How to Write a Professional Interview Follow-up Email (2021)
After having a job interview, it's not uncommon to not receive an email regarding the next steps in the interview process. That's where an interview follow-up email comes in. It's a simple email, following up with the hiring manager (or hiring managers) that you interviewed with, asking about the next steps.
Here's how to write a follow-up email after a job interview when you don't hear back from the hiring manager.
How to Write a Follow-up Email
Everything to know about writing a professional and exceptional follow-up email.
Who to send the email to
Deciding who to send the email to is really important. Let's assume that you, the interviewer, interviewed with multiple hiring managers. It's important to understand who is the person leading the effort for the hire.
This person might be a recruiter. Or someone who works on the HR side of the business. It's best to email this person. Rather than emailing each of the hiring managers.
If you decide to follow-up with one of the hiring managers, be sure to pick the one who has the most superiority. So they can forward your email to the right person. Someone who can inform you about next steps in the hiring process.
Never follow-up with every single person you interviewed with. It's too aggressive.
Did you send a thank-you email?
If you sent a thank-you note to the person you interviewed with, it's best to follow-up in that email thread. If you did this, it's best to reply to that thread, using the previous subject line used in that email.
The way to do this is simply to go into your "Sent" folder, find the thank-you email that you sent, then "Reply" to that thread. And send your job interview follow-up from there.
Why is this effective? Because your thank-you email should contain insights about the interview. And it can help the hiring manager to level set who you are. And remind them of the job title, opportunity, and more.
What should go inside the email
The goal of follow-up emails should be to gather the right information to inform you about where the employer is in making a hiring decision. This information can be helpful for any job seekers job search.
For example, learning that you are not being considered for the position any longer can certainly help to move forward and focus efforts on another job opportunity.
Here's what should go inside a follow-up email after an interview.
A clear subject line
Using a short and clear subject line can assist the manager in knowing what the email is regarding. Here are some examples effective subject lines for a follow-up email:
- Following-up about [job title]
- Reading the job opportunity
- Following-up from our conversation Thursday
- Great phone interview the other day
Personal greeting or salutation
Starting the email with a personal greeting is a great way to ensure it's polite, professional, and received well.
Start the email with the hiring manager's name. For example, "Dear John."
Don't use a generic greeting like "To whom it may concern."
Request for a status update
Having a simple ask inside the email can separate you from other candidates. It shows a strong desire to move to the point of getting a job offer. And a strong interest in the company.
Here is something that might be said:
"I'd love to learn where you guys are in the recruitment process or hiring process. Let me know what I can do to assist and get a quick status update."
Affirmation of continued interest
In order to show interest in the position, it's important to consider incorporating small notes that show you're truly passion about the job.
Small mentions like, "I look forward to hearing about the next steps because this is absolutely my dream job."
It might sound overly eager but as long as it's a small note, it'll go over well with the manager.
This should be your first paragraph in the follow-up email. And should show good manners, professionalism, and general business etiquette.
Sharing of more details/assets
If the manager asked you for additional information after the job interviews, like professional references, links to projects, or further detail on skills/experience. Then be sure to include that information in the follow-up email.
Further assets might include:
- Professional references
- Personal references
- Additional contact information
- A cover letter
Saying thank you
Something that can easily be over looked. Don't forget to say thank you for the opportunity. It's best to show gratitude in the follow-up email.
The reason this can be a challenge for some email writers is that they could feel hurt by the fact that the manager hasn't shown them interest. Or followed-up with any types of next steps.
A professional sign-off
Having a professional sign-off in the email can show professional etiquette. And an ability to drive projects forward. Remember, this type of email is one that would be used when trying to interact with clients or team members.
The final paragraph of the email should be the most sincere.
Showing your ability to be professional in this email can say a lot about you as a candidate.
A great sign-off might be:
- Thank you so much
- Look forward to hearing from you
- Best regards
- With regards
- Warm regards
How soon to send a follow-up email
This is critical. Never follow-up too soon. Wait at least 3-5 business days until you follow up. And only follow-up if you haven't heard anything back from the recruiter or managers.
The one exception to this rule is if your situation has changed between the date the hiring manager gave you to expect some type of note and today's date. For example, if you accepted another job offer and wanted to inform the manager of that.
