You finished your interview, went home excited to hear back, but now what? Maybe it’s been a few days (or weeks) and you haven’t heard anything.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to send a follow-up email after an interview if you’ve gotten no response, including:
Let’s get started…
Email subject lines are important because they determine whether your email gets opened, and how quickly.
I recommend following up with whoever said they’d been in touch after your interview, or if you’re not sure, follow up with whoever you were emailing to schedule the interview.
The person who scheduled your interview is a good person to follow up with to check the status of interview feedback.
The best way to write a subject line for a follow-up email is to simply reply to the latest email thread (that you used to schedule the interview) and leave the previous subject line.
For example, let’s say that this was the previous email subject line:
Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
You should hit “reply” in your email program and then the subject line will look like this:
Re: Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
Continuing with the existing email thread and leaving the subject line as-is will boost your email’s chances of getting opened faster.
The recipient will open your follow-up email because it’s clear what the email is about (and it’s clear that you’re not a stranger or someone cold-emailing them).
If you don’t have a previous email to reply to, then choose one of the following subject lines for your interview follow-up email:
The body of your follow-up email should be short and to the point. Most employers prefer to receive a short and sweet follow-up email after the job interview without any unnecessary info.
So be clear and direct about why you’re following up. Don’t be timid. However, you should be polite and respectful, no matter how long you’ve been waiting.
How to write a follow-up email after an interview:
That last point is critical. Even if you’re about to send a second or third interview follow-up email after two weeks, writing a rude message or showing frustration won’t make the employer’s decision-making process move any faster, and it could even cost you the job.
So use a positive tone, tell the employer that you’re checking for status updates and you’re excited to hear feedback when they have a chance, and then conclude by saying something like, “Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to hearing back when you have a chance.”
Next, I’m going to make the task of sending an email after the interview even easier. I’m going to give you word-for-word samples you can copy…
I hope all is well.
I’m following up to see if you have any status updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position that I interviewed for on <DATE>.
I’m excited to hear about the next steps, and the role seems like a great fit for my background based on what I learned! Any updates you can share would be great.
Thanks so much,
If you send this, wait five business days for a response. If you don’t receive a reply at that point, then it’s time to send a second email…
I hadn’t heard a reply to my last email so I wanted to check back in to see how the interview process is moving on your end.
Are there any updates you can share regarding the <JOB TITLE> position? I’m still interested in the opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from you when you have any news to share.
Thanks so much,
Note: The follow-up email templates above are best if you’ve already sent a thank-you email a day after your interview.
We can’t go back in time though. So if you didn’t send a thank-you note after your interview, you can write a follow-up email that also thanks the employer…
The basic interview follow-up steps above will still work, but we need to add one piece near the beginning of the follow-up email.
After greeting the hiring manager or interviewer by their name, you should thank them for taking the time to interview you.
I’d mention the specific date you spoke to remind them, too. For example: “Dear Jeff, thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Thursday.”
Then you can use the same steps that we covered above for a regular interview follow-up email…
Say you enjoyed learning about the position you discussed (be specific and refer to it by the job title), and then tell them you’re eager for an update. Be clear and direct, and ask for an update.
Finish by thanking them, and then conclude the email with your full name, just like the examples above.
Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with me on Thursday to discuss the <JOB TITLE> position. I enjoyed our conversation and the information you shared about <specific topic> was interesting.
I’m following up to see if you have any updates regarding the position now.
I’m excited to hear about the next steps, and the role seems like a great fit for my background based on what I learned! Anything you can share would be great.
Thanks so much,
And for your future interviews, here is a thank-you email template I recommend after your interview. Send this within 24 hours. I prefer lunchtime of the following day:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about <SPECIFIC TOPIC>, and the <JOB TITLE> position sounds like an exciting opportunity for me at this point in my career. I look forward to hearing any updates as they’re available, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
You should follow up five business days after your job interview if you haven’t heard feedback from the employer. Or, if the employer provided an expected date for feedback after the interview, follow up one business day after that date has passed.
For example, if the hiring team said that they would inform you about the next steps within three days of your job interview, wait four days, and then send a follow-up email.
The idea is… this will help you avoid looking too eager and desperate.
Note that you should also send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview!
Don’t use these follow-up templates to email the company a day after your interview; employers need time to make their decision. However, companies appreciate a brief “thank you” before they’ve even made a decision.
You can use this article to write a thank-you email.
Keep in mind that delays happen and the hiring process takes time. So the best thing for you to do while waiting for a status update is to apply for more jobs and try to get more interviews scheduled. You shouldn’t stop doing this until you’ve signed a job offer!
No matter how well you write your follow-up email, it isn’t going to get a company to move its process faster, bypass delays, skip over other candidates, etc.
