International Job Interview Follow-Up Tips

Job interviews can be demanding, but arguably worse is waiting for a result. The natural tendency is to jump on the phone and see how you did. A week or two can feel like ages, and inevitably expectations go up and down over that period. It is a stressful experience. International jobs have their own version of this situation, and if it's the same problem, it has the added issues of distance and lack of accessible sources of information.

When not to follow up an international job interview

People climbing the walls should know that there are times when you should NOT follow up on an international job interview. As you might expect, the reasons for not following up are the sort of infuriating, perfectly logical reasons which can't even be argued with. International jobs really are more complicated than usual jobs. There are several extra issues which have to be addressed before the employer can make a formal decision.

These are the reasons for not following up:

The recommendation process: Recommendations for international jobs have to be based on both the interview outcome and the employer being able to legally employ the person being recommended. That means a range of possible issues which can blow out time frames considerably. This is because the employer is obliged to comply with immigration laws, work visas, etc. Recommendations can be knocked back by management at this stage, if candidates are ineligible for employment, or employment requirements are too difficult.

Management approval requirements: Some international jobs require a formal review of applicants. It's common that approval for hiring international staff must be given by a senior executive, or a board. Approval may have to go through a committee, which can add weeks to the process. This process may happen before the legal process, which inevitably takes more time. 

The accreditation obstacle course: Although confirmation of proper accreditation is supposed to be addressed prior to interviews, sometimes it isn't. In some cases errors aren't picked up until after interviews. It's a real problem, and a successful applicant may only be advised weeks afterwards of any issues. The applicant isn't notified until someone has officially defined what's required. 

Important note: Please be aware that all of these issues really must be addressed before you can be given the job. There's nothing to be gained by asking questions people can't answer. A follow up may get no meaningful information anyway, simply because the employer hasn't yet been able to make a decision. It's advisable to allow at least a month for the result.

When to follow up

After that month, you're within your rights to expect an answer, or at least someone to have an answer. We advise a written follow up. An email will do, and it will give you a written response. A phone call may be quicker, but verbal advice doesn't have the same standing as written, in terms of law. If an employer gives an undertaking to give you a job in writing, it's effectively a binding statement in employment law.