It’s not uncommon to give a great interview with an excellent company only to not receive a word from them afterward. Perhaps, their hiring manager is busy. Maybe they haven’t decided on a candidate yet. Nobody knows. When this happens to you, sending a follow-up email to them is often a good way to find out what happened. At the same time, it’s also crucial to make sure your follow-up email doesn’t give the wrong impression or annoy the hiring manager.
Follow-up after an interview
It’s very common to finish a great interview, go home, and wait for a response only to receive none for as long as a few weeks. When this happens, it’s time for you to do a follow-up to your interview. But, you need to do it politely or professionally, or else you could come across as rude and bothersome.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to do a follow-up tastefully. If you annoy your potential employer, they may choose to not hire you just because of that. You could actually ruin your chances of landing a job just by giving an unprofessional follow-up.
How to follow up after an interview
These 4 tips will help you write concise professional follow-ups that won’t upset potential employers.
The Thank-You Note
Give your hiring manager a wholehearted ‘thank you’ and ask them when you could expect a response at the end of your interview. The date they give you will help you decide the best time to do a follow-up later. For instance, if the interviewer says you can expect a reply in a week, asking for a follow-up after 3 days would be inappropriate.
While you shouldn’t do a follow-up right after your interview, you can leave a handy thank you note that encourages the interviewer to respond faster to you. The note should thank the interviewer for their time and preferably mention something good about the organization to leave a positive note.
Also, it’s very important to close your thank you note on a line that leaves room open for future communication like ‘I look forward to hearing from you’.
When to Send the Follow-up Note
Let’s say the date the hiring manager told you to expect a reply goes by without a word–what do you do now? Just wait for now. Most businesses take time evaluating candidates, especially if they receive a large number of applicants.
Also, the due date your interviewer told wasn’t a hard commitment either, so they’re not obligated to respond by that exact date. So, it’s always best to wait a little while, before sending your follow-up note, preferably around a week or more.
In fact, we’d recommend leaving a reminder in your calendar and not thinking about the job at all until that date arrives. There’s a good chance you’ll receive a reply from the company within that week. Only send a follow-up if they don’t reply even after a week.
The Follow-up note
It’s absolutely crucial to have a professional-looking and respectful follow-up letter, as we said earlier. You should start your letter by briefly explaining why you’re contacting them.
Say something like
“Hi, I interviewed for [position] on [date], and I just wanted to ask if you had any news to share with me?”
Next, you want to spin the message in a positive way to show that you’re enthusiastic rather than persistent.
“I genuinely enjoyed interviewing for this position, and I’m especially impressed by this company. So, I’d love to work with you long-term”.
Lastly, you want to end positively:
“ Also, please feel free to inform me if there’s any additional information I could provide. I’m very excited for even being considered for this position.”
The only appropriate situation to contact a company between the interview and the intended hiring date is when your situation changes. For example, Suppose you’ve found a better job or need to switch careers. In that case, you should inform all other companies you’ve applied to that you’re no longer available.
The Feedback Note
If you don’t receive a response from the company even a week after the expected date, you should send them a feedback note. The feedbac+k note will briefly thank the interviewer for having provided you with the opportunity, and it should end on a positive note.
The feedback note will provide you with feedback on what you did wrong in the interview. You can then use that information to avoid committing the same mistake next time.
Keep your feedback note brief and start it by expressing disappointment that you didn’t receive the job, but still praise the company.
“I’m disappointed to know I wasn’t selected for this position, but I still consider it a privilege to have even been considered. I also genuinely enjoyed my conversation with you.”
Next, politely ask for feedback, like:
“Since I’m still new to job searching, I was hoping you could give me feedback on my interview so I could do better next time. I would immensely appreciate that.”
In conclusion, the right way to follow up after an interview is to send a polite and concise email at least one week after the date you were told to wait till. Your follow-up email should be polite, professional, and positively framed. You can also send ‘thank you’ notes and feedback requests’ to the hiring manager to stay in communication with them.