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Following up after interview: Best way forward

You’ve just walked out of a big interview and are pleased you scored the opportunity. You smiled, shook hands and expressed appreciation before leaving the interview room, showing you’re professional, polite and courteous.

Now what?

Certainly, you’re keen to know how you did. You want to stay top of mind with your prospective employer and increase your chances of being called for a second interview. You’re also keen to say thanks more formally for the opportunity.

But what’s the best way forward?

This expert article shares insights on steps to consider post-interview. It also includes a sample of what our recruiters believe is an appropriate approach to sending a post-interview email. We also provide an example of what not to do.

Should I send a follow-up email?

Many interviewees inherently understand that a follow-up email is a smart idea. However, you want to avoid doing the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way.

What is the best timing?

While it might be tempting, do not send the follow-up email immediately after the interview. Chances are the interviewers are still immersed in the process (perhaps even with other candidates) and won’t want to be distracted. And while it’s good to be enthusiastic, you don’t want to appear aggressive or desperate.

It’s also good to take time to reflect on the interview. Jot down thoughts on your performance (good and bad) and sensible questions you may have.

What’s the best subject line?

Your subject line content depends on the type and level of position. Avoid being perky. You’re not, after all, writing promotional or marketing material.

Best to stick to this format:

Re: Interview for [add title of position] on [add date].

What is the best approach with content?

Our expert recruiters believe the best approach with content is to:

  • Keep the email short, sharp and to the point.
  • Write an appropriate, clear subject line.
  • Start by saying thanks and how it was great to meet panel members.
  • Keep a positive, professional tone (not over the top, however).
  • Reinforce that the interview has kept your interest in the position alive.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Ask for any information you don’t have on next steps.
  • Ask meaningful questions, but one or 2 maximum.

Avoid compromising the next stage by writing an email that:

  • demands specifics on next steps or timelines
  • is pushy by asking when you can call to discuss how you went
  • asks for information you should or do already know.

Send the email 24 hours after and early in the morning when it has a greater chance of being noticed.

How do I end the email?

Stay professional and sign off your email with a simple, non-offensive phrase like:

  • Thank you.
  • Looking forward to hearing from you.

If you don’t have a pre-made signature block, make sure you include your:

  • full name
  • contact details.

Can I send a message instead of an email?

These days, multiple communication channels exist (including messages through LinkedIn). However, use your judgment on what is most appropriate.

If all communication relating to the interview has been through LinkedIn, for example, then that platform might be appropriate.

Final tips

  • Don’t ram out the email and instantly press send.
  • Draft and take time to let the email rest.
  • View again and adjust or refine.
  • Check spelling, grammar and formatting so everything is in order.
  • Get a friend, colleague or family member to double-check … just in case you miss something.

Sample of a quality follow-up email

Thank you for your time [insert date and time of interview]. It was great to speak to you about the [add job title] and the interview reinforced my interest in the position.

When it’s convenient, I would appreciate an update on the next steps in the recruitment process and a potential timeline.

Please feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions that may have arisen since the interview.

One question I have is [insert the question].

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

<Your full name and contact phone numbers>

Sample of a poor follow-up email

Thanks for the interview. Am definitely interested in getting to the next stage and landing the position since I believe I have the skills and experience your company needs.

Can you please urgently provide me with details on what the next steps are, including whether there will be a second interview and also whether I will be given an opportunity to participate? If not, why not?

I believe I performed well in the interview and deserve to advance through to the next stage. No doubt you do too.

If would be great if you could get back to me asap.


<Your full name and contact phone numbers>

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