Knowing when and how to follow up after a job interview can feel like one of the harder parts of finding a new job. While there are plenty of templates showing you how to write a resume, figuring out how to get a response from the hiring company is harder. This article is to clear up what it means to ‘follow up’ or touch base with the hiring manager, how often you should, whether you should follow up by making a phone call or writing an email, and what to expect afterwards.
What do We Mean By ‘Follow Up’
To be clear, in this article we will be discussing how to follow up after a job interview by politely asking for results or a response. You do not need to ‘follow up’ if you sent in your job application but haven’t heard back, no job interview has been arranged yet, or any other stage of the job process.
To “follow up”, in this case, is to make contact after you’ve already had a job interview and sent your thank-you email to the hiring manager. Of what you write, the resume is the star, the cover letter is the introduction and the thank you email is the ending. The thank-you email is your last chance to tell them why you’re a good fit for the job, thank them for their time, and remind them to get back to you. To ‘follow up’ is to touch base with them later to see if they’ve made a hiring decision yet (and if it’s you).
If you’re looking for more about how to write a thank you email, we suggest these links:
How do you politely follow up after a job interview if you’re already sent the ‘thank-you’ email? Ideally, you asked at the end of the job interview when you should expect to hear back.
- Do I Follow Up After a Job Interview?
- When Should I Follow Up After an Interview?
- How Often Should I Follow Up After an Interview?
- Should I Follow Up With a Phone Call or Email?
- Email Template
- Phone Voicemail Template
- What to Expect Afterwards
Do I Follow Up After a Job Interview?
You should only follow up if you’ve already sent in your resume or application, had a job interview, have sent your thank-you email after the interview and it’s past the day they said they’d contact you or it’s been a week since the job interview. Keep in mind that plenty of industries interview multiple candidates and decisions can take one to two weeks. Unless they specifically told you otherwise, don’t contact them if already you’ve sent the thank you email but it’s been less than a week. (Don’t follow up if you’re writing your thank-you email; because the thank-you note does the job for you.)
But if you’ve already sent your thank you email after the job interview and you still haven’t heard anything, then it’s time to follow up.
When Should I Follow Up After a Job Interview?
Answer: If they gave you a specific day, send it the day after. If they didn’t give you a specific day to hear back, then a week from when you had your job interview.
According to the best sources, you should follow up by sending a thank you email after a job interview within 24-48 hours. But if you’ve written your thank-you email already and you haven’t heard back, it’s time to ‘follow up’. If you’ve already sent your thank-you email and you were told “we will let you know by Friday” and it’s now the following Tuesday, then it’s okay to send a quick note.
If they told you a specific day, wait at least until the day after to send a short follow-up email. While your job interview is extremely important to you, bugging the hiring manager or recruiter before they said they’d have news or the day of is assuming that your interview
How Often Should I Follow Up After a Job Interview?
It’s expected to follow up after a job interview with a short email, but don’t overwhelm the hiring manager or recruiter with multiple messages. If you contact them too often, you’re going to turn them off to the idea of hiring you. Too much contact can result in them not only not hiring you but possibly black-listing your resume for future positions because you overstepped the social bounds. Think of it like asking someone on a date: too many times and too much and you appear desperate.
If you’re wondering how much you should follow up after a job interview, the answer is once. After a job interview, send a thank you email and then one follow-up email or phone call. One contact after the thank-you email is enough. You’re letting them know that you’re interested and then leave it there.
Should I Follow Up With a Phone Call or Email?
If the hiring manager or contact gave you a specific way to contact them, use that. For instance, if they mention they never get to their email or are always out of the office so a phone call is best then that’s the way to go. This answer is for when the hiring manager or recruiter gave you no indication either way.
When debating how to follow up after a job interview, always choose to send an email over making a phone call. You won’t be able to clearly say everything in a voicemail, but you can in an email. Phone calls are easy to send to voicemail and then ignore. Emails are easier for someone to respond to with their own schedule. As you don’t know their schedule, sending an email is a better use of your time and increases your chances of hearing back.
This email can be sent to either the person who interviewed you or the person who set up the interview, such as a recruiter or an assistant to the hiring manager. We did provide templates, but if you choose something else, remember that your end result should be short, friendly but professional, and include details so they can find your resume with the interview notes. They’ve been busy and no matter how much they liked you, they may need to be reminded about who you are and what you interviewed for.
To write this email, you’ll need:
- The name of the person you’re contacting (personalization is key)
- Their email address
- Name of the company
- Date you interviewed
- Name of the position you interviewed for
Hi <interviewer or recruiter’s name>,
I hope you’re doing well! Thank you again for the opportunity to interview for <insert job title> for <insert company’s name>. It was wonderful to get to know the company more. <Or, you can insert something you discussed, ex: how the company makes such a positive impact on the community.>
I’m following up to see if there are any updates regarding the <insert job title> decision from my <insert phone, video, or in-person> interview on <insert date>. I’d like to again express interest in this position. Please let me know if there’s any additional information I need to provide.
I’m excited to hear the next steps in this interview process. Thank you again for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon!
<insert your name>
<insert your contact information, such as phone number or email address>
Phone Voicemail Template
If the hiring manager asked you to call instead of email, you’ll want to say something similar. For instance, when leaving a voicemail, you could say:
“Hello <insert their name>,
This is <your name> following up on that <title of job> interview on <insert date of your interview> to see if there were any updates or if you needed any more information. Thank you again for your time. My phone number is <insert phone number>. That number again is <repeat your phone number> and I hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day! Goodbye!”
It’s essential that you include details of when the interview was, who it was with, and for which position. The last thing you want is for them to think “that’s nice, but who was that again?” and not figure it out. Keep it concise, polite, and informative.
What to Expect Afterwards
You’ve written your email or left your voicemail, and now you wait. Waiting for any response after a job interview can feel like the worst part, so don’t let it become your focus. If they contact you, fantastic. If they don’t or they take a long time, try not to take it personally.
Why does it take so long to hear back? Often it’s because that person does more than hiring. If the company hasn’t hired anyone for the position in a long time or it’s a new position, they may not realize that they need to keep in touch with everyone. That includes the people they’re not hiring at this very moment. Or the delay could also be a result of scheduling, management, budget, changed or scrapped internal decisions, etc. When you’re the person being hired it’s easy to see hiring in black or white terms, but there is easily a whole buffet of reasons why you haven’t heard back. All you can do is stay polite, professional, and patient! Good luck!
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