Many people think that after they’ve attended an interview, their work is done. They can just kick up their feet and wait. However, that’s not necessarily true, especially as it is becoming an increasingly common practice to send a follow-up email after an interview to a hirer or recruiter.
There are several pertinent reasons to do this, and, depending on the impetus, you will want to employ slightly differing structures to the email you compose.
1. What Is the Importance of Sending a Follow-up Email?
Generally, there are two types of follow-up email. First, the follow-up after the interview to thank your potential employer for their time and to highlight your enthusiasm for the position. This is important not just because it shows you’re keen about the job, but also because you can use it to essentially bullet point once more why you are a great candidate, one who stands out from the pack.
The second type of communication comes into play if there’s been radio silence since your interview. At this point you’ll start to ask yourself how do you politely follow up? In this case, it’s important to balance demonstrating eagerness with making sure you aren’t pestering the company or recruitment agency. It will almost never be appropriate to send more than one follow-up email, though if you’re worried that your email may have been caught in a junk filter, you can always call a company to leave a brief message for the hiring manager.
2. When Should You Send a Follow-up Email After an Interview?
If you’re writing a follow-up email as both a courtesy and reminder of your skills, it’s a fairly small window you have to operate in: within one or two days. Any later and it may get caught between the polite thank you that you intended and a premature check-in email to ask if you got the job.
If you expected a response in a few days but haven’t heard anything, consider sending an interview follow-up email after a week or even a follow-up email after 2 weeks. Realistically, any earlier and it may come across as pushy and obnoxious. Bear in mind that there could be legitimate reasons you haven’t heard back: you don’t know how many candidates are being considered and how easy it’s been to schedule interviews, so any timeframe shorter than a week is, at best, optimistic.
3. What to Include in Your Follow-up Email After an Interview?
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of how you write a follow-up email, it’s helpful to clearly pinpoint the purpose of the content for yourself.
3.1 Promote your candidacy
Aside from expressing thanks for being considered, the principal aim of a follow-up email after an interview is to promote yourself as an ideal applicant by reiterating your skills and experience.
3.2 Include facts you forgot in your interviews
No matter how well prepared you are, you will probably forget or not have the opportunity to mention all the reasons you are right for a role. A follow-up email gives you a chance to further recommend yourself.
3.3 Include your contact information
Your email and phone number will probably be on record, but it helps to make things easier for the hiring person to contact you if you include your contact info at the end of the email as well.
4. How to Write a Follow-up Email
Now you’ve got the key facets in mind, it’s time to consider more exactly the contents of your follow-up email. Some points will be more generic, but others will require you to recall discussions from your interview and tie them together with arguments about your suitability.
4.1 Start by choosing the right subject line
Depending on the type of company and the personality of the interviewer you met, you may wish to go more or less formal with the subject line. One option is to simply add something like ‘Thank you for your time’ or ‘Pleasure meeting you.’
You might want to emphasize the position you were applying for or which candidate you are, e.g., ‘Thank you – [Insert Job Title]’ or ‘Pleasure to meet you – [Insert Your Name].
If you haven’t heard anything for a week or more, it’s OK to include a gentle nudge in the subject line, like ‘Following up regarding [Insert Job Title] position.’
Regardless, the subject line should be brief, clear and to the point.
4.2 Open your first paragraph with a thank you
Politeness costs nothing and a thank you is a nice way to lead into your follow-up email after an interview. It also shows your appreciation that the hiring person invited you to come in and took the time to sit down and speak with you regarding a role. As mentioned above, you don’t know how many candidates may have applied or have been invited for a meeting, and the hiring person will most likely value your acknowledgement of the energy that goes into sifting through job applications.
4.3 Talk about your interests, goals and experience
Hopefully, you talked about your interests, goals and experience a lot in the interview, but a follow-up email is the opportune moment to really distill what makes you the best possible applicant. Based on the conversation you had with the interviewer, you should have some kind of steer on which parts of your profile were of greatest interest, so make sure you spotlight those points.
Note that an initial follow-up email is not the time to go through an exhaustive list of your accomplishments. Make sure that you pick just a few main achievements or skills you feel will show you in the best light.
4.4 Set yourself apart from other candidates
Draw the letter to a close by succinctly pinpointing, in no more than one or two sentences, why you are the perfect person for the job. You might reference the similarity to a previous role, relevant personality traits or even your identification with the company culture.
4.5 End with a signature and your contact info
Conclude your follow-up email after an interview with your signature and contact information for the interviewer’s convenience. This could be innocuously included beneath your signature or highlighted in the last sentence. For example:
If you need to contact me in the meantime, my phone number is 07777-777-777 and my email address is email@example.com
5. Sample Follow-up Email After Interview
If you’re worried about what should I say when following up after an interview, here’s a sample follow-up email after interview to get you started:
Dear [Insert Interviewer Name],
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday to discuss the position of [Insert Job Title]. It was a pleasure to get to know you and learn more about this exciting opportunity.
As I mentioned in the interview, I have extensive experience of launching new brands and would love to be able to bring that proficiency to the [Insert Job Title] role. In particular, I think my knowledge of the local market and the key players would be invaluable to [Insert Company Name].
I may have neglected to note during our chat that at a previous company I often liaised with teams in other countries, so I am very familiar with the challenges and solutions surrounding collaboration across time zones, which you mentioned would be part of the role.
In short, I believe my unique experience at different high-profile companies working on brand launches makes me singularly suited for the [Insert Job Title] position.
If you have any further questions that we didn’t cover in the interview, please feel free to reach out. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
If you’re emailing after a phone interview or a conversation early on in the hiring process, you don’t need to go into as much detail, just broad strokes:
Dear [Insert Interviewer Name],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday to discuss the position of [Insert Job Title]. It was a pleasure to learn more about the company’s future plans and to hear further details of the role.
I believe that my experience within the industry and my background working in similar corporate environments previously would make me a great fit for [Insert Company Name]. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and I would relish the chance to help grow the business further.
If you have any further questions that we didn’t cover in the interview, you can reach me on 077777-777-777 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Shortest of all, the check-in email just needs to acknowledge your continued interest and act as a gentle nudge to the hiring person, without taking up too much of their time:
Dear [Insert Interviewer Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I just wanted to drop you a quick email to see how things are going with filling the [Insert Job Title] role. I’m still very interested in the position and look forward to discussing it with you again soon.
- How to write a follow-up email after an interview without any response?
When writing follow-up emails after an interview with no response, tone is very important. Unlike a thank you follow-up email, the content is fairly straightforward: you want to briefly check in with the progress of your application. However, you need to make sure your communication doesn’t sound irritable or impatient. Begin with a thank you, as described above, and then casually inquire whether there has been any decision regarding the position. Short and sweet.
- How to write a follow-up email after 2 weeks?
Unless the person who interviewed you specifically mentioned that it would take longer than 14 days before they reach a decision, it’s fair to say no one will fault you for being over-zealous if you decide to write a follow-up email after 2 weeks. Alternatively, you may have been told that, due to the volume of candidates being interviewed, you should assume you didn’t get the position if you don’t hear anything after a fortnight. If that is the case, it’s still worth writing a follow-up email after an interview to a hiring manager, either for networking or to ask for feedback. It won’t hurt your prospects; in fact, it may mean that they keep you in mind for a future position.