Four Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

The job seeking process involves a lot of waiting. We all know how it goes – you research a myriad of job postings, carefully craft a cover letter and resume, send them over, and then wait for a response. If you are given an interview, that means spending time prepping, giving it your best effort, and then, once again, waiting for a response.

The waiting period after a job interview can induce a lot of stress and anxiety, especially when you really want that particular role. Being pushy is not an effective way to snag the position; however, there are four situations in which following up with the hiring manager is in your best interest. These scenarios are exactly what Art Markman of Harvard Business Review outlines in his article.

Send a Thank You Note

At the end of an interview, you should always inquire about when you can expect to hear back from them. Knowing this will enable you to organize the date that will be the most appropriate for follow up down the line. 

The day after your interview, always send a short email thanking the hiring manager for their time. This should be very succinct. You can also add in one specific thing about the interview or something that you learned about their company. 

Above all, be sure to indicate how much you look forward to hearing from them, as the thank you note is a great opportunity to demonstrate how excited you are about the position.

Send a Follow-Up Note

If the hiring manager doesn’t contact you by the date they said they were going to make an offer, don’t despair. This may mean that they have offered the job to someone else but you could still be in the running. It’s possible their first choice won’t take the position, so give them some time to sort things out before following up.

If you still haven’t heard back one week after the date you were given, send a quick follow-up email – three paragraphs maximum – to the hiring manager who interviewed you. This note should be similar to the thank you note and contain further expression of your interest in the role. Ask them if there is anything else you could provide that may be useful, and let them know you are looking forward to receiving a response.

The Exception

The one time it’s acceptable to reach out in between your interview and the date the hiring manager gave you is when there’s a significant change in your situation or portfolio. For example, if you interview for your dream job and are offered another opportunity while waiting to hear back, you can write to the hiring manager to inform them that you have received another offer but would like to hear back from them before making a decision. 

Another example would be if you wrote an article or submitted a patent that is relevant to the position you interviewed for. If something like that is accepted, you should share that news because it might be a deciding factor in whether or not you are offered the role.

Send a Feedback Note

If you aren’t offered a position but you felt the interview went well, send a note to ask for feedback. Thank the interviewer for their time, mention that you enjoyed the interview, and then request some constructive feedback on what you can do better in the future to improve your chances of getting a job.

You may not receive a response, but sometimes you may get a specific tip that can prove extremely helpful for future interviews. It may even open doors to opportunities you weren’t looking for, perhaps even another position at the same company. 

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You can read more about 4 Ways to Follow Up After a Job Interview at Harvard Business Review.