You've landed the interview and you're wondering what to do next. Should you follow up after an interview?
The answer is yes! You should absolutely follow up--but it has to be done the right way. We'll show you exactly how to follow up after your interview effectively.
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What’s the best way to follow up or send a thank you email after an interview?
Similar to following up on a resume submission, you want to follow up on your interview in a way that shows interest and enthusiasm without coming off as desperate or annoying. It's more about keeping yourself on the mind of the hiring manager, not pestering them to choose you. Here are some tips.
1. Follow up quickly
Many job seekers ask how soon should you follow up after a job interview. You should send a short thank you note as soon as possible after your interview. You’re just thanking your interviewers for their time and summarizing a key point or two.
If you can get a sense of the selection timeline at the interview, it's best to coordinate your follow ups accordingly.
For example, ask your interviewers when they plan on making a decision or when they would like the new hire to start.
If they make it clear that there are still factors that may delay the selection process, its best to follow up accordingly. If they tell you they are making a selection in a few weeks, wait at least a week before following up again.
Without any further information, the first follow up should come 24 to 48 hours after your interview.
Example of a first follow up email
Your first follow up email after an interview should look something like this:
Email subject: "Thank you for your time--Max"
Hi [name of interviewer],
I want to thank you for our interview yesterday. I love the innovative way in which [company name] is redefining [industry] and I'm confident that my [specific experience] and [specific experience] experience is ideal for the [name of role] role. I'm looking forward to hearing back from you and would love to help take [company name] to the next level of success.
Remember, you don't want to be pushy. Just make it clear that you’re enthusiastic, remind the hiring manager of the skills that set you apart, and show that you’re interested in the company itself. If you read about them in the recent news, include your thoughts on that too!
You also don't want to use the common and outdated "thank you for your consideration" closing line. It's boring and looks like it's straight out of a template. Mix it up a bit and re-word it to be more original and effective. We wrote a great post here for some alternatives to "thank you for your consideration."
2. Follow up again
If you don't hear back, how long should you wait before sending another follow up?
This depends on the information you have available. If the interviewers made it clear that the selection process would be a couple weeks, wait a week and a half before sending another follow up.
If they make it clear that they will be making a selection in the next few days, send a second follow up in three to five days days.
Without any further information, it's best to assume that they will be making a decision sooner rather than later, and follow up accordingly.
Example of a second follow up email
Email subject: "Follow up on interview--Max"
Hi [name of interviewer],
My name is Max Scott and I interviewed for the xxxxxx position on 11/15. I just wanted to check in and see if a decision has be made. If there is anything more you need from me please let me know.
3. Follow up consistently
Your second follow up didn't get a response, now what?
If it’s been a few weeks and your follow ups aren't getting any response, don't give up. Until you get a negative response, you can send short follow ups every three weeks. These emails should be similar to your first follow up, reiterating what makes you special and why you’re interested in the company.
4. Keep in touch
It’s been six to eight weeks and you haven't gotten a response to any of your follow ups; should you continue to reach out?
At this point, it’s likely that the company already made a selection or have decided to push off the hiring process.
If you’re still interested in the company, you can send an occasional email to your contacts at the company. These emails should not regard a previous interview or job search. Rather, send casual emails that contain either a congratulatory message, news article regarding the company, or other related issues.
This won’t come off as pushy, but it will keep your name in the mind of the hiring manager should another position become available.
Follow up timeline (infographic)
Here are 5 quick tips to keep in mind when following up:
Keep your email short and to the point. Writing long emails will annoy the hiring manager and even seem desperate.
Do not keep emailing the employer if you don't get a response. There is a reason they're not answering you and it will annoy them.
Only contact employers through a professional email address. If the email is coming from an email like "MaxBaby11@gmail.com"--they won't take you seriously. Your email should be a combination of your name and avoid using too many numbers.
Do not stop job hunting when you're waiting for a response. Many job seekers stop applying for positions and put all hope into landing the job they interviewed for. Keep on applying to as many positions as you're qualified for.
Only contact the hiring manager via their email address. Don't message them on LinkedIn or any social media. This will be a major turn off and make you seem desperate.
Dealing with rejection
It's normal to be a bit disappointed when they go with another candidate. Don't be too hard on yourself, and continue on your job search. Remember that most job seekers go on a few interviews before they land the job. The other candidate could've been more qualified, experienced, or even referred by someone within the company.
Follow ups are one of the most difficult parts of a job search because there's no "right way" to do it. If you're organized, keep track of your follow up schedule, and carefully navigate the line between excited and desperate, you'll be on your way to that dream job in no time!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.