So, you just finished an interview and you're wondering about the best way to follow up.
Anything to increase your chances of landing the job, right?
You don't want to come across as impatient.
You also don't want to miss a chance to make a good impression.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different kinds of follow up emails you might send after an interview.
Because not all interviews are created equal, there are differences in how you would follow up after each kind of interview.
We’ll also cover a few common questions, list the most important parts of a great follow up email, and provide examples that you can tailor to your particular situation.
As mentioned above, there are different messages you might send, depending on …
- What kind of interview you had
- At what stage of the hiring process the interview took place
- How much time has passed since the job interview
1. Thank You Follow up Email After the Initial Interview
Naturally, your first follow up after an interview should take the form of a thank you email.
This follow up email should accomplish a few main things:
- Strengthen the connection made during the initial interview
- Show your gratitude for the interview
- Express your continued interest in the position
Here are some quick tips for your thank you email after your initial interview. More details about writing this type of email can be found throughout this article.
(Read more about how to write an Interview Thank You Email.)
2. Follow up Email After Phone Interview
A phone interview is not much different from an in-person interview as far as the follow up afterward.
That said, there are two types of interviews that might take place over the phone.
The phone screening
You might get a phone call by a recruiter or hiring manager; this screening is to vet potential job candidates. A phone screening is usually under 30 minutes and covers a few basic questions.
If it was a phone screening that took place, you can send a brief thank you email (a single paragraph).
- Express your interest in the position.
- Follow up within several business days if you have not heard anything.
The phone interview
Sometimes a “real” interview will also take place over the phone.
This might occur if you have applied for a job in another state or a remote position.
In such a case, you would follow the same steps of sending an initial thank you follow up.
You would then make further contact depending on how and when the hiring manager gets in touch with you, just as you would with an in-person interview.
Here are some quick tips for your thank you email after your phone interview. More details about writing this type of email can be found throughout this article.
3. Follow up Email to Check In
Now, this can be a difficult email to compose.
How do you follow up if you hear nothing back from the company?
Fortunately, this message does not have to be detailed or long.
Here's what you want to accomplish with this brief email:
- Mention you are still interested in the position
- Indicate the time frame that was initially agreed upon to get a reply
- Express that you are hoping to hear back
Short and sweet, right?
Here are some quick tips for your follow up email to check in after you haven't received a response to your initial email. More details about writing this type of email can be found throughout this article.
(Here are some reasons Why the Hiring Manager Won’t Call Back.)
4. Follow up Email After the Second Interview
If you're following up after a second interview with a company, you’re probably in a good place.
If they invited you for a second interview, you likely talked about specific details of the position.
You got the chance to ask some questions and clarify possible points of concern.
Now you want to follow up with an email that adds a little more pizzazz.
By this point, you might think that the job is a shoo-in, but you still want to put forth the effort.
This follow up email should aim for these results:
- Reiterate specific skills you have, relevant to the position.
- Provide an impressive idea for a project or initiative (if applicable).
- Show the hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the job.
Here are some quick tips for your more in-depth follow up email after your second interview. More details about writing this type of email can be found throughout this article.
5. Follow up Email to Keep in Touch
Sometimes a job simply doesn’t work out.
Perhaps this is because you get hired on for another job (yay for you!).
It might also happen because they hire someone else (not so awesome).
You still want to send a final follow up to accomplish these two things:
- Build on a professional relationship with someone in the industry.
- If you’re still interested in the position, let them know you hope to stay in touch in case the company has any openings down the line.
Here are some quick tips for your follow up email to keep in touch when you know you won't be accepting a position at a company. More details about writing this type of email can be found throughout this article.
There are several questions job seekers tend to ask when figuring out the follow-up process after an interview and we’ll cover the most common ones here.
Does It Make a Difference Whether I Follow up or Not?
Yes, it does!
In fact, only five percent of job seekers follow up after an interview, as per a national study.
Another survey of HR managers revealed that fewer than one out of four job applicants sent a thank you after an interview. But, you might ask, do HR managers care about this?
They sure do. Four out of five hiring managers appreciate receiving a post-interview follow up.
You might be surprised to find that one out of every five hiring managers have dismissed a candidate’s job application because the candidate didn’t send an email afterward.
More than two out of three recruiters and hiring managers in a survey mentioned their decisions can depend on whether they hear back from a candidate after the interview.
These statistics are important because they show that you can differentiate yourself from other candidates with the simple act of following up.
Should I Send an Email or Make a Phone Call?
Compared to just over half of HR managers surveyed stating that a phone call is an acceptable form of follow up after an interview, 94% of them appreciate emails.
In other words, you can’t go wrong with an email.
Emails are beneficial for you as well for these reasons:
- You can carefully craft what you want to put in the email.
