How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

Five Methods:At the End of the InterviewDirectly After the InterviewSeveral Days After the InterviewWhat to AvoidSample Thank You Notes

Following up after a job interview is an important, yet often overlooked, part of the job search process. It allows you to thank the interviewer for his or her time while also reiterating your interest in the job and your potential to positively contribute to the company. However, following-up can be a delicate process and going about it the wrong way can actually hurt your chances. This article will address the most appropriate way to follow-up after a job interview to help you stand out from the other job applicants.

Method 1
At the End of the Interview

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    Ask for a timeline. If the interviewer does not offer a timeline for their decision-making process, you are perfectly entitled to ask for one. Find out when they expect to let candidates know their decision, who in the company will be contacting the candidates (interviewer, HR manager), and through what means - email, phone call or letter.
    • This is extremely useful, as it will give you some indication of how long you are expected to wait for a decision and of when it will be appropriate to follow up with the correct person.
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    Ask for your interviewer's business card. This will give you the person’s correct contact information, including name, title, mailing address and email address, which will save you time when you are sending your thank you note and letter.

Method 2
Directly After the Interview

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    Send a thank you note by email. You should do this as soon after the interview as possible, from your smartphone on the way out of the building, as soon as you get home, or at least the same evening as the interview. This shows the interviewer that you are both enthusiastic and organized and ensures that they will not forget you as a candidate.
    • Include your full name, phone number, mailing address and email address on the note. Also, make sure this email doesn’t go to a spam folder by writing “Job interview follow up for (your name)” in the subject line.
    • If you leave it too long before writing your thank you note, you risk looking uninterested in the job while also giving another candidate the opportunity to get there before you.
    • If there was a particular person who helped you to set up the job interview, you should remember to send them a note also.
    • Some people advise writing a thank you note by hand. While some interviewers will appreciate this, it is somewhat outdated and other interviewers may regard it as being unprofessional. As a result, an email or typed note is your safest option in this scenario.[1]
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    Make notes about the interview while it is still fresh in your mind. These notes will be useful during a second interview to help you recall topics of conversation and any qualifications or personality traits that your interviewer emphasized as being important for this position.
    • They will help you to tailor your responses should you be called to a second interview, or may give you some indication of where you went wrong if you are not.
    • The notes will also help you to refer to more specific points in your follow-up thank you letter and give an indication that you really took on board everything that the interviewer said.
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    Ask to connect on LinkedIn. Asking your interviewer to connect on LinkedIn is a completely appropriate move, if executed correctly. You don't want it to look like your motives are purely selfish or that you're over-confident about getting the job. Instead, send a simple message which states exactly who you are and refers to some topic or point that was raised during the interview, before asking if they would like to connect.[2]
    • If you are applying for a job in the fashion industry, for example, and the topic of Paris Fashion Week came up during the interview, mention an interesting article about a particular designer or fashion trend that you found online and ask if you can share it with them.
    • Alternatively, if you had a casual conversation with the interviewer before or after the interview and something came up about a particular restaurant or upcoming music event, request to share a link providing additional details.
    • The bottom line is that you need to request to connect on LinkedIn by making it interesting or worthwhile for them - it shouldn't look like a purely self-serving move.

