Sometimes, you’ll ace an interview only to never hear from that company again. There are few things as frustrating, and in our experience, it can throw you off your game. In some cases, someone else may have expressed more interest in the job, so they snatched the position away.
The easiest way to show recruiters you’re excited about working with them is to send an interview follow up email. It doesn’t have to be novel-length either, a paragraph or two will do on most occasions. In this article, we’ll talk about why interview follow up emails are useful, when to send one, and how to do it.
Let’s get you that job!
Why You Should Send an Interview Follow Up Email
The idea behind an interview follow up email is simple. You may have done amazing in your interview, but you’re most likely not the only person that’s up for the same job. For example, if your interview occurs early in the day, the subsequent applicants might make them forget you, even if you wowed them at the time.
With a follow up email, you can remind the people deciding who gets hired that you’re the perfect candidate. As long as your interview went well (which we’re sure it did!) sending one of these emails could give you an edge over other applicants, especially since it shows you’re motivated and highly interested.
What to Consider When Writing an Interview Follow Up Email
While there are clear benefits to sending an interview follow up email, there are also several ways it can backfire if your approach is wrong. For example, if you use the wrong tone, you might even make the recruiters less likely to consider you. Just to give you an idea, here’s what your interview follow up email shouldn’t read like:
I went in for an interview yesterday and I wanted an update about the position. Please get back to me ASAP.
All the best,
If we were recruiting new members, that email would immediately convince us to drop that applicant, since it shows a clear lack of professionalism. Here’s what you need to keep in mind, so your interview follow up email lands better:
- Wait a little while before sending it. Some people wait a day after their interview, while others play the long game and hold off for up to a week. In any case, wait at least 24 hours before hitting the Send button.
- Re-iterate your interest in the job. This should be the core of any interview follow up email since your goal is to remind recruiters that you’re a top candidate.
- Be thankful for their attention. A great interview follow up email should always include a brief thank you for the recruiter’s time. Just enough to be polite without sounding too gushing.
On top of those considerations, it’s usually a good idea to keep your follow up email rather brief, no matter how nervous you are. To put it another way, your interview should do most of the heavy lifting for you. If an interviewer doesn’t want to hire you after your meeting, chances are a follow up email won’t change that. However, it can help you seal the deal on top of a successful interview.
3 Elements Your Interview Follow Up Email Must Include
For the best possible results, there are a few elements every interview follow up email should include. Let’s go over what those are.
1. A Simple Subject Line
Unlike other types of emails, you don’t need to be too flashy when it comes to headlines when it comes to an interview follow up. In some cases, recruiters might not even look at follow up emails, so ‘catching’ their attention might not be possible.
Instead, we recommend you go with a simple subject line. For example, any of the below would be good choices:
- Thank you for your time
- Following up on my application
- Concerning my interview for X position
None of those headlines are too pushy, which is precisely what you’re aiming for. In our experience, it’s also a nice touch to include a simple thank you as part of your title, although your mileage may vary.
Sometimes, you’ll run across interview follow up emails with titles such as “Any update regarding X position?”. That kind of headline can sound a bit demanding in a way that’s likely to turn off recruiters, so you’ll probably want to avoid using that kind of pressing language.
2. Thank the Interviewer for Their Time
Although your title might also include an individual ‘thank you’, it’s also important you take the time to write one within the body of your email. As we mentioned earlier, you want your gratitude to sound sincere, so there’s no need to go overboard. Here’s a quick example of how you could do it:
Hello Mr. Doe,
You might recall I interviewed for the position of COO last week. I wanted to thank you for your time and reiterate my interest in the job.
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
When it comes to interview follow up emails, you want to use a professional tone in the vast majority of cases. There may be some jobs for which a more casual email might be a benefit, but those tend to be outliers.
Note the fact that in that example, the thank you message was quick and then we moved on reiterating our interest in the position. In our experience, people in charge of hiring won’t be swayed by long, gushing paragraphs, so keep it simple!
3. Mention Something You Discussed During the Interview
If you’re a good conversationalist, you’ll probably recognize this ‘trick’. The idea is that when you meet someone again, mentioning something you discussed the last time you met shows interest. It’s incredibly basic, but it can help other people perceive you more favorably.
Chances are you covered a lot of ground during your interview, which may have included a specific tangent or interesting comment. If you can recall something of that nature and slip it into your email, it not only shows you were paying attention, but it can also help jog their memory. Let’s go over another quick example:
Hello Mr. Doe,
You may recall that I interviewed for the position of COO last week. We had a great chat about the company and the prospects for the next few years. I was particularly interested by your mention of how to automate processes to increase productivity.
I wanted to take a minute to thank you again for your time and re-iterate my interest in the position.
All the best,
As always, remember to keep things rather brief. Some interviewers might appreciate an in-depth email about a subject you discussed. However, in most cases they’ll get a lot of messages like yours to read through, so they’ll appreciate you being concise. If you can strike a nice balance between sounding professional, keeping things brief, and reminding them who you are, it should vastly help your chances of getting hired!
Sometimes, you need to go above and beyond to land the job you want. One of the best ways to do this is to show potential employers how enthusiastic you are about working with them. You don’t need to send a flower bouquet, either – a simple email should do just fine.
When it comes to interview follow up emails, you need to keep yours concise and make sure you remind the employer why you’re the right person for the job. Throwing in a mention or two from something they said during the interview is also a nice touch, as long as you don’t come across as too desperate.