How to Follow Up After an Interview

So you’ve just finished an interview, and are waiting to hear back from the organization about their hiring decision. The ball is in their court, right? Well, sort of…

After an interview, you’ll still want to take initiative to ensure that you demonstrate your professionalism and enthusiasm, as well as move the hiring process along smoothly. To help you do so, I’ve outlined some follow up best practices throughout the hiring process:

During the Interview:

I know the title of this post is about how to follow up after an interview, but in order to set yourself up for success, you should be thinking about the process moving forward during the interview itself. One of your last questions to the employer during the interview should always be about next steps moving forward. You want to get a sense of their timeline so that you can anticipate when and how you will hear about either another round of interviews, or a final hiring decision.

Within 24 hours:

Once you’ve completed an interview, it’s best to send a thank you email to those that interviewed you. If you don’t have contact information for all individuals, send it to your main point of contact and ask that they please share your message with others involved. In this email, express your gratitude for the opportunity. Highlight again key skills or reasons you will excel in the role and let them know how excited you are about the possibility of working there.

If you would like to send a thank you note via snail mail, you certainly can. It definitely makes positive impression to go above and beyond in this way. To expedite the process, you can craft the note and put it in the mail immediately following your interview, so that you don’t have to wait until you return home (if traveling). Either way, it’s best to still send the thank you email first so that you catch the interviewer right away.

With No Response:

Depending on the answer you got about the organization’s hiring timeline, you may be expecting a response within a week, 2 weeks, a month, etc. Use that information to gauge when you need to send a follow up email. For example, if you were told they would follow up within 1 week and it has now been almost 2 weeks, send a follow up email.

While it can be frustrating not to be communicated with on the originally proposed timeline, remember to maintain professionalism and continue to express your enthusiasm for the role. Life happens, employers get busy or sidetracked. For this reason, it’s reasonable to send 2 follow up emails if necessary.

Juggling Multiple Offers:

It’s often the case that you will be interviewing at multiple organizations simultaneously, and it is unlikely that these organizations will be on the exact same hiring schedule. You may receive one offer before another, and in some cases, you may still be waiting for the one you really want.

In this situation, you’ll want to contact the organization that you are still waiting to hear from and let them know. Explain that you are still very excited about their position and that you have received another offer that you’ll need to respond to. This will often push the organization to react a bit quicker so that you can make the best informed decision.

In the meantime, you’ll also want to let the organization that extended the offer know that you are extremely appreciative and would prefer a bit of time to make your final decision. This gives you a bit of time to gather as much information as possible before coming to a conclusion.