After the interview, the job interview process isn't over! To set yourself apart from other candidates you need to send the hiring manager a follow up email.
Follow up emails are an important part of the interview process that you don't want to forget. After you research the company, answer the job interview questions successfully, and determine this job is a good fit for you, it's time to write a follow up email.
It is important to send a follow up email after a job interview to stay in contact with the recruiter, question interviewers about things you forgot to ask about in the interview, and set you apart from other job candidates.
Sending a follow up email after a job interview is an unwritten societal rule. It's similar to other cultural customs and courtesies like sending thank you notes after getting gifts. It isn't expressly required, but common courtesy dictates that the most professional job candidates send thank you, follow up emails after a job interview.
Your interview might be done by a hiring manager, a job recruiter, or the employer. These people are very busy. On top of doing their own jobs they also have the recruiting process to figure out and some major decisions to make. Hiring managers also interview many different candidates and it can be difficult to remember each one.
A follow up email can help you stand out from all the other candidates they interviewed and keep you in the forefront of their minds as they make their choice.
A follow up email also shows that you're professional, courteous, thoughtful, and serious about the job. By taking the extra courtesy and responsibility to send a follow up email, you'll automatically stand out from any other candidate that doesn't send a follow up email.
You should send a follow up email soon enough after the interview that the recruiter will easily be able to attribute you, your face, and your interview to the email. This will ensure the interviewer remembers you.
You should send a follow up email after the interview on the same day or the very next day after the interview at the latest.
The purpose of email subject line is to give the person you're emailing a brief glimpse into what that email is about before they open it. There are many things you could put in the subject line of your follow up email.
Basically, you want to let them know this is an email to follow up about the job opening, and to thank them for their time. Here's a few sample subject lines you could use for your follow up email:
When addressing someone in an email it is important to be professional and respectful. Since this is an email being sent to a potential employer, you want to address the email recipient formally instead of casually using terms like Ms., Mrs., and Mr.
Address them formally, by their last name, and proceed your email greeting with a comma. You can also address them with "Dear" but this is also not necessary. Below is an example of how you might write an email greeting for a post-interview follow up:
In the first paragraph of your follow up email you'll want to take a moment to thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Also show your appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about the job.
For example, you might say:
"Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me and for your consideration. I appreciate being given the opportunity to talk with you more about the job opening and what I can bring to this position."
Now that you've expressed your gratitude, you can talk about your interests, goals, and experiences. The second paragraph is where you set yourself apart from other candidates and help recruiters remember you when making their decision.
Talk about why you are interested in this job and some specific assets you can bring to this job position if they hire you. It can also be a good idea to incorporate something from the job interview itself. For example, you might outline the following in this paragraph:
"I'm especially excited about this job position because after talking with you yesterday, I think my experience working in collaborative teams and meeting frequent deadlines in the past makes me an ideal candidate for this job. I would love to work together with your other team members to create effective campaigns."
In the third and final paragraph of your email you want to invite the hiring manager to stay in contact. You also want to let them know you are open to additional interviews or being contacted in case they need additional information from you.
This paragraph is crucial in maintaining contact and making yourself available in case they need to ask you more questions. The final paragraph of your email can be as simple as stating the following:
"Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you again, and please feel free to reach out to me through the phone number or email provided below if you need anything else from me."
The way you end your email will follow the same principles you used to start your email. Be formal, respectful, and professional in the way you end an email. The closing of an email can also be called a "complimentary close." Here are a few examples of how you could close your email:
After you establish a professional complimentary close, write your first and last name and leave your preferred methods of contact, like your phone number and email address. You might end an email in the following way:
Thank them for their time and their consideration.
Remind them of why you would be good for this position and why you are interested in this job.
Mention how you look forward to hearing from them and let them know how to contact you if they have any further questions.
Subject Line: Thank you for your time and consideration!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me and for your consideration. I appreciate being given the opportunity to talk with you more about the job opening and what I can bring to this position.
I'm especially excited about this job position because after talking with you yesterday, I think my experience working in collaborative teams and meeting frequent deadlines in the past makes me an ideal candidate for this job. I would love to work together with your other team members to create effective campaigns.
Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you again, and please feel free to reach out to me through the phone number or email provided below if you need anything else from me.
You'll send your first follow up email right after your interview, but sometimes it will be necessary to send a second follow up email.
You want to wait the appropriate amount of time before reaching out a second time, but you also need to know the job opening's status in order to take care of your own affairs. If you have the chance, ask at the end of the interview about when you can expect to hear back about a decision. If you don't hear back from them within this time frame, give them an extra day or 2 before sending a second follow up email to check the status of the job opening.
If they aren't able to give you a specific time frame for when you'll hear back from them, wait until one week has passed since your interview before sending a second follow up email to check in.
You'll want to keep this "checking in" email very brief while remaining polite. Brief emails are more likely to get a quicker response rate.
Subject Line: Sarah Johnson, following up on the open manager position.
I just wanted to let you know that I am still very interested in the open manager position I interviewed for on (insert date here).
I am emailing to check if there are any updates on the status of the open job position.
Feel free to contact me with any other questions you might have.
If you still don't hear back from them after this second follow up email you should try a different form of communication. You might try calling them directly or contacting their office to ask if any decisions have been made about the job position. This is just in case they aren't checking their emails or aren't getting your emails for some reason. But if you do send a third follow up email, just make it's even more brief than all your other emails:
Subject Line: Sarah Johnson, checking in.
I just wanted to quickly check in with you about the open manager position to see if any decisions have been made. If I can help with anything or provide any additional information let me know.
But after trying another form of contact and sending a third follow up email, if you still don't hear back from them, it's usually safe to assume you didn't get the job and you should move on with other options.
This isn't professional and not how most businesses will interact with you. But if you are the 1 out of 10 case when you get ghosted by an interviewer, it's best to just move on and hope to work with more professional work environments in the future.
Post-interview outreach can be a tricky thing to get right. You're corresponding over email so you'll want to be extra careful about being polite and respectful in your speech. If you're stressed about messing up your follow up email, just remember these tips:
You want to show them you are a good candidate but you also don't want to come across as boastful and full of yourself. Do your best to talk about your good qualities without sounding arrogant or condescending.
One easy way to avoid sounding arrogant is to avoid talking about other candidates. Talking about other job candidates can seem caddy, rude, or presumptuous since you don’t actually know if you are better than other candidates. It also indicates negative things about how you interact with others, which is an important soft skill to have.
It can be good to have a template to work from when writing professional emails. But use follow up email templates as an example to write your own personal email. You don't want to come across as lazy or impersonal by sending a generic email to everyone. Instead, use their names and talk about things from the actual interview.
The very first thing you want to do in an email is thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Thank them for everything first rather than talking about yourself first thing.
If you don't have a professional email address, then create a new email account for professional use. It will be difficult for employers to take you seriously if you are still using personal, immature email addresses like HotDogLover123@email.com.
They aren't going to want to read through a long single paragraph of text. Your email should be short and each paragraph should be no more than 4 or 5 sentences. Don't be afraid to break your email up into 2 to 3 small paragraphs rather than one large paragraph.
There are 2 instances where you might need to write a rejection email: when you didn't get a job or when you turn down a job offer.
If you've been informed that you didn't get the job, you can send a brief email thanking them for their time:
"Thank you for getting back to me about the job position's status. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet with you and learn more about the company."
If you need to turn down a job offer you can also send a brief email explaining the situation and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity.
"Thank you very much for your time, your consideration, and for offer me the position as (insert job title here). It was a difficult decision, but ultimately I have decided to accept a different job offer. Once again, thank you for taking the time to talk with me and consider my application."
When searching for a new dream job, you might have to wait awhile before getting an offer. The job hunting process includes a lot of steps. You have to find job openings, submit your job applications, write cover letters, get reference letters, go through interviews, and wait for employers to get back to you with their decision.
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