After a job interview, it’s both polite and advantageous for your job search to send a thank-you letter as a follow up email. Your note is an opportunity to reinforce your strengths as an applicant, affirm your interest in the position and, if necessary, respond to any concerns that came up during the interview.
Here are tips for writing a strong follow-up thank-you letter or email. You’ll also find an example below of a letter sent to follow up after a job interview, as well as two examples of follow-up emails. You can use any of these samples as a template for your own follow-up note.
Interview Follow Up Email Purpose
The idea behind an interview follow up email is simple. You may have done amazing in your interview, but you’re most likely not the only person that’s up for the same job. For example, if your interview occurs early in the day, the subsequent applicants might make them forget you, even if you wowed them at the time.
With a follow-up email, you can remind the people deciding who gets hired that you’re the perfect candidate. As long as your interview went well (which we’re sure it did!) sending one of these emails could give you an edge over other applicants, especially since it shows you’re motivated and highly interested.
Think About While Writing
While there are clear benefits to sending an interview to follow up email, there are also several ways it can backfire if your approach is wrong. For example, if you use the wrong tone, you might even make the recruiters less likely to consider you. Just to give you an idea, here’s what your interview follow up email shouldn’t read like:
I went in for an interview yesterday and I wanted an update about the position. Please get back to me ASAP.
All the best,
If we were recruiting new members, that email would immediately convince us to drop that applicant, since it shows a clear lack of professionalism. Here’s what you need to keep in mind, so your interview follows up email lands better.
Wait a little while before sending it. Some people wait a day after their interview, while others play the long game and hold off for up to a week. In any case, wait at least 24 hours before hitting the Send button.
Re-iterate your interest in the job. This should be the core of an interview follow up email since your goal is to remind recruiters that you’re a top candidate.
Be thankful for their attention. A great interview follows up email should always include a brief thank you for the recruiter’s time. Just enough to be polite without sounding too gushing.
On top of those considerations, it’s usually a good idea to keep your follow up email rather brief, no matter how nervous you are. To put it another way, your interview should do most of the heavy lifting for you. If an interviewer doesn’t want to hire you after your meeting, chances are a follow-up email won’t change that. However, it can help you seal the deal on top of a successful interview.
Most-Have Elements In The Email
For the best possible results, there are a few elements every interview follow up email should include. Let’s go over what those are.
Unlike other types of emails, you don’t need to be too flashy when it comes to headlines when it comes to an interview follow up. In some cases, recruiters might not even look at follow up emails, so ‘catching’ their attention might not be possible.
Instead, we recommend you go with a simple subject line. For example, any of the below would be good choices: Thank you for your time. Following up on my application. Concerning my interview for the Y position.
None of those headlines are too pushy, which is precisely what you’re aiming for. In our experience, it’s also a nice touch to include a simple thank you as part of your title, although your mileage may vary.
Sometimes, you’ll run across interview follow up emails with titles such as “Any update regarding Y position?”. That kind of headline can sound a bit demanding in a way that’s likely to turn off recruiters, so you’ll probably want to avoid using that kind of pressing language.
Say ‘Thank You’ the Interviewer for Their Time
Although your title might also include an individual ‘thank you’, it’s also important you take the time to write one within the body of your email. As we mentioned earlier, you want your gratitude to sound sincere, so there’s no need to go overboard. Here’s a quick example of how you could do it:
Hello Mr. Joe,
You might recall I interviewed for the position of COO last week. I wanted to thank you for your time and reiterate my interest in the job.
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
When it comes to interviewing follow up emails, you want to use a professional tone in the vast majority of cases. There may be some jobs for which a more casual email might be a benefit, but those tend to be outliers.
Note the fact that in that example, the thank you message was quick and then we moved on reiterating our interest in the position. In our experience, people in charge of hiring won’t be swayed by long, gushing paragraphs, so keep it simple!
Remember Something About The Interview.
If you’re a good conversationalist, you’ll probably recognize this ‘trick’. The idea is that when you meet someone again, mentioning something you discussed the last time you met shows interest. It’s incredibly basic, but it can help other people perceive you more favorably.
Chances are you covered a lot of ground during your interview, which may have included a specific tangent or interesting comment. If you can recall something of that nature and slip it into your email, it not only shows you were paying attention, but it can also help jog their memory. Let’s go over another quick example:
Hello Mr. Joe,
You may recall that I interviewed for the position of COO last week. We had a great chat about the company and the prospects for the next few years. I was particularly interested by your mention of how to automate processes to increase productivity.
I wanted to take a minute to thank you again for your time and re-iterate my interest in the position.
All the best,
As always, remember to keep things rather brief. Some interviewers might appreciate an in-depth email about a subject you discussed. However, in most cases they’ll get a lot of messages like yours to read through, so they’ll appreciate you being concise. If you can strike a nice balance between sounding professional, keeping things brief, and reminding them who you are, it should vastly help your chances of getting hired!
If you don’t get a response to your emails, follow up one more time. Most people aren’t ignoring you on purpose. They’re genuinely busy and your email has likely slipped their mind. As long as you are gracious and polite rather than pushy, these follow-up emails are simple indications of your interest and goodwill.