How to Follow Up After a Job Interview - 4 Best Practices

May 14, 2019 Alisse Leslie Alisse Leslie

Congrats — you’ve tirelessly worked to perfect your resume for that job opening you’re interested in, landed an interview, and feel like you nailed it! Now it’s only a matter of time before they reach out to you with an offer, right?

Think again. Instead of waiting around for the phone to ring, it’s best to be proactive, as there are numerous things you can do after an interview to increase your odds of being invited in for a second one or landing the job.

Not sure where to start when it comes to how to follow up after a job interview in a timely, professional way? Here are four best practices to keep in mind — plus what to do if you’re still not making progress in the interview process after applying them.

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview - Best Practice #1: Confirm Contact Information and Ask About Next Steps

The first best practice for following up after a job interview actually starts before it’s even over. At the conclusion of an interview, you should always ask what the next steps are in the company’s hiring process as you move forward. Will they be contacting you to come in for a second interview in the next two weeks, or will they be making a final decision shortly? Will they notify you if they’ve decided to go in another direction, or do you only receive a call if you’ve made it to the next round? Knowing what to expect can help you determine how soon to follow up after an interview and can reduce any uncertainty you may feel about the interview process.

However, you can’t follow up after a job interview if you don’t know who to follow up with. Be sure to confirm the interviewer’s contact information before you leave. If you were interviewed by multiple people, try to get all of their names and titles. This way, you can send an individual thank you to each person you spoke with. If you aren’t able to get their contact information during the interview, ask the main interviewer or person who coordinated the interview for those details in your follow up email.

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview - Best Practice #2: Send a Timely Follow Up Email

Once you’ve had your job interview, waiting to hear back can be nerve-wracking. You’re probably asking yourself, “How soon to follow up after an interview is too soon?” The follow up after an interview timeline can differ depending on the position and industry, but we recommend going by this rule of thumb: send a follow up later the same day or one day after your interview. The hiring process may seem like it drags on forever, but keep in mind that timing for employers is not the same as it is for applicants, and companies can fill certain positions very quickly. So, don’t wait more than a day or two to follow up or the job you applied for could already be filled before you do.

One of the common uncertainties candidates face is how to write a follow up email after an interview. Send a genuine note to each person you spoke with thanking them for their time and stating that you appreciated and enjoyed the chance to interview and learn more about their company. Wrap up the email by highlighting your interest in the position once again, asserting that you believe you are an excellent fit with a brief summary of one or two sentences indicating why given your skills, experience, and interests. Finally, let them know that you’re looking forward to speaking again soon and close with a professional signature.

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview - Best Practices #3: Connect With Your Interviewer Online

After you have sent your follow up email, you may also want to connect with your interviewer through a professional platform such as LinkedIn. This could help you find an opening for a deeper connection or additional touch-base that makes you stick out in the interviewer’s mind. For example, maybe you mentioned a newspaper article you just read during a question that arose during your interview. If it’s relevant to their business and they seem interested, you could send a quick note forwarding it along to them.

It’s also a good idea to think beyond the current position for which you’ve just applied and interviewed for. Even if you don't get this particular job, there may be another opening in the future that is better aligned with your skills and experience. If you’re connected on professional networks, they’re more likely to reach out if you cross their mind when looking to fill a different position.

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview - Best Practices #4: Notify Your References

Depending on the employer, having quality professional references can be an essential part of your job search and interview process. You should always ask and be sure that a potential reference would be comfortable endorsing you before you ever put them on your resume or application. Then, it’s a good idea to let them know that you’re in the interview process with a new company so they’re aware that they might receive a call or email. This gives them time to think about what they want to say — after all, you don’t want them to feel like they’re being cold-called or caught off guard by your potential employer. You may want to tell them a little bit about the potential job, why you are so interested, and summarize any points you may want them to stress in their recommendation.

While following these best practices for how to follow up after a job interview should put you in a better position to land a second interview or job offer, things may not always go your way. Here are some additional tips in case your post-interview follow up doesn’t get the response you were looking for.

How to Handle an Unclear Response When You Follow Up After A Job Interview

If you’ve sent a job interview status follow up email and received the lackluster, “I’ll get back to you when I know more” response, don’t be discouraged. As much as you want a timely and concrete answer, be patient and respect the interview process that the company has in place. It’s typically your best bet to respond back with an email along the lines of:

“Hello, [interviewer’s name],

Thank you for the update! I look forward to connecting again soon, and please let me know if there is anything else you need from me at this stage in the process.

Best regards, [your name].”

Then, wait for the company to reach out if and when they want to move forward. If you don’t ever hear back, are really interested in the position, and have waited a reasonable amount of time without any updates (a good rule of thumb is after at least seven business days), consider sending another email just to check in. You may want to say something like:

“Hello, [interviewer’s name],

After our last conversation, I just wanted to circle back and see if you have any updates on the status of this position. I’m very interested in joining your organization and think I would be a great fit for this particular role. I look forward to hopefully speaking about it soon!

Best regards, [your name]!”

Remember that if you have received and taken another offer during this down-time, it’s a best practice to reach out to the hiring manager and gracefully let them know that you’re withdrawing from their interview process.

What to do After a Job Interview Follow Up Email With No Response

If you sent a well-written, professional job interview follow up email with no response at all, it can be unsettling. However, there could be numerous reasons why an employer hasn’t responded to your follow up after a job interview. Remember, your interviewer is busy — they have other job responsibilities and may still be slowly weeding through stacks of job applications, conducting more interviews, or simply working on an important project.

If a whole business week has passed without any sort of response to your original follow up, you may want to send one more saying something such as:

“Hello, [interviewer’s name]

I just wanted to follow up again to see if you had any updates regarding the X position. Please let me know when you have a chance to respond. Thanks!”

Best regards, [your name]!”

By making it a priority to follow up in the first place, then doing so again if a response was unclear or nonexistent, you can effectively stick out in an interviewer's mind by showing your professionalism and commitment to wanting to join their organization!

Speak with One of Our Professional Recruiters Today

We know the job market is competitive, and hope that you’ve found these best practices for how to follow up after a job interview helpful. Consider partnering with a recruiter or a headhunter. 

The team at 4 Corner Resources is part of an award-winning staffing and recruiting firm that is dedicated to helping candidates connect with the right client — and vice versa. We take everything from each candidate’s knowledge and skill set, to their level of experience and career path, to the client’s company culture into consideration when matching candidates to employers and positions. It’s our mission to place the right candidate with the right employer every time. With a 92% client retention rate after placing more than 5,200 candidates with our clients, it’s clear that our team is doing something right.

We’re ready to successfully place you in a job that’s an ideal match, too. Browse some of the positions we’re currently filling here, or contact one of our professional recruiters today!

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