Insights

Insights

How to write an effective interview follow-up email

interview skills Mar 28, 2024

After going through the nerve-wracking experience of a job interview, it's essential to take the next crucial step – follow-up. Sending a follow-up email after an interview is more than just a courtesy, it's a chance to showcase your enthusiasm and leave a lasting impression. In this article, we'll discuss how to write an effective interview follow-up email to help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of landing the job.

 

1. Understanding the importance of a follow-up email

After attending an interview, it's essential to follow up with a thank-you email. It's polite and a great opportunity to make a lasting impression on a potential employer. A follow-up email is a chance to show your enthusiasm for the position and demonstrate that you are proactively pursuing the job. Additionally, it allows you to address any concerns the interviewer may have and reiterate why you are the best fit for the role.

  •  Make a lasting impression

It's no secret that first impressions matter, but last impressions matter too. A well-crafted follow-up email can leave a lasting impression and set you apart from other candidates. It shows that you are thoughtful and appreciative of the time and effort the interviewer took to meet with you. It also allows you to remind the interviewer of your strengths and qualifications and why you are the best candidate for the job.

For example, you could mention a specific part of the interview that you enjoyed or a question that you found particularly thought-provoking. This will show that you were engaged and paying attention during the interview, which will leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

  •  Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position

Employers want to hire candidates who are passionate about the job and the company. By sending a follow-up email, you show that you are proactively pursuing the position and are still interested in the opportunity. It's an excellent way to let the hiring manager know that you are excited about the possibility of working for the company.

You could mention specific aspects of the job or the company that you find particularly appealing. For example, if the company has a strong commitment to sustainability, you could mention that you are passionate about environmental issues and appreciate the company's dedication to making a positive impact.

  •  Address any concerns or questions

If the interviewer has any reservations or concerns regarding your candidacy, a follow-up email is an excellent opportunity to address them. You can clarify any misconceptions or provide additional information that might sway their decision positively.

For example, if the interviewer expressed concern about your lack of experience in a particular area, you could mention any relevant coursework or volunteer work that you have done in that area. This will show that you are proactive and willing to learn.

In conclusion, a follow-up email is an essential part of the job search process. It allows you to make a lasting impression, demonstrate your enthusiasm, and address any concerns or questions the interviewer may have. By taking the time to craft a thoughtful and well-written email, you can increase your chances of landing the job.

 

2. Time your follow-up email

Timing is crucial when it comes to sending a follow-up email after an interview. You don't want to seem too desperate or come off as overbearing. However, sending a well-crafted follow-up email can help you stand out from other candidates and show your continued interest in the position.

When it comes to timing your follow-up email, there are a few factors to consider.

  • When to send your email

The best time to send your follow-up email is within the first 24-48 hours after the interview. This timeframe allows the interviewer to remember your conversation without taking too much time to respond. Avoid sending your follow-up email immediately after the interview, as it could feel pushy and might compromise your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.

  • Factors affecting the ideal time frame

Occasionally, some factors may affect the ideal time frame for sending a follow-up email. For instance, if the interviewer mentioned that they would contact you within a specific period, it's best to wait for their response before sending a follow-up email. Additionally, if the interviewer gave you a specific deadline for submitting additional documents, wait until you have completed the task before sending the follow-up email.

 

What to do if you don't receive a response

If you don't receive a response after sending your follow-up email, it's best to assume that you didn't make the shortlist. However, it doesn't hurt to send a polite follow-up email checking in and reiterating your interest in the position. Keep in mind that the hiring process can take time, and the interviewer may be busy with other candidates or internal processes.

When crafting your follow-up email, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the position. Use this as an opportunity to highlight any relevant skills or experience that you may have forgotten to mention during the interview. Keep the email short and to the point, and avoid coming across as too pushy or desperate.

Remember, following up after an interview can help you stand out from other candidates and show your continued interest in the position. With the right timing and approach, a follow-up email can help you move forward in the hiring process and land your dream job.

 

3. Craft the perfect subject line

Your subject line is incredibly crucial when it comes to crafting a follow-up email that will get noticed. It's the first thing the interviewer sees, so you want to make it count.

But how do you craft the perfect subject line that will grab their attention and make them want to open your email? Here are some tips:

  • Keep it clear and concise

Make sure your subject line is clear and specific, so the interviewer knows what the email is about. Avoid generic subject lines like "Follow-Up" or "Checking In," as they tend to get overlooked. Instead, try to be specific and concise while still communicating the email's purpose.

For example, if you're following up after an interview, you could use a subject line like "Thank you for the opportunity - [Position Title] interview follow-up." This subject line is clear, and specific, and shows gratitude for the opportunity.

  • Include relevant information

It's important to include relevant information in your subject line, so the interviewer can quickly identify who you are and what the email is regarding. This can include the position name, your name, and the interview date.

For example, you could use a subject line like "[Your Name] - [Position Title] interview follow-up - [Interview Date]." This subject line includes all the relevant information and makes it easy for the interviewer to identify you and the purpose of the email.

  • Examples of effective subject lines

Here are some examples of effective subject lines that you can use as inspiration:

  • "Thank you for the opportunity - [Position Title] interview follow-up"
  • "[Your Name] - [Position Title] interview follow-up - [Interview Date]"
  • "Following up on [Position Title] interview with [Company Name]"
  • "Questions about [Position Title] role at [Company Name]"
  • "Thank you for your time - [Position Title] interview follow-up"

Remember, your subject line is the first thing the interviewer will see, so make it count. By following these tips and using effective subject lines, you can increase the chances of your follow-up email getting noticed and receiving a response.

