You've landed the interview and you're wondering what to do next. Should you send a follow up email after an interview?
The answer is yes! You should absolutely follow up, but it must be done the right way. We'll show you exactly how to effectively send a follow up email after your interview.
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What’s the best way to follow up or send a thank you email after an interview?
Just as you follow up on a resume submission, you also need 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 in the mind of the hiring manager, not pestering them to choose you.
Here are some tips that can help you achieve that goal.
1. Follow up quickly
Many job seekers ask how soon they should 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 to make their 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, it's best to follow up accordingly. If they tell you they are selecting a candidate 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. 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 latest news, then include your thoughts on that too!
You also don't want to use the common and outdated closing line: "Thank you for your consideration". It's boring and looks like it's straight out of a template. Mix it up a bit and reword it to be more original and effective. We wrote a great post here for some alternatives to "thank you for your consideration."
Another terrific way to follow up on a successful interview is to focus on maintaining any momentum you generated during that meeting. A positive and confident follow-up message can often reinforce any strong connection that you established with the hiring personnel in the interview. For example:
Email subject: "Thanks for meeting with me--Max"
Hi [name of interviewer],
I want to offer my appreciation for the opportunity to meet with you about the [job title] role at [company name]. I am excited to have the chance to add my talents to your already strong team and discover how my experience and skills can help us achieve the company’s mission. I look forward to hearing from you soon. In the meantime, please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information to assist you in finalizing your decision.
If you felt that there were things you left unsaid during an otherwise excellent interview, you could use your follow-up email as an opportunity to inject those ideas into the discussion. Alternatively, you could drop a few lines into your follow-up to emphasize some points that stood out during your interview. For example:
Email subject: "Thanks for the great interview--Max"
Email subject: "Thanks for the great interview--Max"
Hi [name of interviewer],
I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me yesterday, to discuss and learn more about the [job title] role at [company name]. The company clearly has the dynamic and team-oriented work environment I am seeking, and I am confident that I can add the value you are looking for as you fill this position.
Since our interview, I have thought a lot about our brief discussion regarding the company’s expansion plans and your need for talent that can meet those challenges. That discussion motivated me to think more about my own experiences overcoming expansion obstacles in my previous role at [previous employer name], and how prioritizing sound strategies and process development helped us manage and adapt to rapid growth and ever-changing circumstances.
It also reminded me of how my own focus on enhancing client relationships built on credibility and trust helped to smooth many of those roadblocks and ease those growing pains. I am excited to see how well my experiences and skills can be brought to bear in helping [company name] with its growth and expansion efforts. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need additional information or would like to continue our interview dialogue in more detail.
All my best regards,
2. Follow up again
If you don't hear back, how long should you wait before sending another follow up email after the interview? This depends on the information you have available. If the interviewers made it clear that the selection process would be a couple of weeks, wait a week and a half before sending another follow-up.
If they make it clear that they will be making their choice within the next few days, send a second follow-up in three to five days.
Without any further information, it's best to assume that they will be deciding sooner rather than later and follow up accordingly.
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 been made. If there is anything more you need from me please let me know.
You could also add a little more flavor and an upbeat attitude in your follow-up, especially if you felt like the interview went well and are afraid that your candidacy somehow got lost in the hiring process. For example:
Email subject: "Following up on the [job title] position--Max"
Hi [name of interviewer],
I hope that you are doing well. I am just following up on the [job title] position that we discussed in our recent interview. I enjoyed meeting with the entire team and have been looking forward to hearing back from you about the role. If there is additional information that you need from me to help you with your decision-making process, please feel free to reach out to me at your convenience.
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 a short follow email after an interview every three weeks or so. These emails should be like your first follow-up, reiterating what makes you special and why you’re interested in the company.
It is important to not be self-conscious about appearing overeager or feeling like your regular follow-ups might be getting annoying. Some companies can take many weeks to go through hundreds of resumes and dozens of interviews. That can take a lot of time, and sometimes hiring teams prioritize completing a heavy schedule of interviews over providing regular updates to the candidates they have already seen. The delay may simply mean that they are not done with the interview process yet.
4. Stay 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 its selection or has 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 be about 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.
These regular check-ins can also be a fantastic way to develop a business relationship with the hiring manager, bolster your network, or even gain a new mentor. If you made a good impression during your interview and subsequent interactions, you may even find that the hiring manager who rejects you for one job eventually recommends you for a role at another company.
