Job interviewing is a process that consists of much more than submitting an application, doing an interview and getting hired or not. Another aspect of the process that should be gone about strategically is the follow-up process. It is natural to want to contact an interviewer or recruiter after an interview to know whether the position has been secured or if it is time to look elsewhere. However, it is important to avoid being too pushy, too casual or too informal when conducting a follow-up. Here is some general guidance on how to follow up after an interview.
Send A Thank-You Email
Before a follow-up email is of any concern, consider sending a thank you email after the initial interview. A thoughtful gesture is to send a personalized thank-you email to each person you interviewed within 24 hours of the interview. Express gratitude for their time, reiterate your interest in the position and highlight a specific aspect of the interview or conversation that resonated with you. This immediate follow-up shows appreciation and keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind.
However, make sure to keep the email brief as the interviewer(s) may have other candidates or other work ahead of them. Also, do not use this specific email to add more information but simply just say thank you.
Art Markman for Harvard Business Review wrote, “The thank-you note isn’t an opportunity to add more content to your interview. It’s just a chance to demonstrate your excitement and appreciation.”
Sample Thank You Email:
Subject: Thank You – [Job Title] Interview
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
I wanted to extend my gratitude for the opportunity to discuss the [Job Title] position with you today. I genuinely enjoyed our conversation, especially delving into [specific topic or project discussed]. It reinforced my enthusiasm for the potential to contribute to [Company Name].
I remain genuinely excited about the possibility of joining [Company Name], leveraging my experience in [mention specific skills or experiences related to the role]. If there are any additional details or questions I can provide to assist in the decision-making process, please feel free to reach out.
Thank you once again for your time and consideration.
When To Send A Follow-Up Email After An Interview
If the interviewer provided a specific timeline for their decision-making process (e.g., “We’ll get back to you within a week”), wait until that period has passed before sending a follow-up. If no timeline was provided, waiting 5-7 business days after your initial thank-you email is a good guideline. Markman advised inquiring with the interviewer when you can expect to hear back from them in order to more accurately determine when to send a follow-up.
Exceptions to the general follow-up time frame could be other job offers pending or deadlines approaching. It’s reasonable to follow up sooner in these instances. Just make sure the reason is specified.
Remember, while follow-ups are important, avoid being overly persistent. One or two follow-up emails or calls spaced apart are usually sufficient. Too many inquiries may appear pushy and could negatively impact your candidacy. If after a few attempts to reach out to an interviewer there is still no response, it is better to move on to the next position.
Speaking of phone calls, many may be hesitant to call an interviewer or recruiter as a method of follow-up, but it is an acceptable measure unless stated otherwise. Cara Smith for NerdWallet shared the expertise of career coach, Ayanna E. Jackson who explained that it is not too pushy to call a recruiter if they include their number in the email signature or give it out some other way. Try sending a follow-up email first within the recommended time frame, and maybe try giving them a call after three or four days if there is still no response.
How To Follow Up After An Interview
A week or more after an interview with no response is when it is time for a follow-up. Mention in the follow-up your excitement about the opportunity and confidence in your ability to contribute to the company. Also, include the name of the specific role you applied to when referring to it.
If there were any questions or points you didn’t fully cover during the interview or wish to elaborate on, use the follow-up to address these. This shows your attentiveness and thoroughness. However, remember to keep your follow-up brief and to the point. Avoid rehashing the entire interview. Instead, focus on key highlights and express your appreciation once again.
Maintain a polite and professional tone in the follow-up email no matter the tone of the interview. There is no need to overthink the message, just remain appropriate and understanding.
How To Follow Up After An Interview Example Email:
Subject: Follow-Up on [Job Title] Interview
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to follow up regarding the [Job Title] position we discussed during our interview last week.
I remain enthusiastic about the opportunity to join [Company Name] and contribute my [specific skills or experiences discussed] to your team. Our conversation strengthened my belief that the role aligns perfectly with my professional goals and expertise.
I understand these decisions take time, and I appreciate your team’s dedication to selecting the best candidate. Could you provide an update on the status of the hiring process or any additional information you may need from me?
I’m eager about the possibility of joining [Company Name], and I’m looking forward to any updates you can share.
Thank you once again for considering my application.
[Your Contact Information]
This general template should effectively get the job of following up after an interview is done after it is customized to the specific job or person associated with it. The goal, again, is to politely inquire about the status of your application while reaffirming your interest in the position. Wait a few more days to send a similar email or call an interviewer or recruiter if there is no response in case they reply to the follow-up with a decision date but still do not provide a decision.