Everything you need to know about how to follow up after an interview

Landing an interview, whether by phone, video or in-person, is a huge feat in itself. Yet, one of the most stressful parts of the process is the post-interview waiting. What exactly do you do in the interim?

Touching base soon after an interview is one of the best ways you can reaffirm your interest and qualifications. If you’re not entirely sure what to say, how soon, or how often to follow up, here’s all the info you need to craft a flawless follow-up.

When should I follow up with my recruiter or hiring manager?

An easy-to-remember rule of thumb is 24,7. Not around the clock 24/7, but 24 comma 7! 24,7 means you should follow up within 24 hours of your interview, then seven days after your first follow-up.

Do you have to follow up after an informational interview?

Yes. If you went on an informational interview with someone who has a job or works at a company you admire, you should always follow up 24 hours after you meet to say thank you. After all, they’re going out of your way to give you valuable career info.

How should I follow up after a group interview? Can I send all my interviewers the same follow-up message?

You can, but you shouldn’t. A little customization goes a long way. Not only do you run the risk that your interviewers will notice they’ve received a template, but you also miss the opportunity to say something thoughtful about that person or your conversation that shows them you were paying attention.

What’s should I say in my follow-up message?

Your follow-up message should always be customized to reflect your personality and include specific details about your interview. Regardless, a few basics to incorporate are:

For your first follow-up, within 24 hours

  • Reiterate some things you spoke about in the interview
  • Show you listened to what they are looking for
  • If they mentioned any gap or worry about your experience, use the follow up to quell any fears they have about you being not the right fit
  • If you bonded over anything personal, like a favorite sports team, cultural interest, etc. bring up that it was nice chatting about it with them

For your second follow-up, 7 days after your first follow-up

  • Reply to the same email chain (the one where you sent your first follow-up) and include new information that’s useful or interesting to your interviewer. Some examples include a new sample of your work, perhaps one you didn’t have the change to bring up in the interview, an article that’s relevant to the role or conversation, or a new question about the company you didn’t get to ask at the interview.

What’s a good way to follow up if I’m no longer interested in the role I applied for?

It’s possible you lost interest in the role but nevertheless, follow up. You never know where that connection may lead down the line! Let the other person know you’re no longer interested, give a brief reason why, and thank them for their time and consideration.

What if I don’t hear back? Is it OK to check back in later? If so, when?

There’s plenty of reasons why a pro, recruiter or hiring manager might be delayed in getting back to you. The first of which is, they’re super busy. Wait one week after your first follow up to send a second, and another week to send a third (and final) follow up. If you still don’t hear from the other side, you may find closure in one of the following explanations, neither of which have to do with you being unqualified:

  1. The job is no longer open, be it because position’s been filled or because the company is undergoing changes and they’re no longer looking to hire for that role.
  2. The recruiter is extremely busy, and it’s not currently a priority to fill the position you applied for.

Can I ask the recruiter/hiring manager to give me an approximate timeline?

Yes! Although we advise that you do this in the actual interview, your interviewer will probably happy to give you one following the interview as well. Keep in mind, however, hiring timelines are variable and you may wait less or longer than expected.

Should I connect with my recruiter/hiring manager on LinkedIn after my interview?

Yes. Even if you’re waiting to hear back about the opportunity, strengthening your network is always a good move. Be sure to add a short custom note thanking them for taking the time to meet with you.

If I don’t get the job, can I ask my recruiter/hiring manager why?

Certainly. Feedback from a recruiter or hiring manager is extremely valuable and, if you put it into action, can take your job hunt to the next level. The more specific the feedback, the better. This way, you’ll know exactly how to build on your current skills so that you land the job next time. Do note: many recruiters are unable to do this for a handful of reasons, legally and because they might not have time, but it’s worth a shot to ask

We hope you have the opportunity to accept or decline an offer after an interview, but if you don’t, you can still create new relationships by making sure your follow-up game is strong.

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