27 April, 2021
By Mike Simpson
Nothing feels quite as good as leaving a job interview knowing that you rocked it. But after you write an amazing thank you email, what comes next? If you don’t get an offer soon, do you need to send a follow-up email after your interview, too? Or is that too much?
In the end, the world of job interview follow-up is, in a word, tricky. If you reach out too often or in the wrong way, you can actually destroy your chances of getting the position, even if you rocked the interview. But not following up at all isn’t always the best move either, making the whole situation really complex.
Luckily, you’re here, and we’re going to help. Come with us as we take a deep dive into the world of follow-up emails.
What Is a Follow-Up Email?
Okay, before we take a deep dive into creating an interview follow-up email, let’s take a breath and talk about what one is in the first place. In the simplest sense, a follow-up email is a short message where you touch base with the hiring manager.
Exactly how you touch base can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the contact. For example, you’ll use a different approach for a follow-up email after no response than you might in other situations.
Here, we’re going to focus on a basic job interview follow-up email, as you can adapt it to a range of scenarios. Plus, just because the hiring manager reached out after your interview doesn’t mean you won’t need to follow up, so it’s good to know how to do it even if it isn’t an issue of no response.
But why would you need to follow up after a job interview? Won’t the hiring manager end up making whatever decision they feel is right eventually?
Well, it is true that the hiring manager will make a choice at some point. The thing is, if they haven’t made it yet, your follow-up email can make a difference.
In the end, 74 percent of employers admit they’ve made a bad hire at some point. Why does that matter? Because bad hires are expensive, and a single experience with one could make a hiring manager a bit gun-shy when they need to choose a candidate.
Consider this: a single bad hire costs about 30 percent of the new hire’s first-year salary. That means one mistake cost tens of thousands of dollars. Ouch, right?
So, if you were responsible for a hiring mistake that came with a price tag like that, do you think you’d rush to choose a candidate the next time you need to fill a position? Probably not.
And that’s just one reason why a hiring manager may not make a decision right away. Maybe their hiring budget got changed after your interview, or they got overwhelmed with a high-priority project. Perhaps they had a personal emergency that took them away from the office.
The thing is, those delays can actually be opportunities. By creating an outstanding follow-up email, you can make yourself a stronger candidate. Pretty cool, right? We think so.
Details of a Follow-Up Email
Before we take a look at how to write the message or a follow-up email example, let’s go over the basic format. That way, you’ll have a handy follow-up email template of sorts available.
With a follow-up email, you’ll usually have a:
- Subject Line
- Personal Greeting
- Request for an Update
- Reaffirmation of Continued Interest
- Sharing More Details
- Thank You
- Professional Sign-Off
While that might seem like a ton of stuff on the surface, it really isn’t. In many cases, your final email will be just a few paragraphs long, as a decent number of those points only need a few words or one sentence to cover.
Follow-Up Email Etiquette
Alright, here’s another crucial part of the equation: follow-up email etiquette. For this, one of the most critical things to understand is that you need to time the sending of your message.
While your thank you email should go out within 24 hours, you need to wait longer before you send out an interview follow-up email, typically at least one week.
Now, it’s important to remember that a follow-up and a reply are two different things. If the hiring manager reaches out to you via email and you respond, that isn’t a follow-up in a traditional sense. Instead, you’re engaging in a dialog, so you want to reply as soon as possible after receiving the message, and you don’t necessarily have to use a follow-up email format.
Instead, a follow-up email should happen about one week after the dialog has died. In some cases, this is one week after the interview. In others, it’s one week after you last received an email or phone call from the hiring manager.
The only exception to the one-week timing is if the hiring manager gave you a date when a decision would be made. With that, you don’t want to reach out until at least one business day after that day passes. Anything earlier than that makes you seem impatient.
Otherwise, you need to make sure your tone is appropriate. You don’t want to be demanding or pushy. Remember, while you’d like an update, the hiring manager doesn’t technically “owe” you anything, so it’s best not to act like they do.
It’s also critical to keep things brief. While you can certainly highlight a bit more of what you bring to the table, now isn’t the time to write a dissertation about your awesomeness.
In the end, be polite, be professional, be brief, and be reasonable. If you do all of that and nail the timing, you’re good to go.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email
While we’ve already touched on the basics of what goes into a follow-up email, a little bit of detail never hurt. Here’s a step-by-step how-to guide for writing a follow-up email after an interview.
Step-by-Step Guide for How to Write a Follow-Up Email After an Interview
1. Subject Line
Yes, when you’re writing any email, your subject line matters. It lets the hiring manager know what the message is about, so it’s wise to keep things short, sweet, and ridiculously straightforward.
Now, it’s important to note that you have two options for your subject line. One option is to create a brand new one. Usually, something like “Following Up on [Job Title] Interview” will do the trick. It’s incredibly clear, so the hiring manager won’t have any doubts about the intention behind your email.
Second, you can reply directly to the last message you received from the hiring manager (or your last reply if you didn’t get a response). That keeps everything in the same chain.
2. Personal Greeting
While you might think that jumping straight into the body of your email is fine, it’s always better to start with a greeting. Now, this doesn’t mean you actually need to say, “Hello.” Instead, just make sure to have the hiring manager’s name on its own line at the top.
3. Request for an Update
One of the big keys to writing an effective follow-up email after an interview is getting to the point. Let the hiring manager know right away that you’d like an update about the position, adding a few crucial details – like the job title, department, and date of your interview – to make it clear which role you’re discussing.