- You won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing.
- You have a record of your communication.
- You can clarify the points that came up during the interview.
- You have the opportunity to highlight relevant skills.
How Long Should I Wait Before Sending a Follow-Up Email?
Send that initial thank you email within 24 hours of the interview; don’t wait longer than 48 hours.
If you don’t hear back, wait at least three business days before sending a follow-up.
If you have a second interview, again, follow up within 24-48 hours.
Tip: Whether you’re having an interview over the phone or in person, ask about the next steps.
If you ask specific questions, you’ll know when to follow up:
- "When would be a good time for me to follow up?"
- "How soon do you plan on making a decision?"
- "May I get in touch with you next week (or this Friday) if I haven’t heard anything?"
What Is the Best Length for a Follow-Up Email?
This depends on what kind of follow up message you are sending.
The initial thank you email should be no more than a couple of paragraphs.
A follow-up email after a second interview can run a little longer – either three solid paragraphs or four shorter ones, at most.
A checking in email generally doesn’t need to be more than a single paragraph.
How Do I Keep From Coming Across as “Annoying” When Following Up?
This especially applies to the checking in follow up email.
You’re eager to hear back about a decision on the position, but you don’t want to come across as overeager, or worse, desperate. And here's how:
- Keep your note brief, and only add the details needed.
- Avoid using words like “really” or “super” or “very.”
- If you’ve already sent a follow-up, don’t send another one for three to five business days.
Here are seven essential parts of every great follow up message.
1. A Brief Subject Line
Four to seven words should be long enough to express what you need to.
Good subject lines would vary, depending on the type of follow up.
Thank you follow up email after the initial interview
“Thanks for your time and consideration”
“Enjoyed our conversation re. [position]”
Follow up email after phone interview
“Great speaking with you today [or “yesterday”]”
“Interest in [position title] with [company]
Follow up email after the second interview
“Enjoyed learning more about [company]”
“Eager to discover more about [position]”
Follow up email to check in
“Checking in about [position]”
“Update on [position]?”
Follow up email to keep in touch
“Would like to stay in touch”
“Have time for another chat?”
2. Make It Personal
Always add a personal greeting to your interview follow up email.
Make sure you spell the recipient’s name correctly.
You’ll generally want to begin the letter with “Dear [name of recipient]”.
However, if the company is more relaxed or you already have a professional relationship with the hiring manager, you might choose to write “Hi [name]”.
3. Add Appreciation/Gratitude
For the thank you follow up email after an in-person or phone interview, provide a simple opening statement:
“I appreciated the opportunity to interview with [company].”
Then, add a few relevant details:
“Thanks for taking the time to describe more about [position title].”
“It was fascinating to learn about the impressive list of operations [company] is involved in.”
“I was thrilled to find out about the growth [company] has recently undergone.”
If following up after a second interview, indicate this:
“I appreciated the chance to meet with you a second time.”
“Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedule to meet with me once more.”
For the checking in follow up email, you’ll still want to show appreciation:
“Thanks again for the interview [last Friday].”
For the keep in touch email, begin on a positive note:
“I had a great experience connecting with you and the others at [company].”
4. Express Interest in the Position
Yes, you want the job!
This is the bottom line of why you’re following up.
As mentioned earlier, many hiring managers expect candidates to follow up after an interview.
In an initial follow up after an in-person or phone interview, you should make your interest in the company clear:
“After learning more about the position, I’m eager for the opportunity to be a part of your team and help [produce accessible training modules/create cutting-edge methods for reaching more clients/garner new fundraising opportunities for vital projects/etc.].”
If following up after a second interview, take your interest a little further:
“After learning more details about [position], I’m even more enthusiastic about the opportunity to make an impact in the future of [company].”
In an email to check in, you can keep this brief, but reiterate your hope to be hired:
“You expressed that you were looking for someone with new ideas and a willingness to put in the hours. I’m still interested in the position and am eager for the chance to show you that I could meet your expectations and exceed them.”
If hoping to keep in touch, you wouldn’t express your interest in the position, but in maintaining professional contact with the individual:
“I enjoyed connecting with you. I learned quite a bit by observing the culture at [company]. I would love to keep in touch.”
5. Highlight Your Relevance
If you remember relevant details of the interview, use them here.
Highlight skills or experience you have that can make you the ideal candidate.
For the initial follow up after an in-person or phone interview, write something such as:
“I believe that my experience in [industry or product] will align perfectly with [company’s] goals.”
If following up after a second interview, add a bit more detail:
“I am confident that the years I have spent in [industry] would benefit the team. In fact, in thinking about the company’s desire to [specific goal], I had an idea of how to reach this more efficiently. Have you considered [brief description of the idea]? I would love to discuss this further with you.”
