How to Follow up on a Job Interview: You’ve been in the job search for a little while now. Throughout the job searching process, walked away from the interview feeling good, but now what? Maybe it’s been a few days or weeks since you haven’t heard anything. What’s the best way to follow up after a job interview?
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How to Follow up on a Job Interview
After a job interview, it’s only natural to want an update on the hiring process, particularly if you feel it went well. However, there are several potential pitfalls to avoid when sending a follow-up email after the interview. If you come across as pushy, sloppy, or too informal could damage your chances of landing the job.
Every organization and employer is different. You might be in communication with the recruiter throughout the interview process. Or you might have communicated with the hiring manager directly. Regardless, it’s important to identify whom you’d like to follow up with directly. Make sure you’re spelling their name correctly. Then, express your gratitude and appreciation. While the hiring process may look simple, it’s not as easy.
Depending on the company, it can take rounds of approvals and hoops to push a candidate through to the next step. Once you’ve thanked the person for their time, it’s time to reiterate your interest. Mention the job and company and why you’re excited about the opportunity. Make sure you also mention when you interviewed and the exact job title. If you’re communicating with a recruiter, they’re likely juggling multiple candidates and open positions.
It’s necessary to discipline when sending your follow-up email. Follow this guide for a simple, professional message that gives you the best chance of receiving a response.
1. Craft a Follow-Up Email Subject Line
Email subject lines are important because they determine whether your email gets opened, and how quickly. There is no need to spend hours deliberating over a snappy subject line. The most effective approach that is likely to get your message opened fast is to respond to the most recent email between you and the interviewer or HR manager. If this isn’t possible ( if you’ve always communicated via a recruiter rather than directly with the interviewer ) include your name, the date, and the time of the interview.
For example, let’s say that this was the earlier email subject line:
Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
You should “reply” in your email, then the subject line will look like this:
Re: Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
If you’re on first-name terms with the person you’re contacting – you may have exchanged multiple emails and spoken face to face by this point, then it is fine to open your follow-up email using their first name. If not, or if you’re unsure, stick with their title and surname (Mr. / Ms. Jones).
3. Body text
Keep your body text simple. Presumably, the main reason you’re emailing is for a progress update – the interviewer will know this before they’ve even opened your message. Be polite but direct:
Thank them for their time in the interview.
Explain that you’re following up on your interview – remember to be specific about the job, mentioning the job title and interview date.
Restate your interest in the position and say you’re keen to hear about the next steps.
Ask for a progress update, explaining that any information they can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Having made your point in the main body of your follow-up email, sign off by inviting your interviewer to ask any additional questions. Close with a simple “looking forward to hearing from you”, then a “thank you” followed by your full name.
5. Final checks
As obvious as it sounds, don’t forget to read over your follow-up email before sending it. Ensure it’s well-spaced, correctly punctuated, and free of typos. Running it through a spellchecker should help.
Alternatives to sending a follow-up email
Email may not be the best medium for following up if you haven’t communicated with the interviewer via email before. Depending on the job you’re applying for, some or all of these alternatives may be more appropriate:
An instant messaging platform (Google Hangouts, Skype, LinkedIn Messenger)
How Long Should You Wait After an Interview to Follow Up?
You should follow up five business days after your job interview if you haven’t heard feedback from the employer. Or, if the employer provided an expected date for feedback after the interview, follow up one business day after that date has passed.
What Else to Do While Waiting for Interview Feedback
Keep in mind that delays happen and the hiring process takes time. So the best thing for you to do while waiting for a status update is to apply for more jobs and try to get more interviews scheduled. You shouldn’t stop doing this until you’ve signed a job offer!
No matter how well you write your follow-up email, it isn’t going to get a company to move its process faster, bypass delays, skip over other candidates, etc.
This is why you should keep applying for jobs until you’ve signed a job offer. No exceptions. Because you never know if a company is interviewing ten other people, considering promoting an internal candidate, or any other things that could cost you the job even if your interview went well.
Five tips to make your interview follow-up stand out after a job interview
We know job seekers are looking for new opportunities everywhere. Chances are you aren’t the only candidate in the mix for a role. If you want to leave a good impression after your job interview, consider these five tips:
Connect with your interviewers on LinkedIn.
Double-check your email’s subject line — and make it stand out.
Consider a follow-up letter or thank you letter in the mail.
Personalize your follow-up note with things you learned in the interview.