Career Advice, Interviews, Jobs

How To Follow Up After an Interview

The time after an interview can often feel as fuzzy as an old VCR on rewind. What am I supposed to do now? Know that you are not powerless in this process. Don’t be afraid to follow up and make your presence known. Professional and persistent is different than pesky. Here’s how to make sure your behavior displays the former.

Send a thank-you note post-interview

This is a must for any and all interviewees. Following your interview, send a thank you note to your interviewer. You should send your note within 24 hours of your interview, and the note should express three things:

  1. Gratitude for your interviewer’s time
  2. Appreciation for gaining more information and insight into the position and company
  3. Enthusiasm for the role

Keep things short and simple and go easy on the explanation points. If there were multiple people interviewing you, you just need to send one note to your main interviewer (but it’s wise to add a line about how it was great meeting the other members of the team).

Email vs. Hand-Written Note?

This depends. In some industries (ex: startups) email fits the bill. In others (ex: banks), a more formal handwritten note may be preferred. The benefit to sending an email is it’s quick send and receive time. If you’re in an interviewing process that is moving swiftly, think about mirroring that speed with an email. If you know the process is going to be lengthy, snail mail may be fine. You may also want to take into consideration your main point of contact during your interview process. Is the interviewer more formal and traditional? Then maybe they’d prefer a handwritten note. On the flip side, if your interviewer is less traditional, email may be the preferred route. Use your best judgement in your situation, and at the end of the day, just be sure a thank-you note lands in an inbox, whether it’s a virtual one or a real one.

[Related: How to Write a Winning Thank You Note?]

Next Steps

Did they or didn’t they tell me when I was going to hear back? Am I supposed to be the one to follow-up? When is it too soon / too late to follow up? It’s best to have a general idea of the next steps in the process before you leave the interview, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. If you’re absolutely unclear as to what comes next, add a final line in your post-interview thank you note saying something like:

“Please let me know what next-steps are needed from me, or what other information I can provide you during this process.”

If you don’t hear back about a specific timeline, and it’s’ been a week since you sent your follow-up note, you’ll want to follow up again. (Read on!)

[Related: What Have Other People Said About Interviewing at This Company?]

Radio Silence

Sometimes you just haven’t heard back. It’s annoying, but it’s a frequent situation. First off, don’t panic. It’s probably been a crazy-busy week at the office and hiring took the back seat. That being said, it’s a good idea to remind your point of contact that this job is still on your mind. This note should be sent by email, the tone should be friendly and professional, and the length should be brief. For example, you can say something like:

Dear Jennifer,

I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up about the marketing associate 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.

Thank you,
Caroline
Remember, before any interview, check out Glassdoor’s interview insights, with thousands of reviews from actual interviews at the worlds top companies!