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Completing your first phone or in-person interview with a potential employer can inspire feelings of confidence or disappointment. You might feel you interviewed well and are sure to get a call back for a second interview, or you might think you performed poorly and this is the end of the road. The first interview isn’t over when you thank the hiring manager and either hang up the phone or shake hands.

A thoughtful and prompt follow-up email communication conveys to the hiring manager both a high level of interest in the opportunity and a sense of urgency. It’s crucial to send a follow-up email within a few hours of completing the interview. Hiring managers take deliberate note of this important part of the candidate application process.

So what goes into a follow-up email? First, you should express your appreciation to the hiring manager for the opportunity to interview. Follow with a sentence or two describing your level of interest in the job and state why you are interested. Anyone can write a generic sentence about being excited for a role, so make sure to validate your interest by identifying why this particular position is the next logical step in your career. Next, identify several strengths or skills you possess that pertain to this specific role. Reference your previous experience to give your skill and strengths description more weight. Then, write a sentence or two describing the confidence you have in your ability to succeed in the role and contribute to the company based on your performance history. Let the hiring manager know you’re eager to pursue the next step in the interview process and close by encouraging the hiring manager to contact you with additional questions. Make sure to include your contact information at the end of your email.

I always recommend sending a follow-up email after every interview, even if the email goes to the same person each time. By taking the time to write a post-interview email, you’re showing that each interview only makes you more eager and determined to obtain the job.

As I mentioned in my first article about email etiquette, strong written correspondences show that you’re competent, professional, and thoughtful. Emails should be informative, succinct, and contain no spelling or grammar mistakes.

The follow-up email is the modern version of the thank-you note. While pen and paper may be out of style, gratitude and professionalism are always going to be key markers of successful people. At the Weatherhills Group, my colleagues and I know you only receive a few chances to make a great impression. Many job seekers undervalue the importance of an effective and sincere follow up email and simply fall short. We urge you to capitalize on this opportunity to ensure you put forward the best version of yourself on the journey to a great new job.