So you’ve had a positive job interview – great! What’s next?

After an interview, it’s only natural to want to know how you performed and whether you’ll be progressing forward. A good way to find out where you stand is to send an interview follow-up email, which is also an opportunity to formally thank your interviewer, recruiter or HR manager for their time. You might have some questions about the role, and this is your chance to ask these too.

There are, however, some pitfalls when sending a follow-up. If you come across as demanding, pushy or unprofessional, you may end up ruining your chances of landing the job. So keep this front of mind – any form of communication to the interviewer during any stage of the interview process should be treated with a high level of professionalism on your part.

Read our useful guide and tailor the free template below to write a professional follow-up email following your job interview.

When should you send a follow-up email after an interview?

As a general rule of thumb, do not email immediately after your interview – there’s a good chance your interviewer is speaking to other candidates so you won’t gain much from contacting them right away. You also need to use the time afterwards to process your experience, note down any questions you have, and recall what points of discussion impressed your interviewer, so that you can reinforce this again in your email.

It’s worthwhile trying to gauge the timing of the hiring process during your interview to know how soon is too soon, or whether an immediate response is required.

RELATED: 9 things to ask your recruiter (plus more interview questions)

What to include in your follow-up email

Subject line

There’s no need to spend ages deliberating over a snappy subject line. The most effective approach is to respond to the most recent email between you and the interviewer, recruiter or HR manager.

A standard format is, “Re: Interview on <date> at <time>”.

Introduction

If you’re on first-name terms with the person you’re contacting then it’s acceptable to open your follow-up email by using their first name. If not, or if you’re unsure, use their title and surname to keep it formal.

Body text

Stick to these key points to ensure you stay on track.

  • Thank them for their time and explain you are following up on your interview. Remember to be specific about the job, mentioning the job title and interview date.

Ultimately, the main reason you’re emailing is for a progress update – the interviewer will know this before they’ve even opened your message.

  • Use direct language while remaining polite.

  • Reaffirm your interest in the position and that you’re keen to hear about the next steps.

  • This is also the best time to raise any follow-up questions you have about the role.

Finally, ask for a progress update, explaining any information they can provide.

  • Such as when they will be contacting successful candidates for the next stage

Signing off

Having made your point in the main body of your follow-up email, sign off by inviting your interviewer to ask any additional questions. Close with, “Looking forward to hearing from you”, and then, “Thank you”, followed by your full name.

Always be professional

Tone of voice can directly influence the outcome of your interview – and this applies to your follow-up email as well.

Even if the interview itself was relatively relaxed, keep your follow-up email professional and courteous. Be clear about the purpose of your message and respect the interviewer’s time by keeping the email concise and to the point.

Follow-up email template

This template can be replicated or tailored for your follow-up email:

Subject: Re: Interview for <position>

Hi <Name of interviewer, recruiter or HR manager>,

Thank you for your time <yesterday/date of interview>. It was great to speak to you about the <job title> role and following our discussion, I’d like to reiterate my interest in the position.

<Add any follow-up questions here but keep it brief>

I’m hoping to get an update on the recruitment process at this stage – any information you can provide about the next steps would be greatly appreciated.

Please also feel free to ask me any follow-up questions that may have come up since we last spoke.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

<Your full name>

Check your follow-up email before sending

Take the time to draft out one or two versions until you’re completely happy with it. Ensure you’ve corrected any spelling or grammar errors, added missing punctuation and also check for formatting issues such as line spacing.

If you’re unsure, run it through spell check or get a friend to review it for you. It’s also useful to read it out loud so you can pick up on mistakes more easily.

Alternatives to a follow-up email

In the age of social media and online platforms, email isn’t the only potential channel for following up after an interview. Depending on the job you’re applying for, these alternatives may be more appropriate:

  • An instant messaging platform (e.g. Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams)

  • LinkedIn

  • WhatsApp

Use your judgement to figure out what’s appropriate – but generally speaking, it’s best to stick to one channel and one follow-up.

Searching for a new job? Explore our open roles or talk to a Page Personnel consultant about opportunities in your field today.

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