Best Practices for Successful Job Interviews -The Follow-Up Email

Editorial Team

Best Practices for Successful Job Interviews -The Follow-Up Email

After an interview, it’s natural to want an update on the hiring process. Unfortunately, some recruiters won’t get back to you right away, if at all, so sending a follow-up email may be the best move. As long as you don’t come off as pushy or informal, recruiters will typically respond.

Why Should You Send a Follow-Up Email?

A follow-up email may be sent to alert a recipient to a previously sent email, request information, or remind someone of something important. The best follow-up emails are short, professional, and to the point. A well-crafted follow-up message is often answered in less than an hour.

How Long Should You Wait to Send a Follow-Up Email?

According to experts, you should send a follow-up message five business days after your job interview if you haven’t received any feedback. However, if the recruiter says they’ll respond to you in “X number of days,” wait a whole day after that date before sending a follow-up email. 

How to Write a Great Follow-Up Email

Before utilizing the following tips, be sure to use a template to express your interest in the job. A great follow-up email needs to be formatted correctly, and a template can help you with that.

Craft a Strong Email Subject Line

A strong email subject line ensures your message gets read. If you already have an email thread open with the recruiter, leave the previous subject line. If you don’t have a previous email to reply to, use a subject line like “Interview Status Follow-Up” or “Following Up for Interview Results.”

Write a Few Body Paragraphs

The body of your follow-up email should be short and sweet. In three paragraphs or less, address the recruiter by their first and last name, a gentle greeting, and a few job details. A simple email will explain why you’re following up and why you’re interested in the position.

Finish the Follow-Up With a “Thanks”

To make sure the recruiter knows you want a direct response, ask directly for an update and state that you look forward to the next steps. Then, thank them for their time and sign off with your first and last name. Don’t forget to run a spellcheck and proofread before you hit send!

Change it Up for the Second Email

If you don’t receive a response within five business days, send a second email. State that you hadn’t heard a reply to your last email and that you wanted to touch base about the opportunity. Express interest by saying you’re still excited about the position and would love to learn more.

Keep the Tone Light and Positive

Problem management is essential during the interview process for yourself and the recruiter. While it’s frustrating to receive no feedback, especially after your second or third email, a rude or snappy message won’t make the employer move faster and may even cost you the position. 

What to do While you Wait for Feedback

Delays happen in the hiring process all the time, so take advantage of your free time. Keep applying for more jobs and schedule more interviews, as a follow-up email won’t guarantee a response or the position. It’s essential to stay focused on your job search while you wait.

What to do if the Recruiter has No Feedback

Some recruiters will respond back, even if they don’t have any feedback. Whether they explain what’s happening behind the scenes or not, you should send a follow-up email. Ask if there’s an appropriate time to check back in and explain that you’re excited to hear back from them.

What to do if There’s No Response After Multiple Emails

If it’s been weeks since you’ve heard from the interviewer, follow up with another person in the company. They can either be a hiring manager, HR person, or recruiter. You can send the same second follow-up email but include why you chose to speak to the other person instead.

While you could keep sending follow-up emails until they decide to respond (or block you), you should call it quits if you don’t hear a response from the second person. The company may not want to speak to you, the process is taking a while, or the recruitment staff is disorganized.

It’s disappointing to not hear back from an employer, but if you continue to look for work in the meantime, you’ll likely have something else lined up. Don’t let one bad experience ruin your day.