If you’re checking in, you should mention relevant skills or experience in hopes of receiving a callback:
“I hope for the opportunity to utilize my experience in [industry or skill] to help [company] reach its targets goals more efficiently.”
“I am especially interested in seeing [specific area] expand and have some ideas in doing so.”
For the keeping-in-touch email, you wouldn’t need to mention relevance to the position.
You would instead highlight your professional relevance as a reason to stay in touch:
“It has been great connecting with someone so experienced in [industry] and I hope we can chat sometime to share ideas or [other specific reason].”
6. Give an Invitation to Contact You
You want to invite the hiring manager or employer to contact you before sending your follow up email after a face-to-face or phone interview.
This closing also fits if you are checking in due to no response about the job position.
“Please let me know if I can give you any further information or if you have questions about any aspect of my experience and work history.”
“I look forward to hearing from you and would be happy to send you samples of former projects.”
“Please get in touch if I can provide anything moving forward.”
If you’re offering an invitation to stay in touch, you would change it up a bit:
“Let me know if you would like to connect over coffee to discuss recent changes in the industry.”
“I’d love to have a Skype meeting if you’re interested, to finish our conversation about [relevant, professional topic].”
7. Add a Professional Closing
I'm sure we don't need to tell you exactly how to close your letter.
As a professional with experience, you probably use a favorite closing for your work emails.
That said, if the closing is “Cheers,” choose something a bit more professional for this one.
A few generally accepted closings include:
- “Thank you again”
- “With regards”
- “In appreciation”
Putting it all together, here are examples of how each of these interview follow up emails might look.
Example “Thank You” Email After the Initial Interview
Subject Line: Enjoyed our conversation re. [position]
Dear Ms. Williams,
I appreciated the opportunity to interview with [company]. It was fascinating to learn about the impressive list of operations [company] is involved in.
After learning more about [position], I am interested in being a member of your team. I’m excited about the opportunity to help [specific goals or projects]. I believe that my experience in [industry or product] will align perfectly with [company’s] goals and trajectory.
Please let me know if I can give you any further information or if you have questions about any aspect of my experience and work history.
Follow up Email After Phone Interview
Subject Line: Great speaking with you today [or yesterday]
Dear Mr. Groves,
Thanks for taking the time to describe more about [position title]. I was thrilled to find out about the growth [company] has recently undergone.
I’m interested in the position and would love to be a team member at [company]. It would be the ideal fit for my experience and background in [industry].
I look forward to hearing from you and would be happy to send you samples of former projects.
Thank you again,
Follow up Email After the Second Interview
Subject Line: Enjoyed learning more about [company]
Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedule to meet with me once more. After learning more details about [position], I’m even more enthusiastic about the opportunity to make an impact in the future of [company].
I am confident that the years I have spent in [industry] would benefit the team. In fact, in thinking about the company’s desire to [specific goal], I had an idea of how to reach this more efficiently. Have you considered [brief description of the idea]? I would love to discuss this further with you.
Please get in touch if I can provide anything moving forward.
Follow up Email to Check In
Subject Line: Checking in about [position]
Dear Mrs. Lucas,
I’m following up regarding the open position with [company], as you mentioned you would be making a decision by [date]. You are looking for someone with new ideas and I am eager to utilize my experience in [industry or skill] to help [company] reach its targets goals more efficiently. I am especially interested in seeing [specific area] expand and have some ideas regarding this. Hoping to hear back soon.
Follow up Email to Keep in Touch
Subject Line: Would like to stay in touch
I had a great experience connecting with you and the others at [company]. I learned quite a bit by observing the culture at [company] and I would love to keep in touch.
It has been great connecting with someone so experienced in [industry] and I hope we can chat sometime to share ideas or [other specific reason]. I’d love to have a Skype meeting, if you’re interested, to finish our conversation about recent changes in the industry.
Let me know if you have time for another chat.
We covered quite a bit, didn’t we?
Here’s a brief recap of the main points as a refresher.
There are five main kinds of follow up emails you might write:
- The thank you follow up email after an initial interview
- The follow-up email after a phone interview
- The follow-up email to check in if you have not received a response
- The follow-up email after a second interview
- The follow-up email to keep in touch if the job didn’t work out
Following up after an interview does make a difference, and the best way to do so is via email.
Follow up within 24 hours for that first thank you follow up; wait for three to five business days for the next message if you don’t hear back.
If you have a second interview, again follow up within 24-48 hours.
Don’t make your email too long; this is not the place to wax poetic.
Say what you need to say, and then close.
You’ll want your follow up email to contain these seven important parts:
- A brief subject line
- A personal greeting
- An expression of appreciation/gratitude
- Your interest in the position
- Your relevance for the position
- An invitation to contact you
- A professional closing
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