So, you finished your interview, went home excited to hear back, but now what? Maybe it’s been a few days (or more) and you haven’t heard anything.
I’m going to show you exactly how to send a follow up email after your interview if you’ve gotten no response, with examples and templates.
One WARNING first though: Don’t use these follow-up templates to email the company after one day! It takes time for the company to interview people and make decisions. If it’s one day after your interview, you should be sending a “thank you” email instead (I’ll cover that too).
Follow up email subject lines are important. They decide whether your email gets opened, and how fast.
I’d recommend following up with whoever said they’d been in touch. Or follow up with whoever you’ve been talking to for scheduling, etc.
The best subject line, and the one that’s going to get opened faster than anything else, is to simply reply to the latest email between the two of you.
It’ll look something like this:
“Re: Interview on Thursday at 10 AM”
They’ll open it immediately because it’ll appear as part of the previous conversation. Much better than starting a whole new email for this.
I’d keep it simple and straight-forward. Don’t be shy or unclear. Tell them you’re excited to hear back and wanted to check if there’s an update or a decision yet. This is the best follow-up email if you already sent a “Thank You” email.
How to write a follow up email after an interview:
Note: This strategy above is best if you’ve already sent a “Thank You” email a day after your interview. I’m going to give you one in this article coming up in a minute, so keep reading.
We can’t go back in time though. So if you didn’t send a “Thank You” email after your last interview and a few days have passed, I’ll show you what to send… You just need a follow up email that also thanks them for interviewing you, since this is your first contact with them.
Best follow-up email if you DIDN’T already send a “Thank You” email:
The interview follow up steps above will still work, but we need to add one piece near the start. After greeting them 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. Something like this: “Dear Jeff, thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Thursday”.
Then you can jump right into step #4 above. Say you enjoyed learning about the position you discussed (be specific and refer to it by the job title).
Then tell them you’re hoping for an update. Be clear and direct, and ask for what you want.
Finish by thanking them, and ending the email with your full name, just like in the steps above.
For next time, here is a “Thank You” email template I recommend right after your interview. Send it at lunchtime the following day:
I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your time 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’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.”
No. Don’t complicate it. Be up-front and say what you actually want, which I assume is an update on the status.
This email is your best shot at getting that update without seeming pushy, anxious, insecure, desperate, or any of the things that’ll turn a company off.
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 interested, which is important if 4-5 days have passed because companies love to hire people that seem genuinely interested. If you want to know why, or what else a company looks for first, you should check out my complete list of job interview tips. It’ll help you understand the company’s mindset a lot better.
Send your first follow-up email five business days after the interview if you weren’t told when to expect feedback. Or, if the employer provided you with an expected date for feedback after the interview, wait at least one additional business day beyond that. This will help you avoid seeming overly-eager when following up.
Remember – delays do happen and the decision-making process takes time. So the best thing to do while waiting for a status update is 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 interview 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, 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.
This is a pretty likely scenario, they respond to your email and say they’re still waiting for something to happen. Sometimes they’ll be specific on what that ‘something’ is but usually not. Either way I’d respond with something to keep the conversation alive and give yourself an opening to follow up again if needed.
Here’s an example of an email reply you could send them:
“Thanks for the update. Do you have a sense of what the timing will look like moving forward? Or when would be an appropriate time for me to check back in? I’m excited about the opportunity, but I know these things take time so I don’t want to follow up too often here.”
If you sent your followup email after the interview and didn’t hear back, here’s what to do:
First, make sure you’ve waited a one or two days for a response (not counting weekends). Give them some time.
Then send a followup to the same person, replying to the same email you already sent and keeping the subject line.
Just wanted to make sure you saw my last email and follow up again to see if you had any updates regarding the <JOB TITLE> position. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks!”
If you still haven’t heard back at that point, I’d be very patient. There’s a chance someone necessary for the decision is on vacation or the person you emailed is extremely busy. If you get nothing after 48 MORE hours, you can email somebody else in the company.
I might wait even longer though. Really, at this point, you’re not going to gain anything by sending more followups one day sooner. So if in doubt, just wait a bit. I might wait a full week at this point if it were my job search.
However, when you do feel it’s time to take things further and check back in, here’s what to do…
Pick the next logical person and send them an email. If you were emailing an HR person before, try the hiring manager or somebody in the department you interviewed in. Or the other way around – if you’ve been emailing with the hiring manager before the interview and they’ve gone silent, try checking in with HR.
Example Subject Line:
“Any interview updates? I emailed <CONTACT’S NAME> and didn’t hear back”
It’s a bit long, but it’s specific which means it’ll get opened and the person on the other end will know it’s not spam.
The contact’s name is who you’ve been emailing previously – the person who isn’t answering your emails.
The Email Body:
I emailed <CONTACT’S NAME> last week and hadn’t heard back so I wanted to send you a brief note. Is there any feedback you can share about my interview or the status of the <JOB TITLE> position? I’m looking forward to hearing any new updates when your team has a chance. Thanks!”
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 worry-free:
Tip 1: If you’re still not 100% confident about anything above, you can always have a friend or family member look at your follow-up email before you send it out.
They can double-check everything and tell you if it sounds polite and is clear on what you’re asking.
Tip 2: Try to 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 1-2 weeks for a response after your interview. For example, maybe you were the first person they interviewed and they need to talk to a couple other candidates before making a decision.
So this 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.
If you have more interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I’ve created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.