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Embarking on a job search can be both exciting and challenging. As you navigate various opportunities, the interview process becomes crucial. After a job interview, it is only natural to want an update on the hiring process, particularly if you feel it went well.
It’s essential to consider the significance of follow-up messages, particularly follow-up emails. These emails serve as your chance to reiterate your interest in the role, provide any additional information, and leave a positive impression.
Crafting a well-thought-out email after an interview can showcase your professionalism and attention to detail, potentially tipping the scales in your favour during the decision-making process. However, there are several potential pitfalls to avoid when sending a follow-up email after the interview.
You could damage your chances of landing the job if you come across as pushy, sloppy or too informal. Here’s the right way to send an engaging follow-up email after your latest interview.
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Leave time for the dust to settle. There’s a good chance your interviewer is speaking to other candidates, so there’s little to be gained from contacting them on the day. Wait a few days before sending that all-important follow-up.
Regardless of the tone of your interview, keep your follow-up professional and courteous. This isn’t the time for humorous self-deprecation. Be clear about the purpose of your message. Presumably, you’re simply looking for an update on the recruitment process, so get to the point and don’t waste time and words on unnecessary small talk.
It is essential to be disciplined when sending your follow-up email. Follow this guide for a simple, professional message that gives you the best chance of receiving a response.
There is no need to spend hours deliberating over snappy interview subject lines. When composing a follow-up email after an interview, using an existing email thread is advisable if possible. This thread keeps the conversation organised and maintains a sense of continuity in your communication.
The most effective approach that is likely to get your message opened quickly is to respond to the most recent email between you and the interviewer or HR manager.
If this isn’t possible (e.g. if you’ve always communicated via a recruiter rather than directly with the interviewer), include your name, the date and time of the interview.
As a guide, follow this format:
Subject line: <Your full name> - Re: Interview on Tuesday at 4pm
If you are on first-name terms with the person you’re contacting – you may have exchanged multiple emails and spoken face-to-face by this point, then it is acceptable to open your follow-up email using their first name. If not, or if unsure, stick with their title and surname (i.e. Mr. / Ms. Fernandez).
Keep it simple. Presumably, the main reason you’re emailing is for a progress update – the interviewer will know this before they’ve even opened your message. Be polite but direct:
Thank them for their time in the interview. Explain that you’re following up on your interview. Remember to be specific about the job, mentioning the job title and interview date. Restate your interest in the position and say you’re keen to hear about the next steps. Ask for a progress update, explaining any information they can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Having made your point in the main body of your follow-up email, sign off by inviting your interviewer to ask any additional questions. Close with a simple “looking forward to hearing from you”, then a “thank you” followed by your full name.
As obvious as it sounds, don’t forget to read over your follow-up email before sending it. Ensure it’s well-spaced, correctly punctuated, and free of typos. Running it through a spellchecker should help.
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If in doubt, feel free to use the template below for your own follow-up email:
Subject line: <Your full name> – Re: Interview on Tuesday at 4pm
Hi <Mr/Ms interviewer’s surname/first name>,
Thank you for your time [yesterday/interview date]. It was great to speak to you about the <job title> role, and I’m convinced that the position is a perfect fit for this stage in my career.
I would like an update on the recruitment process, so any information you can give me about the next steps would be greatly appreciated. Also, please ask me any follow-up questions that may have come up since we last spoke.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
<Your full name>
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Email may not be the best medium for following up, particularly if you haven’t communicated with the interviewer via email before. Depending on the job you're applying for, some, or all of these alternatives may be more appropriate:
If you’ve been working with a recruiter on the job role, you can also reach out to them to follow up with the hiring manager.
After the job interview, sending an interview follow-up email is recommended to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position. Your follow-up message should express gratitude for the opportunity to interview, highlight your continued interest in the job, and address any specific points discussed during the interview.
It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm and understanding of the role while leaving a lasting impression on the interviewers.
Remember that the decision-making process is often influenced by the complete package you present, including your interview performance and post-interview interactions.
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