Many job seekers have a hard time deciding the best way to follow up after an interview. Once your job interview is over, you’re ready for feedback. When you are anxious to hear about a job opportunity, it can be difficult to wait. Unfortunately, the interview process can take a lot longer than you’d expect.
The employer has to interview several suitable job candidates, which might take weeks or even months since this depends on the applicants’ availability and everyone who is required to be part of the interview. To keep your expectations in check, it’s best to ask the interviewer about their timeline for deciding on a job candidate before you leave the interview. This way, you’ll know the expectations of a hiring manager.
Are you wondering why you should send a thank-you note after your job interview?
Are you unsure of what more there is to say?
Are you wondering if you send the note by Snail-mail or Email?
How long should I wait before following up on a job interview?
After your job interview, the hiring manager should give you a timeline of when you can expect to hear from the company – “by the end of this week” or “we have interviews scheduled until the 30th.” The timeline given allows you a metric by which you can gauge the appropriate follow up response.
In some cases, however, the hiring manager might give you a vague response along the lines of, “It was a pleasure meeting you – we’ll be in touch soon,” or “I’ll get back to you after I had a chance to talk to the team.” If you get this type of generic, response try to get the person to give you a date or the number of days you can expect a response.
The Right Time to Follow Up After Job Interview
If you are given a timeline after the job interview, be sure to respect the timeline. Don’t follow up the next day after the interview if they told you the company is interviewing candidates for the next two weeks.
If you are given no timeline after your job interview, allow five business days before following up. Most likely, the company is interviewing multiple candidates for the job. Following up too quickly after the job interview might make you look desperate for the job.
The Power of a Thank You
A thank you note’s power is that it further highlights the skills and qualifications you bring to the organization relevant to their specific needs.
If you have decided you would enjoy tackling the challenges presented in the interview, you should send a brief note to thank the interviewer for their time and then highlight key areas of discussion that further solidify your expertise.
If you are not interested, that is ok too. You should still send a note thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know that you do not feel you are a good fit for the position. If you like the company culture, make mention of your enthusiasm for the company and that you would be open to discussing other positions within their organization.
Style and Content
Your note should have the same look (style) as your resume and cover letter. The tone should be business-like, and it should build on the conversation from the interview. It would be best if you opened with “thank you for your time,” mention the position for which you interviewed and then highlight skills you have that will help them meet their goals and objectives. The information you use in the note should help strengthen your candidacy.
Make sure that you include your phone number and email address in your thank you letter. The easier you make it for the hiring manager to get in touch with you, the better.
How to follow up after an interview?
You should follow up with the person who said they’d be in touch with you. That person could be the hiring manager, recruiting coordinator, or recruiter. Email is definitely the easiest way to follow up without appearing too pushy.
Consider the following as you follow up:
- Personalize the subject line. For example, “Thank you for your time, [insert hiring manager’s name].
- Address the person you are emailing by their name [Mr. or Ms. insert the last name of the hiring manager].
- Mention the interview date and job title of the role you’re following up about to refresh their memory.
- Confirm that you’re excited about the next steps in the hiring process.
- Ask for an update.
Following up by calling a hiring manager is generally a bad idea. Unless the hiring manager has specifically asked you to call to follow up, don’t do so. Keep your follow up 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 on [interview date] for the [job title] position. I am very excited about the opportunity to join [insert company name]. During the interview, you mentioned your team would be finalizing a hiring decision by [insert date]. Would you be able to provide me with an update, please? Please let me know if you need any additional information from me.
Thank you so much.
Snail-mail vs. Email
Either way, send your note within a few days of the interview (one week at the most). Any sooner and the note will seem like you don’t care what job you get as long as you snag one. Any later and the note may come across as if you were not really interested initially, but other options didn’t pan out.
Although sending a thank-you note will not ensure you get the job, it will help you further create a favorable impression, impact your chances of securing the job, and help set you apart from other candidates.
Keep in mind that almost no one sends a handwritten thank you note anymore. So, if you want to stand out, send a handwritten thank you card.
Can I follow up more than once after a job interview?
If you still haven’t heard back from a potential employer after your post-interview follow-up, you should send a “checking in” email, preferably to the hiring manager. You should only send this email if you haven’t heard back after two weeks since your follow up email or thank you card.
Keep it short and to the point. Indicate that you would like more information without sounding desperate:
- Include the job title you interviewed for in the subject line.
- Send this email to the hiring manager or recruiter. They are the most likely to be able to give you an update on the hiring status.
- Keep your email short. One paragraph is enough. Briefly explain that you are still interested in the job and looking for an update. Offer to provide additional information if needed. Sign off with a thank you in advance.
Subject line: Checking in RE: Python developer role
Dear [Ms. or Mr. last name],
I hope you’re well! I’m checking in regarding the Python developer role. It was nice to meet with the team [insert date], and I would really appreciate an update. If there’s anything else I can provide to assist in the decision-making process, please let me know.
[Your phone number]
Job Interview Follow Up Email Tips
If you don’t receive a response to your emails or handwritten thank you cards, follow up at least one more time. Even if you feel ignored, keep in mind that people are busy, and your follow-up email has likely slipped their minds. As long as you are professional and polite rather than aggressive, your follow-up emails are clear indications of your continued interest and goodwill.
Here are some additional after interview email follow-up tips you might consider when writing your own:
- If there’s something additional about your job skills you want to share, this email is the perfect place to mention it.
- Send your interview follow-up email within three to five business days.
- Include the name of the person who interviewed you in the subject line.
- If you are on a first-name basis, use the first name of the person. If you are not, keep it formal and include “Mr./Ms.” and their last name.
- A short email is best. You should be able to say everything you need to say in one paragraph.
- Close the email with your name and phone number.
Carefully proofread your email before sending it. As with every other written communication you send to potential employers, give your follow-up email a final edit before you hit the send button.
What Not to Do After a Job Interview
Don’t make any assumptions after your job interview. Just because you haven’t heard from the company, it doesn’t mean you didn’t get the job. Be patient, and give it time. The hiring process is notoriously slow. Even if the hiring manager tells you that they will make a decision in two weeks, you can easily double that.
Don’t stop your job search just because you were invited for a job interview. Keep your job search going. It is a lot more difficult to restart your job search than keep rolling with it. The only time to stop your job search is after you have received a written job offer you want to accept.
Don’t think that silence is bad news. Things could take longer than expected. Perhaps someone was out of the office, and the hiring process was put on hold.