 

4. Structuring your follow-up email

Now that you know the importance of a follow-up email and how to craft the perfect subject line, you're ready to take the next step - structuring your follow-up email. A well-structured follow-up email can help you stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of getting the job. Here are some tips to help you structure your email:

  • Open with a personalised greeting

It's important to start your email with a personalised greeting. Address the interviewer by name and avoid using a generic salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern." By using the interviewer's name, you'll show that you're attentive and detail-oriented. It also helps to build a personal connection with the interviewer.

  • Express gratitude for the opportunity

Begin your email by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the position. Thank the interviewer for their time and for considering your application. It's important to show appreciation and acknowledge the effort the interviewer took to meet with you.

  • Reiterate your interest in the position

Restate your interest in the position and explain why you believe you're the best candidate for the job. Highlight your key qualifications and emphasise how they align with the company's needs. This is your chance to reinforce your enthusiasm for the position and show the interviewer that you're the right person for the job.

  • Highlight your key qualifications

Use this section to remind the interviewer of your key qualifications and how they relate to the position. Focus on your unique skills and accomplishments and how they can benefit the company. Use specific examples to illustrate your experience and expertise. This will help the interviewer remember why you're a strong candidate for the position.

  • Address any unresolved issues or concerns

If the interviewer raised any concerns during the interview, use the follow-up email to address them. Explain why you're a good fit for the position and how you can help the company achieve its goals. Addressing any concerns head-on shows that you're proactive and willing to work through challenges.

  • Close with a call to action and professional sign-off

End your email by expressing your continued interest in the position and asking about potential next steps. Use a professional sign-off, such as "Best regards" or "Sincerely," and include your contact information. This will help to keep the lines of communication open and show that you're serious about the position. 

 

5. Proofread and polish your email

Before sending your email, make sure to proofread and polish it properly. A well-written email can make all the difference in professional communication.

When crafting your email, it's important to keep in mind the purpose of your message and who will be reading it. Are you sending an email to a potential employer? A client? A colleague? Tailoring your language and tone to your audience can help you make a positive impression.

  • Ensure proper grammar and spelling

One of the most important aspects of polishing your email is ensuring proper grammar and spelling. A poorly written email can reflect poorly on your professionalism and attention to detail. Take the time to carefully proofread your email, checking for any typos or grammatical errors. Avoid using slang, inappropriate language, or abbreviations that may be unclear to your reader. Remember, you want to present yourself in the most professional way possible.

If you're unsure about the proper use of a word or phrase, don't hesitate to look it up. There are many online resources available that can help you ensure that your language is clear and concise.

  • Double-check your tone and language

In addition to proper grammar and spelling, it's important to double-check your tone and language. Read your email aloud to ensure that your tone is appropriate and reflects your professionalism. Avoid using language that may come across as aggressive or confrontational. Instead, use a tone that is polite and respectful.

Consider the purpose of your email and the relationship you have with the recipient. If you're sending an email to a potential employer, for example, you may want to use a more formal tone. On the other hand, if you're emailing a colleague, you may be able to use a more casual tone.

  • Ask for a second opinion

Even after proofreading and double-checking your email, it can be helpful to ask a friend or colleague to review it for feedback. Another set of eyes can help you catch any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes you may have overlooked. Their opinion can also help you improve the overall tone and structure of your email.

When asking for feedback, be open to constructive criticism. Remember, the goal is to improve your communication skills and make a positive impression on your reader. By taking the time to carefully craft your email, you can ensure that your message is clear, concise, and professional.

 

Additional tips for a successful follow-up email

  • Keep track of your job applications

It's essential to keep track of all the job applications you've submitted, as it can be easy to forget which companies you've applied to and when. One way to do this is to create a spreadsheet that includes the company name, job title, date applied, and any relevant notes. This will help you stay organised and ensure that you don't miss any follow-up opportunities.

Another useful tip is to set reminders for yourself to follow up on specific dates. You can use your phone's calendar or a task management app like Trello to create reminders that will alert you when it's time to follow up. By doing this, you'll be able to stay on top of your job search and increase your chances of landing an interview.

  • Utilise social media and professional networks

Following the company on its social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, can give you valuable insights into the company's culture, values, and recent news. It can also help you learn more about the hiring process and the people involved in the decision-making process. By engaging with the company on social media, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the company, which can set you apart from other candidates.

Another way to utilise your professional network is to reach out to current or former employees on LinkedIn. You can ask them about their experience working for the company, what the hiring process was like, and any tips they have for someone applying for a similar role. This can help you tailor your follow-up email and increase your chances of landing the job.

  • Prepare for potential next steps in the hiring process

It's important to be prepared for potential next steps in the hiring process, such as additional interviews or assessments. This means doing your research on the company, practicing your interview skills, and preparing thoughtful questions to ask during the interview.

One way to prepare for potential assessments is to research common interview questions and practice your responses. You can also reach out to friends or colleagues and ask them to conduct a mock interview with you. This can help you feel more confident and prepared for the real thing.

Finally, it's important to remember that the hiring process can take time, and it's essential to be patient and persistent. If you haven't heard back from the company after your follow-up email, don't be afraid to send another one a week or two later. This can demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the position.

Writing an effective follow-up email after an interview is a critical step in the job application process. It allows you to demonstrate your enthusiasm, address any concerns, and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. By keeping track of your job applications, utilising social media and professional networks, and preparing for potential next steps in the hiring process, you'll be well on your way to securing your dream job!

 

Ready to elevate your career and ace your next interview? Join my community now for exclusive career and interview insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Grow your career today.

Subscribe to get my latest content by email.

I won't send you spam, ever. Unsubscribe at any time.