Once your interview is over, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The most challenging part is over! Now, all you have to do is sit back, relax and wait for the response. The ball is entirely in their court… right? Not so fast. While it’s definitely true that the hardest part is over, there’s still work to be done to ensure that you stay on top of your interviewers’ minds. In this guide, we’ll share interview follow-up email and thank-you letter templates that will win over recruiters and hiring managers while benefiting your application.
Why Interview Follow-Up Emails Matter
Following up after an interview falls into the category of unwritten societal rules: although very few interviewers would ever explicitly tell you to do it, it’s often expected all the same. Sending a thank-you letter after an interview is simply considered common courtesy (more on that later). If you fail to do so, a recruiter might think that you’re cocky or ungrateful.
For another reason, recruiters are busy people. At any one given time, a recruiter may be coordinating with dozens of candidates to fill the open requisitions they’ve been assigned to. While recruiters are usually hired for their organisational skills and ability to maintain many different touchpoints at once, they’re still human, so things can slip through the cracks from time to time. If you don’t follow up to give them certain materials they need, or remind them that they said they would follow up with you at a certain time, you might just get left behind.
And finally, following up after an interview demonstrates that you’re passionate about the opportunity at hand. And as any recruiter can tell you, this is one of the biggest criteria they look for in job seekers. Proving that you’re invested in a job and company signal to a recruiter that you would be a high-quality hire who would likely stick around for the long haul.
Write a Thank-You Note
As mentioned before, thank-you notes are all but required in this day and age. Sending one shows your interviewers that you are appreciative, gracious and thoughtful — all great qualities to have in a potential employee. But don’t just send a generic note like “Thanks for interviewing me” — Glassdoor contributor Caroline Gray writes that each thank-you note should express three elements:
- Gratitude for your interviewer’s time
- Appreciation for gaining more information and insight into the position and company
- Enthusiasm for the role
Here’s an interview follow-up email template you can use that addresses all three of these points:
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me [today/yesterday]. I loved getting to hear about [interesting thing you learnt from this person], and was especially impressed by [quality or trait of the company or team that made you even more eager to work there]. Our conversation reinforced my excitement to join [company] and help you all [achievement you would support in this role]. I look forward to hopefully working together in the future.
Some additional points to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet: No need for a long, flowery letter — after all, your interviewers are busy, too. Just a few sentences will do, as long as you cover the three critical elements mentioned above.
- Maintain professionalism: Just as you would with any other professional communication, avoid excessive exclamation points, emojis, typos, etc.
- Go digital: While handwritten notes have some sentimental value, it’s often a bit too much for an interview. Besides, if you mail it out, your interviewer likely won’t receive it until days after they’ve spoken with you.
Address Next Steps
Usually, your interviewer(s) will give you clear next steps on what they need to proceed and when you will hear back. But if they fail to provide this information during the interview, and you didn’t remember to ask, it’s worth including a line to the end of your thank-you note that addresses this:
“Please let me know what next steps are needed from me, or what other information I can provide you during this process.”
Hopefully, the recipient will respond with the information you need, but if it’s been a while, you can (and should) follow up once more.
Give a Gentle Nudge
Every minute you go without hearing back from an employer can seem like an eternity when you’re waiting to hear how your interview went, but you should keep in mind that following up is a delicate balance. You want to be persistent enough that they don’t drop the ball, but not so persistent that you start to annoy them. So when is it okay to reach out again?
We generally recommend you follow up again in either of the following situations:
- It’s been 2+ days since they said they would contact you
- You haven’t heard from them in over a week
If this happens, you don’t need to panic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve forgotten you, or don’t want to move forward with you — it just means they might need a little reminder. Send a brief note that comes off as friendly and professional, not scolding. Try customising this interview follow-up email template:
Dear [contact name],
I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up about the [job title] role. I really enjoyed meeting you and the team last week, and I’m very interested in the opportunity. I’d love to know if there’s any further information I can provide during your hiring timeline.
Most of the time, even one follow-up will be enough to prompt your contact to follow up with you, but if you still don’t hear from them within a couple days, you might want to send one more note — something simple, like:
Just wanted to check in here — anything I can help out with? Let me know!
If you’ve taken the time to interview with an employer, nine times out of ten they will extend the courtesy of providing you with an update — even if it’s not the news you were hoping for. But if for some reason they don’t, try not to despair. If nothing else, each interview you go on helps you improve your skills for the next one that comes along. Remember: the perfect job for you is out there, and it’s only a matter of time until you come across it!