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You’ve been in the job search for a little while now.
Throughout the job searching process, you’ve walked away from the interview feeling good. You answered the questions well. You seemed to have good conversations with the interviewers and hiring manager. You asked good interview questions, too. You’re confident in your skills and capabilities.
But a week goes by without any news. So, what happened?
My little brother is in the job search right now. He called me one day with this exact dilemma. He thought an interview went really well and was really interested in the job. But he hadn’t heard from the recruiter or the hiring manager.
When I asked if he’d followed up after his interview, he paused. “How do I do that? Am I supposed to do something afterward?”
Many candidates may think their work is done after the interview. While that might be true for certain situations, it’s important to learn how to follow up after an interview.
In this article, you’ll learn when (and how) to follow up after an interview — and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
How to follow up after an interview via email
If you’ve just finished an interview, it’s time to send a follow-up email. Here’s how to follow up after an interview via email.
How to follow up after an interview via email
- Address the recipient by their first name
- Express thanks and gratitude for their time and effort
- Reiterate your interest in the job and company
- Mention when you interviewed, the job title, and the job details
- Ask directly about the status and next steps
- Offer additional information (if needed)
- Close the email with your thanks and gratitude
- Make sure you proofread your email (or have someone else do it)
- Stay positive (especially in your tone)
Every organization and employer is different. You might be in communication with the recruiter throughout the interview process. Or you might have communication 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 as it seems. 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 both 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, it’s likely they’re juggling multiple candidates and open positions.
Then, be direct. Ask about the status of the position you’ve interviewed for. Inquire about the next steps. You might offer additional information, like references, at this stage as well. Finally, close your email with another note of gratitude.
But before you hit send, pause. Has someone proofread this for you? Have you run the email through spellcheck or another grammar checker tool? What’s your overall tone? Are you still remaining positive? Or, if you’re coming off as frustrated, what edits can you make?
An example follow up email template
We’re including a draft email template for you to use below. Make sure you edit the template to fit your specific needs and situation.
Hi <interviewer’s name>,
I hope all is well! Thank you again for the opportunity to interview for <insert job title> with <insert company name>. It was wonderful to get to know you and your team.
I’m following up to see if there are any updates regarding <insert job title> from my interview on <insert date>. I’d like to reiterate my interest in the role and excitement for the opportunity. I’d be happy to provide references, at your request.
I’m excited to hear the next steps in this interview process. Thank you again for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon!
<insert your name>
When to follow up after an interview
It can be tricky to figure out when to follow up after your interview. First, it’s important to ask questions throughout the hiring process to get a sense of the timeline. These questions (and real-time answers) can help guide you through when to send that follow-up email.
For example, you might consider asking some of these questions during your interview process:
- What does your timeline look like to fill this role?
- When are you hoping to fill the position?
- What are the next steps after this interview?
If you still haven’t heard from the company in 7-10 days, it’s probably safe to send a follow-up email. Make sure you double-check your tone and consider the work the team is juggling right now on top of hiring duties.
One of my best friends is in the interview process with a company right now. The recruiter asked her directly, “Will you send me an email if you haven’t heard from me in 5 days?”
We know many companies are doing an incredible amount of hiring. And that means recruiters are really busy. You can consider asking the recruiter when it’s OK to follow up if you haven’t heard while you’re in communication with them.
But whatever you do, don’t pester. Sending multiple emails with no response can send the wrong message. You want to make sure that you’re interested but not annoying. A little patience can go a long way. Try to maintain a positive mindset and keep things in perspective.
3 ways to follow up after a job interview
There are nuances to following up after an interview. Every company handles the interview process differently. So throughout your job hunt, you can find yourself in different scenarios.
The initial thank you interview
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to send a thank-you email within 24-48 hours of first meeting the interviewer.
Every organization is different. Some companies may only have one interview. Others may have multiple rounds of interviews, like BetterUp.
Regardless, each interaction with a new interviewer should warrant a thank you email. Let’s say Maria just had a phone interview with a recruiter for a marketing position. She’s really interested in the role — and the next step would be to meet the team.
She learned in the phone interview that her qualifications match up with the role perfectly. She also learned more about the company culture and growth opportunities. Maria decides to send a thank you follow-up email after her phone interview, eager to hear the next step.
You’re waiting to hear if you’ve made it to the next round
You’re probably not going to like this answer. But if you’re waiting to hear if you’ve made it to the next round of interviews, you need to have some patience. This scenario can be frustrating.
But if there are a lot of candidates in the mix, it’s going to take some time.
First, think about your own experience. The emails and maybe phone calls to coordinate schedules. The prep calls with recruiters to go over the folks you’re meeting with. The schedule juggling to find the right times with the right people. The number of people you might have interviewed with up until this point.
Now, multiply that by the number of people interviewing for the job. And on the recruiter’s end, multiply that by the number of open positions they may be hiring for.
Let’s say David has completed his first interview with the recruiter and the hiring manager. The recruiter initially told him that there are three rounds of interviews. The third and final round is with the team’s VP. It’s only been two days since David completed his interview with the hiring manager.
He’s already sent a thank-you note after the interview, so he decides to wait patiently for news on the next round. He consults his coach who tells him to wait at least a week before following up again.
If you haven’t heard from them in 7-10 days, it’s OK to send a follow-up note. But try to practice some patience. Hang in there. You’ve got this.
You’re waiting for the final decision after a job interview
Theoretically, this shouldn’t take too long for companies to make a decision. If you’ve gone through all rounds of interviews, you know they like you. They’re interested but they’ve probably narrowed it down to a very short list of final candidates.
This is likely going to come down to scheduling with the last round of candidates. Let’s say there are three people, including you, who have made it to the final round. You could be the first candidate to have completed the final round of interviews. Two more candidates could be interviewing behind you.
Once all candidates have completed the final interviews, it shouldn’t take long for the company to make a decision. It’s OK to ask the recruiter how many candidates are interviewing in the final rounds of interviews. That can help give you a sense of the timeline.
Let’s say Arianna has completed all three interviews for a software engineer position. She moved quickly through the first and second rounds. But the third round with the team’s director took longer to set up. She asked the recruiter before her third and final interview how many candidates were in the mix. Arianna learned it was between her and one other candidate.
It’s only been a day since her final interview, which was also a working interview. Arianna decides to wait it out to see if she hears back soon. Sure enough, on day four, Arianna receives a call from the recruiter with a job offer.
If you haven’t heard anything in 7-10 days, follow up with an email. Hopefully, you’ll hear pretty soon after the interviews are complete — that’s usually a good sign! If you haven’t heard back yet after your follow-up email, keep your head up. There are plenty of opportunities out there. You’ll find the right one to help you reach your full potential.
5 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.
- Ask for feedback or career advice.
Land your next job offer
The job hunt can be grueling. From the job application to interview questions to the decision-making process, the job search is exhausting. Sometimes, the job search can be depressing. Practice self-compassion throughout the process.
But your dream new job could be just around the corner. Following up after a job interview can be intimidating. You might not know how to best check in with the interviewers. You might feel like you’re imposing on your interviewer’s time.
Regardless of where you are in your career, a coach can help. With BetterUp, you can seek career advice from a coach. And ultimately, you can find your perfect fit. Unlock your potential with virtual coaching.
Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.