4. Reaffirmation of Continued Interest
Whenever you follow up, it’s always a good idea to blatantly express your ongoing interest in the job. It reassures the hiring manager that you’re excited about the position and you’d welcome an offer, which does give them some peace of mind.
5. Sharing More Details
After that, you can highlight something about what you offer that makes you a great fit. Ideally, you want to tap on something that you may not have been able to fit in during the interview, giving them something new to consider.
Then, follow that up with an offer to provide more information if they need it.
6. Thank You
Every single time you speak with the hiring manager, showcasing your appreciation should be a goal. It makes you seem gracious about the opportunity, and that helps keep the tone positive.
7. Professional Sign-Off
When you sign off, choose a classic like “Best Regards,” “Sincerely,” or “Thank You.” Then, add your name and contact details. Done.
Follow-Up Email Mistakes to Avoid
As with most parts of the hiring process, missteps can seriously hurt your chances of landing a position, including mistakes in your follow-up email for a job. So, how do we avoid them? By knowing what they are and what to do instead.
With follow-up emails, one of the biggest faux pas is coming across as pushy, desperate, or demanding. This can happen if you send the message too soon, as it makes you seem impatient or if your tone is wrong.
In the end, you want to seem enthusiastic, but you always want to be calm and professional. If you focus on brevity and politeness, that gets a lot easier.
It’s also crucial not to accuse the hiring manager of not keeping a promise or disappointing you. Even if they gave you a timeline for a decision and that day came and went, you never want to throw that in the hiring manager’s face. Instead, it’s better to come from a place of understanding.
Demanding an explanation for a delay is also a bad idea. In the end, why the decision isn’t made yet is likely none of your business, and requesting an explanation can make you seem entitled or aggressive.
Otherwise, failing to say “thank you” is a big issue. Hiring managers want to know that you value the opportunity and their time, so expressing your appreciation is a must.
Follow-Up Email After Your Interview Examples
Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for; it’s time for a fantastic follow-up email example (or three). You can use each one as a follow-up email template or simply as a source of information.
Every follow-up email example here uses a slightly different approach, though make sure to tap on each of the critical points. So, without further ado, here’s a look at some samples of how to create an interview follow-up email.
1. Simple Follow-Up Email
This follow-up email after a job interview is probably the most flexible option. You could use it if there’s been no response at all, as well as if there’s been a lull in the conversation, the decision date you were previously given has passed, or in many other situations.
Subject: [Job Title] Interview Follow-Up
Mr. John Doe:
I’m reaching out to touch base regarding the [Job Title] position with [Company Name] I interviewed for on [date of interview]. It seems like both an exceptional opportunity as well as an outstanding match for my skill set.
Based on my past experience managing [project, duty, or responsibility], where I was able to [accomplishment], I feel that I can bring a significant amount of value to the position. Additionally, I’m well equipped to help [Company Name] with [challenge they are facing], as I’m adept at [relevant skills].
If there is any additional information I can provide that can assist you with your hiring decision, I am happy to supply it. Thank you again for your time and consideration, and I am looking forward to any update you are able to provide at this time.
[Your Name and Contact Information]
2. Follow-Up After Past Conversation About Next Steps
If there has been a previous discussion about next steps, and either the stated timeline has passed, or it’s been a reasonable amount of time after you’ve learned of them, then you may want to use a particular approach when reaching out. Here’s one option for requesting an update.
Subject: RE: [Past email chain subject line]
Mrs. Jane Doe:
I wanted to take a moment to follow up on the [Job Title] position I interviewed for on [date of interview], as well as our past conversations about the opportunity. The role seems like a great fit for my capabilities, particularly when it comes to [project, duty, or responsibility], as I have prior experience in that arena, as well as expertise in [related skills].
As you mentioned, [hiring process step] was underway, and it would be followed by [additional hiring step you were made aware of]. If there is any information you need from me to help complete the next steps you outlined previously, I am happy to provide it.
Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time, and I appreciate your time and consideration in this matter.
[Your Name and Contact Information]
3. Follow-Up After Previous Discussion About Skills/Experience
If you’ve exchanged a few emails with the hiring manager about your skills or experience since the job interview, you may also want to use a modified approach. Here, the goal is to reignite the discussion while also learning more about the status.
Subject: Re: [Job Title] Interview – [Previous subject line from conversation]
Dr. John Doe:
I’m reaching out to follow up on my interview on [date of interview] for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name], as well as our previous conversation about my skills and experience.
I believe wholeheartedly that the role is a great fit for my skills, and I feel that I could provide [Company Name] with exceptional value. Along with the accomplishments I discussed previously, I also [new relevant achievement that you haven’t previously talked about in detail]. That experience allowed me to genuinely hone my [relevant skills] skills, as well as gain experience in [more skills or relevant duties].
Ultimately, I am genuinely excited to learn more about the role, as well as any next steps in the hiring process that may be on the horizon. If you have any additional questions about what I bring to the table, I am happy to discuss my capabilities further. Thank you again for your time, and I truly appreciate your consideration.
[Your Name and Contact Information]
Putting It All Together
In the end, you should now have a solid idea of how to write a follow-up email after an interview. Use every tip and example above to your advantage. That way, when you reach out for an update, you can nail it.
The post How to Write an Interview Follow-Up Email (Examples Included) appeared first on The Interview Guys – Get The Interview, Get The Job!.