This type of follow-up email could look like this:
Subject line: Just touching base
Dear [contact name],
I hope this message finds you well. I am just reaching out to let you know how much I appreciated having the opportunity to meet with you and the rest of the [company name] hiring team. As a group, you have clearly built something special that any job candidate would be proud to be a part of. I was also thoroughly impressed with the information you provided about your own experience in the company and industry.
With that in mind, I would love to hear more about how you have developed your skills and built such an impressive career in this industry. I am certain that your knowledge and experience can provide me with invaluable insight that can help me fulfill my aspirations in this industry. If you have twenty or thirty minutes of free time in your calendar over the next few weeks, I would love to schedule a call or talk more over coffee or lunch.
Follow up email after an interview: Template
To help simplify your effort to write a follow up email, let’s look at a template that can help you craft your own message. Before we do that, though, it’s important to get the fundamentals right. Your follow up email should include:
A subject line that says something to the effect of, “Following up on our recent meeting.”
An introduction that typically includes the title (Mr. or Ms.) and last name of the recipient.
The body of the message, in which you thank them for their time and explain why you’re emailing them. It’s a good idea to refresh their memory by noting the day the interview took place and which position you were interested in obtaining. Close by requesting an update on their decision-making process.
Some form of close that thanks them again while letting them know that you’ll be looking forward to a reply.
Follow up email template
Subject: [Your Name] – Re: My [date] interview for the [job title] position
Hi [Mr./Ms.], [Last Name of recipient],
Thank you for taking the time to interview me on [day or date of interview]. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to learn more about the [job title] role and discuss my qualifications for the position. I’m confident that I can be an invaluable asset in that position and am eager to be a part of the team.
I’m writing to see if you have any updates on where the company is in the hiring process and would greatly appreciate any insight you can provide. Please let me know if there is any additional information that I can provide as you continue the decision-making process.
Thanks again for the opportunity. I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
Things you should never say in a follow-up email
You should also recognize some common things that you should never say in a follow-up email after an interview. While it is only natural to take your own job search very personally – it is your career on the line, you need to keep your emotions in check and remember that the hiring decision itself is not personal.
Below is an example of a not-ready-for-primetime follow up email after an interview. Take note of the job seeker’s general attitude, the complete focus on his needs, and his demanding approach to the entire situation:
Example of a follow-up email you shouldn’t send:
Subject line: Ten days and I still have no decision—Max
Dear [contact person],
It has been ten business days since my interview, and I have yet to hear a decision from your company. I think that it was pretty clear that I aced the meeting and demonstrated that I am far and away the best candidate for that manager’s position. With that said, can you at least provide me some explanation as to why no one has done me the courtesy of at least reaching out to me to let me know where I stand in the process? I have several equally good companies that are interested in my services and cannot wait forever for you to get around to updating me, so please respond promptly.
What did Max do wrong in this follow-up email? In a word: everything.
Always avoid these types of statements or questions in all your follow-up emails:
Do not send out a generic follow-up email simply thanking the hiring team for meeting with you. Always elaborate with some specific highlights from the interview, language reminding them of the qualities that drew their interest, and similar positives.
Never aggressively remind them that you haven’t heard back from them yet. For example, do not say “It has been a week and I still haven’t received a response. When are you making your decision?” Instead, use language from one of our examples above, focusing on a positive reminder of the interview experience and your enthusiasm about joining their team.
Do not use language that in any way sounds threatening. That includes threats of legal action, accusations that you may be experiencing discrimination, and similar negative assertions. If you truly feel that you are being discriminated against for any reason, consider consulting with an attorney – but do not act out in an email to the employer.
Never get too personal with the recipient, even if you feel like a strong connection was made during the interview. Avoid comments about their appearance, clothing, and demeanor. Keep things as professional as possible and remember that you are looking for a job – not a new friend or love interest!
Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when following up:
Keep your email short and to the point. Drafting long emails will annoy the hiring manager and may 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. Instead, just continue with your job search. Remember that most job seekers go to 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.
Make the most of your follow up email after an interview
Sending a follow up email after an interview can be one of the most difficult parts of a job search because there's no "right way" to do it. However, 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!
Ken Chase, Freelance Writer
During Ken's two decades as a freelance writer, he has covered everything from banking and fintech to business management and the entertainment industry. His true passion, however, has always been focused on helping others achieve their career goals with timely job search and interview advice or the occasional resume consultation. When he's not working, Ken can usually be found adventuring with family and friends or playing fetch with his demanding German Shepherd. Read more resume advice from Ken on ZipJob’s blog.