Method 3
Several Days After the Interview

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    Mail a more formal thank you letter. This can also be done via email, or through a typed letter, depending on the kind of company you are applying to. A social media related or tech company might appreciate the ease and efficiency of an email, whereas a company with more old-fashioned or traditional values would appreciate a letter.[3] Whatever form you use, the purpose of the letter is to remind the interviewer of what a strong candidate you are and why you are uniquely qualified for the job. If you interviewed by multiple people, you should send each of them a separate thank you letter.
    • Use the interviewer’s first name in the greeting and salutation only if you were told to do so during the interview; otherwise, address the interviewer in a formal manner.
    • After thanking the interviewer again for the opportunity to interview with the company, affirm your interest in the position and reiterate how you would be an asset to the company.
    • Add information that the interviewer might be interested in, or some useful information that the company could use profitably. This will help the interviewer to remember you, as most people follow up after a job interview with only information about themselves.
    • Close the letter with the valediction "Yours sincerely" and proofread it thoroughly for grammar, spelling and punctuation. A poorly-worded or misspelled thank-you letter can be all it takes to disqualify you as a candidate.[4]
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    After the indicated time period has passed, follow up with a single email or phone call. If the time period they specified it would take for them to reach a decision has passed - whether it has been two days or two weeks - it is now appropriate for you to follow up about the decision via email or phone call. Keep it brief and breezy, you could say something like:
    • "I hope the hiring process is going well for the position of Marketing Assistant. I believe you mentioned that a decision would be reached by Monday and I'm eager to find out if you have any information on the status of my application? Please let me know if I can provide any further information that would help you with the decision making process."[2]
    • If you decide to phone, make the call from a quiet place a few days after the interview. Pick a good time of day -- not right after lunch, early in the morning or at the end of the working day. This will maximize your chances of actually speaking to the interviewer.
    • Be as polite and brief on the phone as possible - remember that you may be talking to a stressed-out hiring manager that has a 101 things on his/her mind other than the status of your job application. Don't call a second time unless you are specifically told.[3]
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    Respond promptly if you are contacted about a second interview or a job offer. Making them wait for a response is unprofessional and makes it seem like you are not enthusiastic about the job. Don't be worried about coming across as over-eager - they want candidates who are excited by the prospect of working for their company.
    • Reply using the same method as they used to contact you - if they called, ring them back as soon as possible, if they sent an email, an email reply should suffice.
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    Even if you didn't get the job, thank the interviewer for their time. Don't be angry or overly disappointed - accept the fact that there were probably many other qualified candidates and view it as a valuable learning experience. Whether you are informed via phone or email, you should send a follow-up message to your interviewer thanking them for their time and for giving you the opportunity to interview with them.
    • If you dare, ask the interviewer if he or she would be willing to provide any feedback on where you went wrong during the interview and how you could improve in future. They will most likely decline, but if they agree you stand to gain some valuable insights into exactly what the company were looking for and where you fell short. Don't be disheartened by it, take the interviewers' suggestions on as constructive criticism.[3]
    • This step should always be executed through email or letter, never by phone call. Calling your interviewer to ask why you didn't get the job may put them in an uncomfortable position and rule you out of any future open positions with the company.

Method 4
What to Avoid

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    Don't harass the company. Being over-eager and bombarding the company with follow-up emails and phone calls is not a good idea and can actually harm your chances of getting the position. Follow the three-strike rule - one thank you note, a lengthy thank you letter, and a follow-up email or phone call to find out whether a decision has been made. If you get no response from any of these three, you are better off quitting while you're ahead and moving on with the job search.[5]
    • Whatever you do, don't fill up your interviewers inbox with daily emails or leave long-winded messages or his or her voicemail, as this will definitely won't win you any favors.
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    Don't go to the company in person, unless invited. Showing up at the company uninvited is a definite no-no. It puts pressure on the hiring manager or interviewer to speak with you, even though the timing may be very inconvenient for them. It also puts them in a very awkward position if you didn't get the position and they are forced to tell you in person. Either way, it reflects badly on you and you should avoid at all costs. This advice also goes for delivering thank you notes in person - just don't do it.[4]
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    Don't avoid the follow-up letter or phone call. Some people erroneously think they should just wait for a decision and not bother the interviewer. This is not the correct tactic. Many companies deliberately wait before hiring to see who follows up after the interview in a professional manner, and who is really hungry for the position. As long as you abide by the three-strike rule, following-up is a positive and strategic move which may be instrumental in securing you a position with the company.

Sample Thank You Notes

Sample Thank You Email After Interview

Sample Phone Interview Thank You Note

Sample Thank You Note for Teleconference Interview


  • Follow up with a thank-you letter after the interview, even if you know you didn’t get the job. The prospective employer might consider hiring you for another position.


  • Even if you feel confident that the interview process went well, continue with your job search. The company may decide to hire someone else, such as an internal candidate, or even eliminate the position.

Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills