So you prepped weeks in advance for the interview. And because you’re a weirdo IWT reader, you even practiced questions with your friends and family.
And when you went in…you crushed every question they threw at you — and even wowed them by utilizing my Briefcase Technique. By all accounts, everything went really well and you feel pretty confident about your chances…
The days after an interview can be some of the most stressful for any job seeker and are often wrought with the constant checking of your inbox to see if they emailed you an offer.
There’s actually something you should be doing after the interview that will HUGELY increase your chances of landing your Dream Job: sending an interview follow-up email.
But what should your email say? How long after the interview should you send it? And what do you do if you don’t hear back?
Today, I’ll show you how to craft the perfect interview follow-up email. When you do this right, it will instantly make you the clear favorite for any job you’re after.
Why sending a follow-up email is a critical step
“But Ramit, why do I have to send a follow-up email? Wasn’t my awesome interview good enough?”
Listen, it doesn’t matter how good your interview was — you STILL need to send a follow-up email for 5 reasons:
- It leaves a good impression. And impressions are everything when it comes to getting a job.
- The hiring manager will remember you. You were likely one of several interviews conducted by the company. Don’t get lost in the fray. There’s no better way to keep you on the hiring manager’s brain than by sending a follow-up email.
- You show that you have initiative. When you go out of the way to send an after-interview email, it shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond to make a lasting impression.
- The company will see that you’re genuinely interested. The follow-up email is a good way to separate you from the other interviewees who most likely didn’t even think to loop back with them.
- Interview follow-up emails work. Your chances of getting the job go way up if you send a follow-up email. Especially if you are neck-and-neck with another candidate.
Imagine you’re in the process of hiring and you have two potential candidates. Both are equally qualified for the role and interviewed well — but only ONE of them sent you a follow-up message thanking you for your time and calling back to some points you made that really made an impact on them.
Who do you think you’re going to pick for the job?
Answer: THE PERSON WHO SENT YOU THE FOLLOW-UP MESSAGE!!
It’s important to also keep in mind that your interviewer’s reputation is on the line.
This is key, so I’m going to say it again.
Based on the few minutes they interact with you, your interviewer has to make a lot of important assessments. Do you have the right skills? Will you fit with the company culture? Are you reliable and trustworthy? etc.
It’s like speed-dating on steroids — with one major exception. If they judge you incorrectly, they don’t just risk an awkward second date. They risk their boss questioning their judgment for the rest of their career. And if it doesn’t work out they have wasted months of time and thousands of dollars. They need to get this right. Not just for YOU but for THEM.
It’s important to keep this in mind when you go into an interview.
Your success is in their best interest. And when you follow up correctly after an interview, you make their job easier by proving you’re a top-performer who deserves the job.
Before you start on the interview follow-up email
First, you’re going to want to make sure you nailed the interview. Check out my video on how to expertly approach tough interview questions. It’s less than 2 minutes and you WON’T regret it.
After the interview and before you even consider rushing home to draft that perfect follow-up email, make sure you do one thing: Grab the business cards or contact information of everyone you spoke to.
And I. Mean. EVERYONE.
Was there someone who screened you on the phone before you got the interview? Get their email.
Was there a panel of interviewers? Write down their contact info.
Did a receptionist escort you to a waiting area and grab you a glass of water before your interview? Grab her business card too.
I can’t think of a single employer who wouldn’t LOVE it if their receptionist told them about the awesome interviewee who emailed them to thank them for helping them that day. They could also be your future coworkers so it’s an easy way to start building a great relationship.
The little details go a long way when it comes to the follow-up.
How to follow up with the hiring manager (with word-for-word script)
There are two ways you can approach your follow-up email and the pros and cons for each:
Send the hiring manager a physical card or letter
Pros:Receiving a physical message is incredibly novel in this day and age — and this could set you apart even more from the rest of the applicants.
Cons: It’s not as fast as sending an email — and you’re going to want to send the follow-up as soon as possible after the interview. If they are moving fast, your note may arrive too late.
Write an email to them
Pros:It’s quick, easy, and allows you to send to multiple people with one message (pro-tip: write one really great follow-up, then copy and edit it for each person you spoke to).
Cons: It’s impersonal and there’s also the chance that your message is lost in their inbox or spam folder. Sending the exact same letter to everyone could backfire.
In the end though, it doesn’t matter which method you choose as long as you do it.
When you do, here’s the exact word-for-word script you can use to follow up with the interview manager:
This example is for an email — but you can easily use it for a physical card.
Notice three key things about this email:
- It’s a short, simple message. Your follow-up message doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. In fact, making it too long will either bore the hiring manager or make them think you’re desperate.
- It’s specific. Be sure to get specific about the details. Bring up something that you actually enjoyed talking about in the interview. These details will trigger the hiring manager’s memory and help make a great, lasting impression.
- It should be sent as quickly as possible. Aim to send your email within two hours of your interview. This will show your enthusiasm, and it’ll be easier for you to remember all the details you should include.
Advanced tip: The best people in every field automate as many areas of their lives as possible. You can actually automate your interview follow-up email, if you want to save some time and ensure it gets sent. You can do this by creating a draft of your follow-up email before you even go to the interview. That way after it’s done, you can simply open the draft, fill in the missing details, and hit “send.” Boom. You’re done and can spend more time focusing on the Big Wins in your life.
Don’t sweat it and be patient. It may take the hiring manager several days or weeks to interview the other applicants and make a decision.
After a few days though, you can send another follow-up message to check in.
Use this gentle email template to nudge them along.
Notice how this email is short and gets right to the point. It uses a light touch, but still lets them know you’re interested in the job.
It’s also important that this email doesn’t makes the recipient feel guilty for not replying sooner. If you make them feel that way, a follow-up will actually backfire on you and you could lose the opportunity altogether.
The most likely thing is that they’re just busy or your first message got lost in the inbox. This email will grab their attention and bring your interview back to the top of their mind.
After that, wait one more week before sending your next, and final, response.
Advanced tip: Be sure to download a tracking app, such as HubSpot’s email tracking tool, that lets you know exactly when your interviewer opens your follow-up message. The tool notifies you the moment they see your email, so you’ll be able to follow up right then while you’re fresh on their minds. Doing this is key because it’s not disruptive since they’re already reading your email and saves both you and the interviewer time.
When to call it quits on following up
If you still haven’t heard back a week later, reply to your previous interview follow-up email, saying this:
If they’re interested, they’ll get back to you. If they still don’t reply, it’s probably safe to assume they’ve chosen someone else for the role.
If that’s the case, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to everyone at some point. Go back to the job search — and prepare even better next time.
Interview better than 99% of people
If you REALLY want to dominate your job search even more, I can help you with that.
I recorded a quick video on the 3 simple strategies you can use to dominate your next — and every — interview. You’ll learn:
- What to say (word for word) when you get a difficult interview question
- How to show the hiring manager that you deserve the job (hint: it’s not just about the words you use)
- How to signal that you’re a top candidate (even if you’re fresh out of college or entering a new field)
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