4 follow up email after interview examples

The way the interview ended left you hopeful. Now you wait. But you still have some control over the process by following up.

4 follow up email after interview examples

Waiting to hear back about a job? Be patient.

You had your interview, and the way it ended left you hopeful. You're preparing your follow-up email after the interview, and then comes what is often the most agonizing part of the job hunt: Waiting for the hiring manager to call. But you still have some control over the process. Experts offer the following advice on maximizing your chances for success:

Your thank-you format

Don't stress too much over whether your interview thank-you letter is emailed or handwritten. The most important thing is to send it.

"Even if you think you've got it in the bag, there are people who expect that letter," says Laura DeCarlo, president of Career Directors International, a global professional association of resume writers and career coaches.

The kind of note to send depends on the situation. Peggy McKee, founder of Career Confidential, prefers thank-you emails sent within a day of the interview. "A quick follow-up indicates interest," McKee says.

But consider the company culture when following up. Sometimes a mailed letter will be more appropriate—for instance, if the company is an old-fashioned, traditional one. But if you're applying for something like a social media marketing position, then email your follow-up note.

Your post-interview thank-you letter should be "a typical sales letter" with three parts, DeCarlo says:

  • Thank the interviewer.
  • Reiterate why you're a good fit.
  • Close by saying you're looking forward to the next step.

When to send a follow-up email

Timing is important. Ideally, you return home after your interview and send out your thank-you. Don't wait longer than 24 hours to do this. Then again, you don't want to have a draft saved on your smartphone that you send as soon as you part ways with your interviewer. That'll send a signal that you didn't really spend any time thinking about what you wrote and had some generic template at the ready. Be thoughtful, but be prompt—but not too prompt.

Break through the silence

You sent your follow-up email after the interview on Friday, and the manager said she'd let you know by Tuesday if you made it to the next round. It's now Thursday, and you haven't heard anything. What's going on? Why didn't you get a job offer yet? Sure, it's possible you didn't make the cut—but it's equally likely that the interviewer just got busy. 

What should you do next? Call or email. If you don't get a reply in a few days, try again. Yes, you might occasionally annoy a frazzled hiring manager. But as long as your messages are polite and brief, most interviewers are more likely to be impressed by your perseverance, communication skills and interest in the job.

"Candidates need to quit worrying about how they're perceived and be more worried about making people see how they can contribute to the organization," McKee says.

The key is to keep your messages positive. Don't sound accusatory—just remind the interviewer of your conversation, say you enjoyed it and ask where they are in the process. It may help to prepare a script ahead of time.

Go into recovery mode

Perhaps you feel that you didn't make the best impression in the interview. The follow-up is your chance to recover.

"Tell them you're going to provide them with additional resources," McKee says. If you can send documentation of your abilities—or even get references to send notes on your behalf—do so.

But if your reason for thinking you blew the interview is something minor, like spilling your coffee, ignore it. "If you draw attention to your embarrassment about little things, it might lead the person to think you're too insecure," DeCarlo explains.

Bounce back from rejection

When you hear from an interviewer but the news is bad, what should you do?

First, "thank the person for letting you know," DeCarlo says. Then ask if the interviewer would be willing to give you any feedback that you could use for future interviews. The answer will likely be no, but it shows you're interested in improving. And sending a post-rejection follow-up letter sure couldn't hurt, either.

Take this next step

Funny how what you write in your follow-up email after the interview can have almost as much consequence as what you say and do during the interview. The job search process is full of little idiosyncrasies like that. Need some help learning how to approach them? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you'll get career advice and job search tips sent directly to you. From negotiating your salary to earning the trust of your co-workers to positioning yourself for a promotion, Monster has expert insights to help you steadily climb the ladder of success.