Follow-up Email Subject Line Examples
The best subject lines are short, simple, and remind the manager of the job interview.
Here are more sample subject lines to use when sending a follow-up note:
- Following-up on the Software Engineer role
- Follow-up from last Thursday's call
- Follow-up from the interviews last week
- Checking in on the Software Engineer role
Sample Follow-up Emails
Use the following sample emails as a type of step by step guide to writing your own.
Follow-up email after no response
Subject line: Pinging you about the software engineer role
Hi John —
I wanted to send you a brief email about the job interview from the last week.
The first interview and second interview went exceptionally well. And I loved learning more about the software engineering process at Apple.
Is there anything that I can provide in order to assist with the process? Would love to hear a quick status update on where the placement process is sitting right now.
Feel free to reach out to me regarding any questions you might have.
Thanks so much John,
More information on sending a follow-up email after no response.
Email after past conversation regarding next steps
Subject line: Regarding next steps for the software engineer role
Hi Susan —
Loved meeting with the team and wanted to follow-up here.
It sounded like the next steps in the process was for the team to huddle up and decide further details on what they're looking for in an ideal candidate.
Did they get a chance to meet yet?
Would love to move forward with the company and I'm excited about this opportunity.
Thanks so much Susan,
Follow-up regarding skills/experience
Subject line: A quick note on skills/experience
Hey Ryan —
Meeting with the team was the highlight of my week.
The team expressed some interest in wanting to learn more about my management experience and managerial skill set. And I left off a few prior jobs in my resume that might be useful to see.
I went ahead and updated my resume and included those jobs for the team.
Do you know the current status of the job placement is? And if they made a final decision or not?
Thanks so much Ryan,
Follow-up Email Template
Make sure to customize email templates if deciding to use them.
Subject line: A quick note about the [Job Title] opportunity
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name] —
It was great to speak to the team and hear more about the [Job Title] opportunity at [Company Name].
The chemistry between myself the team seemed impeccable. And I would love to move forward with the interview process and/or assist with the decision making process.
Can I provide professional references or further information about my resume to help the team?
Looking forward to hearing from you and the rest of the team.
Thanks so much [Hiring Manager's Name],
Mistakes to avoid
Sending the email too early
This is critical and it's important to mention it multiple times, don't send the email too soon. Allow the manager to spend time coordinating with the team to determine what the next steps might be.
Sending a follow-up email same day as the last interview, might be overly eager.
Wait at least 3-5 business days before sending your email.
Sounding overly eager
Sending a follow-up email in the same business day would be a way of sounding overly eager. And is aggressive in nature. It's best to let the managers discuss and get back to you in the appropriate amount of time.
It's never a good idea to badger a potential employer. Give things space, time, and patience. That shows professionalism.
Sending multiple emails is extremely frowned upon. Do not send multiple emails if you have not heard back from the manager about the interview result.
The only exception is when a job seeker has multiple job offers that are going to expire soon. But they would really love to work at the company that has not responded, yet.
In that case, it's best to ignore all rules about timing and send a note like the following:
I wanted to shoot you a note because I did receive a few job offers from other companies, but this role is the one I am most passionate about. And I haven't heard back from the team yet. I don't want to rush anyone. But this really is my first choice of a job. Is there any way to give me a quick status check on the open position?
Sending emails to multiple people
An email to the interviewers, the manager, the HR professional, or even to the CEO. While some might think that this is a way to sound interested, it's too much.
The simple act of sending a follow-up note is sufficient in showing interest. Including people that were not part of the process can be unprofessional. And can make it seem like the job seeker needs to "go over someone's head" in order to get a response.
Only follow-up with the person who is going to be making the hiring decision. And has the capability of sending you a job offer.
Being unclear about your interest
Sending a generic or overly short email might be unclear to the recipient. It's best to review the email and make sure that it's impactful.
It's okay if the email is short. As long as it meets the appropriate criteria for an ideal follow-up email.
The best way to make sure your interest is clear is to express passion and have a "call to action" in the email and at the same time, showing expression about wanting to move forward in the process.
- Things to do Before, During, and After Your Interview
- Interviewing Skills: Following Up After an Interview
- How to Follow Up After an Interview - Northeastern University
- Thank-You Notes: Northwestern Career Advancement
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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