This is why you should keep applying for jobs until you’ve signed a job offer. No exceptions. Because you never know if a company is interviewing 10 other people, considering promoting an internal candidate, or any number of other things that could cost you the job even if your interview went well.
Some job seekers have asked me whether the example emails above are too brief or too simple. In my opinion, no.
I always recommend using a short and sweet follow-up email in your job search. I recommend keeping the length approximately the same as the templates I provided above.
Don’t complicate your message. Give a polite greeting, be up-front and say what you want (an update on the hiring process), and then conclude your email politely without any unnecessary “fluff” or filler content.
This type of follow-up email is your best shot at getting a prompt update after your interview without seeming pushy, desperate, etc.
In all likelihood, the person you emailed will get back to you and apologize and say they’re still working on a decision. Or there’s a chance they have news to share and will update you as soon as they get your email.
Either way, you reminded them you’re waiting for news and still have interest in the position, which is the goal (employers aim to hire people that seem genuinely interested in the role, and they won’t just assume you’re interested after an interview if they don’t hear from you!)
If you want to know what else hiring managers look for when conducting interviews, read my list of job interview tips here. It’ll help you understand the employer’s mindset better and will give you a big advantage over the competition in your job search.
In some cases, the hiring manager or recruiter will reply to your follow-up email and say they’re still in the middle of the hiring process and don’t have information about the next steps yet.
At times, they’ll be specific about what they’re working on behind the scenes (for example, they might say that they’re still working on getting the whole team together as a group to discuss various candidates) but often, they won’t tell you the specifics.
Either way, I recommend responding with a brief email to keep the conversation alive and ensure that you stay in touch. By using the following email template, you give yourself an opening to follow up again if needed, too.
Thank you for the information.
When would be an appropriate time for me to check back in?
I’m excited about the opportunity and want to stay in touch, but I know these things take time so I don’t want to follow up too often here.
Any information that you can share about the process would be great.
If you sent the first and second follow-up emails from the samples provided earlier and still didn’t hear back from the employer about your status as a candidate, here’s what to do:
I just wanted to follow up again, make sure you saw my last email, and ask whether you have any status updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position that I interviewed for on <DATE>. I’m looking forward to hearing back about potential next steps when you have a chance. Thank you so much!
If you still haven’t gotten a response at that point, I’d be patient. There’s a chance that an important person in the hiring process is on vacation, or that the person you’ve been emailing is extremely busy, sick, etc.
So I recommend waiting a minimum of 48-72 hours at this point, and in some cases, a full week is better to wait.
Sending another follow-up sooner than this won’t help you get the job. So try to focus on other tasks in your job search while waiting to ask for an update again.
Once you do feel it’s time to take things further, here’s who to email and how to write the email…
Pick the next logical person in the company to email.
For example, if you were emailing an HR person before, try the hiring manager or somebody in the department you’ve been talking to in your job interviews. Or vice versa; if you’ve emailed the hiring manager multiple times with no response, then try checking in with HR, a recruiter, or another relevant contact within the company.
Since this is a brand-new email thread, you’ll need to write a subject line. I recommend keeping it simple and using one of the example subject lines that I shared earlier in this article.
I’m writing to ask for any updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position that I interviewed for on <DATE>.
I emailed <NAME> last week and hadn’t received any reply or updates, so I thought it made sense to ask you next.
If/when you have any feedback you can share, please do let me know. I enjoyed learning about the opportunity and am looking forward to hearing feedback when your team has a chance.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
In the sample emails above, you’ll notice a mix of different ways of “signing off” and concluding the email. You can choose whichever option sounds natural to you, as some are more formal than others.
Here’s a complete list of good, reliable options for how to end your interview follow-up email (in order of more formal to less formal):
You can also decide whether to write your first and last name or just your first name. Choose based on your previous interactions with the hiring manager or employer, and what you feel fits with the industry and company culture.
If you’ve been exchanging emails with the hiring manager on a first-name basis, you can just sign your email with your first name.
If you follow the advice above, you will have great emails to send after any interview… from a phone interview to a final stage in-person interview.
However, there are also a few other tips I can share that will make the process easier and help you get the job:
Tip 1: If you’re still not 100% confident about your emails after reading the information above, have a friend or family member look at your follow-up email to give feedback.
They can double-check everything and tell you if it sounds polite and clear, or whether something sounds off!
Tip 2: End each interview by asking when you can expect to hear feedback. Simply say, “When can I expect to hear feedback, and who will be in touch?”
Sometimes it’s normal for it to take one to two weeks for a response after your job interview. For example, maybe you were the first person they interviewed and they need to talk to a couple of other candidates before making a decision.
So this tip will save you a lot of stress because you’ll know whether it’s time to follow up or not, and you won’t be worried if you’ve gotten no response after a couple of days.
While you wait for feedback, you can read these signs your interview went well or badly.
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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