How to Follow-up After An Interview (With Samples)

As Seen In:
Wall Street Journal cNet Forbes MarketWatch TheJobNetwork

Every job search seems like a waiting game. You wait to find the right opportunities. You wait to hear back after you apply. You wait to find out how an interview went. It certainly takes a lot of patience.

However, there are cases when you can be more proactive and try to get news on progress. One, in particular, is after the interview. Before you make a move, though, you need to know how to approach it right. On one hand, you want to come across as excited and motivated about the opportunity. On the other, you don’t want to be overbearing or too aggressive.

The good news is that there are some best practices to follow when it comes to reaching out after an interview. For instance:

Write a thank-you note.

If you interviewed for a job and are waiting to hear back, invest your energy into writing a thank you note. Send one to each individual who interviewed you and make sure it’s personalized. Managers can compare notes after the interview and you don’t one each one to be the same. In it, re-iterate your interest in the job and also ask about next steps. Keep it simple and end with a “looking forward to hearing from you” close.

Here’s a thank you note sample:

Dear Mike:

I appreciate your time yesterday and enjoyed our conversation. It’s given me a chance to learn more about the opportunity and what the role entails. I think my background in sales and my current leadership position have allowed me to develop a set of skills that would be an ideal fit for your needs. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and discussing the ways we can work together to put ABC company on a path toward more success.

Best regards,

Sarah Smith

If you don’t hear back after you send a follow-up note, then don’t email or call them right away. Hiring managers are busy and often hiring for several positions. In addition, there are cases where you might be the second choice and the manager is waiting to hear back from their top pick. If that person turns them down, you’ll be next on their list and you don’t want any black marks due to constant follow-ups and phone calls.

Write a follow-up email.

If the hiring manager gave you a date by which they’ve made a decision and a week has passed, then it’s a good time to send a follow-up email. It should be a quick note, not a long letter, simply inquiring about the decision-making process.

You can reuse some of the content you wrote in your thank you letter, but simply tweak it a bit. Make sure you express you interest in the role and also ask if they require additional information to make their decision.

When you write your letter, you can also simply reply to the last email you’ve received from the hiring manager. That way, you’re responding to the conversation thread.

If you don’t have a recent email, then simply make sure the Subject Line contains something such as “Job Interview Follow Up.”

Here’s a follow-up letter sample:

Dear Mike:

I appreciate interviewing with you last week and am inquiring about any progress regarding the role of Sales Manager. You mentioned you’d be making a decision by September 15th and am wondering if there’s news to share about the position.

Of all the roles I’ve interviewed for, yours is certainly the most intriguing. I’m excited about the opportunity to create and launch a sales training program for your representatives. I have a few ideas I’d be happy to share if you’d like to talk next steps.

I’m available at your convenience. Let me know if there is any additional information you require about my background. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Sarah Smith

Write a feedback note.

Ok, so you didn’t get the offer. You just received an email that you’re out of the running. Take a moment to process your disappointment. If you thought you were a shoo-in and are confused as to why you’re being rejected, it might be worth writing a feedback letter to ask why the offer went to someone else. If there’s a weakness in your background or with your interviewing skills, it’s best to know now, before you continue with your job search.

Here’s a feedback letter sample:

Dear Mike:

I appreciate interviewing with you last week and was disappointed I didn’t get the role. I enjoyed learning more about the company and your needs and am impressed with your track record. I am just wondering if there is any feedback you can offer me in terms of reasons why I didn’t get the offer? I’d like to ensure my future interviews are as effective as possible and would appreciate any insight you can give me.

Best regards,

Sarah Smith

Do you need more help with interviews and follow-ups?

Turn to the team at ResumeSpice. We offer an interview prep service that can help you get ready for your next interview and ace it, so you get the offer. We also offer a range of other services to help in your job search, from post-interview thank you letters, and resume and LinkedIn profile writing to career coaching and more. If you’re ready to get started, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.