Interviewing for a job is always a nerve-wracking process, but you’ll always want an update on the process after the event – so you’ll have to send a follow-up email.
It can be difficult to know how to approach a follow-up, though, and it’s even more stressful when you’re trying to act professionally with unfamiliar people who could become close colleagues.
That’s why we’ve explained exactly how to write a follow-up email, from the language to the layout. Whether you want to follow-up immediately or if you’ve been waiting for weeks, look no further.
Immediately after the interview
It’s always a good idea to send a follow-up email in the first twenty-four hours after your interview. It’s the perfect time to thank the interviewer for their time, clarify why you think you’ll be an ideal hire, and keep your application at the forefront of the manager’s mind.
A follow-up email immediately after the interview doesn’t have to be long or complex. Open your message with a thank you, express your excitement about the position, and be specific about how your experience and ability can help the company achieve goals that were mentioned on the day – so the interviewer knows that you were paying attention. This is also a good spot to include something important that you may have forgotten on the day.
Summarize what unique skills you’ll be able to bring to the position, and end the email with a friendly, professional closing phrase and make sure your contact information is included. You should use two or three paragraphs at most for the body of the email, and make sure that you ask to be kept informed about the recruitment process.
Need to check in?
If you’ve had your interview, sent a thank-you email and not heard anything back for two weeks, it’s worth sending a follow-up message to check on the status of the position.
Include the job title in the subject line, email the recruiter rather than the interviewer, and keep this message extremely brief. You only need a paragraph – wish the recruiter well, explain that you’re checking in on the role’s recruitment process, and let the recruiter know that you’re able to help if they need more information.
Don’t worry about being annoying – recruiters get these kinds of emails all the time and they know they’re a normal part of the recruitment process. Also ensure that your contact details are readily available in your email signature.
Want to stay in touch?
If you’ve still not heard anything or if you didn’t get the job, it’s still worth sending a follow-up email to the hiring manager who helped you through the process. This can be important if you’d still like to work at the company or the industry. It’s crucial to establish and maintain professional relationships with as many people as possible – you could well come across this person at another stage of your career. They could hire you for another role or even function as a mentor in the future.
Simply send an email to thank the manager for their consideration, express that you enjoyed your interactions and found them inspirational, and say that you’d love to keep in touch and even learn more about them and their career.
At this point, suggest meeting for coffee or even having a phone call or video chat – if the hiring manager agrees, that can be a fantastic way to build the relationship, get feedback about your job application or even put yourself in the frame for other positions.
Follow-up email tips
No matter what kind of follow-up email you need to write, you’ll have a better chance of success if you bear some key tips in mind.
Carefully proofread every email you send for spelling, grammar and layout errors, and keep your language positive and professional throughout – even if you’ve sent several emails without response and are understandably frustrated.
Make sure that you address people by their surname unless you’re certain that you’re already on first-name terms with your subject – and keep the subject line positive, too. If you’re not sure what to write in the subject line, it’s fine to just include your name and the role in question.
Finally, remember that it’s important to get all the information into your email while remaining concise, because busy managers won’t be impressed by rambling emails. Don’t forget to include your contact information on every email, too.
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Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.