By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

You rocked your dream interview, asked all the right questions and made a personal connection with each person you met. As you walked out of the office the hiring manager shook your hand and said, “I am really looking forward to talking soon.”  

This job is going to be yours.  

Don’t get too complacent, you can still screw it up.

The follow-up is very important and plays a bigger part in the hiring process than you might realize. You have probably been told by many coaches and mentors to continue the follow-up and stay persistent to show your commitment and enthusiasm for the position.  

But the truth is, being overly proactive after a job submission and interview may actually be a bad thing. That stick-with-it attitude can rub people the wrong way and leave the HR contact you keep calling with a sour taste in their mouth.  

You want to come across as interested in the position, but not desperate.

Here is how to master the art of communication after the interview.

1. Send a thank-you note within 24 hours.

Following your interview, send thank-you notes to each person you interacted with. This can make or break your success since one in three hiring managers will think less of a candidate that doesn’t send a thank you.

Send your thank-you notes the same day that you have your interview. Ideally, you want to send it within a few hours after leaving.

If you had an interview with a panel of people be sure to send them each a note and personalize it to the conversation you had. If the receptionist or HR person shared their business card, send them a thank you note as well. It never hurts to show your compassion and gratitude to everyone you met. 

2. Check back in around the time the employer said you’d hear back.

Sending a follow-up thank-you note is easy, following up after a few days or weeks of silence can feel awkward. If they indicated a specific time period when you would expect to hear back abide by that timeline. If the time has come and passed in silence, now feel free to reach out, but do so the right way.

Unannounced follow-up calls are never a good idea and neither is emailing to constantly check-in. People who are highly persistent experience greater anxiety than a laid back person and this can start to show through to the person you keep calling.

Send a simple and cold email to the hiring manager and follow up on your application and interview to see if there is anything else you can do as the candidate. This is a non-threatening way to provide the hiring team the opportunity to remember you without being overbearing.

Keep in mind that the hiring manager and team likely has a lot on their plate and the process of hiring can take time. Just because you didn’t hear back yet doesn’t mean you didn’t get the job.

3. Stay in touch, regardless of the outcome.

Even if you end up not getting the job, it can be to your advantage to build a relationship and stay in touch.  

Instead of viewing this person or company as a failed job interview, treat them as a new colleague, networking connection or contact within the industry. You never know when they may have a position better suited for you or if you end up working alongside them for another company.  

Do your research and connect with their LinkedIn Profiles and follow their business pages. LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected, share articles and comment on content without being a nuisance or overbearing.

The reality is, the interview process is never over until you get the final feedback from the hiring manager.  

No one likes the obnoxious and needy candidate. Instead, be intentional and conscientious of your actions after you walk away from the interview. 

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.