Jobseekers often have a hard time deciding the best way to follow up after an interview. Once it's over, you’re instantly waiting for feedback. When you are eager to hear about a new opportunity, it can be frustrating to wait, but sometimes the interview process takes a lot longer than you’d like.
The employer has to interview all the suitable candidates, which might take a few weeks since this depends on the availability of both the applicants and everyone who will interview them. To keep your expectations in check, it’s always a good idea to ask the interviewer about their timeline for deciding on a candidate before you leave the interview room. This way you’ll know when it’s appropriate to follow up after an interview.
When to follow up after an interview
Your first step should be to send a thank you note to the interviewers (or the person scheduling your interviews) within two days of the interview. Only one in 20 candidates send a thank-you note after an interview, so taking the time to write one is a great opportunity to leave a positive impression on the interviewers.
I suggest sending it by email and keeping it brief — thank everyone who interviewed you for their time, re-emphasize your interest in the role, and express excitement about the next step in the recruitment process. You can also reference specific conversations that may have come up in the interview and use your thank you letter to highlight the ways your skills and experience are a good match for the position. Finally, if there’s something you forgot to mention during the interview, this is a great opportunity to bring it up.
If the company hasn’t told you anything about the next step, it’s best to wait at least a week before you follow up after an interview. If you are overeager, you risk annoying the recruiter or the hiring manager. However, if you’ve sent your thank-you note and the decision date the hiring manager indicated has come and gone, it’s time to follow up.
How to follow up after an interview
Start by following up with the person who said they’d be in touch with you. That could be the recruiter, recruiting coordinator, or the hiring manager. Email is definitely the best way to follow up without appearing pushy.
Here are a few pointers:
- Address the person you are emailing by their first name
- Mention the job title of the role you’re following up about and the date you interviewed to refresh their memory
- Confirm that you’re still interested in the position and that you are eager to hear about next steps
- Finally, ask for an update
I personally wouldn’t advise jobseekers to follow up by text or by calling a hiring manager, unless the hiring manager has specifically said it’d be OK to do so. Keep your inquiry short and concise. Here is an example of a follow-up email:
Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I hope you’re having a great week. I interviewed for the [job title] position on [interview date], and you mentioned your team would be finalizing a hiring decision this week. Would you be able to provide me with an update, please? If you need any additional information from me, please let me know!
Thank you so much.
How to follow up a second time after an interview
Most likely, you’ll get an email back saying they are still working on the decision or that they are still interviewing. Of course, you might not get a response. In either case, at least you’ve reminded them you’re still interested. This is critical because companies always want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their business.
If they respond but don’t have a decision yet, I’d recommend responding with a message that will allow you to follow up after an interview again if necessary. Here is a sample email you could send them:
Thank you very much for the update. Do you have an idea of when a final decision would be made, or when you’d like for me to check back in? I’m excited about this role, but I know the interview process can take some time, and I certainly don’t want to pester you.
If the company doesn’t respond to your initial follow-up email, I’d send a second email to the same person after another week or two has passed. Do this by replying to your original follow-up email so that your entire correspondence is included in this second email.
Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Just wanted to follow up on my previous email (below). Do you have any updates to share regarding the [job title] position? Please let me know whenever you have time if I am still in the running for the role.
Don’t follow up for at least a few days after this. If you get nothing else for another three to four days, you might want to try emailing someone else in the company. If you’ve been emailing an HR person, try contacting the hiring manager or vice versa.
Regardless of how you decide to follow up after an interview, I wouldn’t advise following up more than twice. Yes, you deserve feedback after your interview, but some companies are really bad at providing it, and if you’ve not heard back after a few weeks, it is likely the position has been filled. You want to remain proactive and professional and not appear pushy or desperate.
Finally, keep job hunting until you have signed the contract. Don’t stop applying and interviewing while waiting for the decision, as anything can happen.