How to follow up after a job interview

You’ve just finished the big job interview for the job you really want, and the employer says they should have a decision for you in a week or so. Are you done? Should you put your feet up and wait by the phone? No. You still have to follow-up.

Send a thank you note

You must send a short thank-you email to each person that you interviewed with. This is just good manners. People took time out of their busy day to meet with you and consider your candidacy. Thank them for their time and their consideration.

Remember to get the email addresses of everyone you speak with in the recruiting process, so that you will be able to reach them afterwards.


This is a good opportunity to briefly restate your enthusiasm for the role and point out why you think you’d be a great fit for it. Keep it conversational. The thank you note is a polite reiteration, not a hard sell.

You should send your thank you email either the afternoon of your interview or the very next day.

It’s not likely that the thank you note would actually be the tool that lands you the job, but this attention to detail and courtesy will set you apart from all of the candidates who didn’t send one.

Subsequent follow-ups

If you haven’t heard from the employer in the time they indicated they would make a decision – or in what seems like a reasonable amount of time, it is okay to write in a second time.

Write in. Use a polite email. Do not call. Nobody likes to be put on the spot by an unsolicited phone call from an eager candidate. It’ll hurt your chances more than helping them.

Use this second follow-up email to inquire how the hiring process is going. You can also mention any qualifications or accomplishments you have that you might have forgotten to mention at the interview. You’ve had some time to think about it now. Refer to the job interview specifically, demonstrating that you pay attention in conversations and have a great memory for details.

Employers prefer to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job. Your follow-up communications are a great opportunity for you to showcase that you are excited to work for them. However, it is a fine line. You don’t want to come across as desperate or a nuisance.

Too many emails or worse – phone calls – or far worse – dropping by the office – will have the employer thinking they dodged a bullet by not hiring you.

So much of getting hired comes down to the impression you make on potential employers. You want to appear confident, competent, and courteous. So, send polite, professional follow-up emails. Restate your qualifications and interest. Just don’t harass or stalk.

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