When you’ve just experienced an excellent interview, sent the customary ‘thank you for the interview‘ letter, and have not heard back from the company, what do you do? The answer is to compose a follow-up email. We suggest sending an email rather than posting your letter, as you are looking for a quick response. Plus, remember the hiring manager receives many of these every day, and it’s easier for them to respond via email as well. When you are composing a follow-up email after no response to an interview, it is quite normal to be concerned about being a pest. However, remember that this is not about a personal relationship, this is about business and you are following business procedures. Your hiring manager is well aware that these emails are part of the process.
Before we get started, let’s talk a bit about the importance of keeping records. This depends on how many interviews you went on, applications filled out, and resumes sent in. Keeping records means you will not accidentally send out duplicate follow-up emails or miss out on sending an email to a hiring manager. For instance, if you went on 10 interviews, and only heard back from 6, you’ll want to send the follow-up email to those 4 you received no response from. Keeping records lets you keep track of who replied and who did not. To keep your records in order, create a simple spreadsheet, and keep it up to date.
The tone of Your Follow-Up Email
Tone and context are exceptionally important and can spell the difference between success and failure at obtaining a response. First, no matter how you feel at the moment, keep the email professional. This is not a text to a friend, letter to a lover, or message in a chatbox. Make sure you stick to the topic, stay on point, and to the point.
You want this position, so it’s often the temptation to become wordy, but try to stay brief. In fact, definitely keep the follow-up email brief. Time is money in business, and if the email even looks too long to read, the hiring manager just may pass it up entirely. Never stray from the topic, and never digress.
Be Respectful and Courteous
This goes without saying, but please be respectful and courteous in your follow-up email. However, in a world where composing informal social media messages, texts and emails are the norms, it’s easy to let that tone of writing cascade into other areas of life. So always double-check and make certain that you use proper business etiquettes such as opening salutations, body text, and a respectful closing. Never send an aggressive follow-up email thinking it will make you look sharp. Also, always be mindful that the recipient has a full plate, so never use deadlines in your call to action statement.
Proofread and Edit
Proofread your letter for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. You cannot get past this. If your follow-up email contains even one of these errors, there is a huge chance you’ll be dismissed on the spot. If you don’t feel comfortable proofreading your own, there are various online grammar checkers available. You also have the option to hire a proofreader on sites like Fiverr.
Writing Your Post Interview Follow-Up Email
Before you write and send your follow-up email, it’s a good idea to allow them a window to respond. Depending on the number of applicants, a hiring manager may need 1 or 2 weeks to go sort through their stacks of interviews. As such, it’s a show of consideration to giving them some time to reply. A good rule is to send your follow-up email 1 or 2 weeks after the interview.
Proper Follow-Up Email Format
When writing a follow-up email after no response to an interview, it’s important that you realize that this may be your final chance to impress the company. If you wish for your follow-up email to be considered, it must follow proper business protocol. Formatting also ensures that your follow-up email will stay true to its purpose, and not wander off-topic, or disengage the recipient.
Email Subject Line
How your email subject line is composed can determine whether it is opened immediately, pushed aside to be read at a later time, or discarded on the spot. Your subject line must be specific, and never vague. For instance, a subject line with ‘Important Message’, will likely get overlooked in favor of an email subject line such as, ‘RE: Interview last Friday, 9 am’. A good rule of thumb is to keep your subject line 6 to 10 words. Contrary to what others say, using a blank subject line will not guarantee that your email will be read. In fact, many email services see a blank subject line as spam and send it directly to the spam folder, where it may never be seen.
Otherwise known as the greeting. For this type of email, you’ll choose a formal style of greeting, such as Dear Ms. Beacham, or Dear Mr. Hendricks. The salutation should make it clear who the email is for. If you have no idea who the recipient is, then Dear Sir or Madam will suffice.
When writing this type of business email, choose the formal style of writing. Avoid informal writing at all costs, this is business and you do not know the hiring manager personally. Ideally, try to keep it brief with three short paragraphs: Introduction, body, conclusion. Each paragraph should be around 2 to 3 sentences in length. This increases the chance of readability, whereas one thick, giant paragraph might not.
State that your email follow-up is in regards to the interview. Hiring managers see many people each week, so refresh their memory by adding specific information, such as time, date of the interview, and the position applied for. Next, remember to mention that you remain keenly interested in the position.
Finally, conclude your follow-up email with a brief conclusion. This is a summary of the email, and includes a ‘call to action’, such as ‘feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 if you have any further concerns’.
This is where you signal the end of your email. Your closing should be professional, such as Yours truly, Sincerely, or Best regards. Remember to capitalize the first word only.
This is the last part of the email they’ll see. While it’s perfectly acceptable to simply type your first and last name, you really should consider using a professional email signature. In case you are new to the idea of a professional email signature, we’ve included a brief guide.
When you compose your professional email signature, try to keep it to only 3 or 4 lines. Remember to include a professional image of yourself. Emails signatures with color images are more likely to be remembered than the standard sign off. Finally, please avoid including any inspirational or religious quotes or text in your email signature. The components of a professional email signature are:
- Phone number
- A color image of yourself
If you’ve no idea how to create an email signature yourself, simply use one of the many email signature services or generators online. All you do is insert the information and image, and you’ll get your email signature.
Templates & Examples
Sample Follow-Up Email
- Formal Salutation
- Show appreciation to the interviewer
- Request interview status
- Call to action statement to answer any questions and concerns
In the sample follow-up email, the recipient is specifically mentioned in a formal greeting. The introduction is pleasant, mentions the time of the interview, and expresses gratitude to the hiring manager. The next paragraph includes a request for interview status and shows how passionate she is to join their company. The conclusion thanks to the hiring manager for taking the time to interview her, and has a call to action along with followed immediately with her contact information. The closing is kept formal and professional. While it is optional, consider having a professional email signature made which includes your color photo.
Dear Mr. Jacobson,
I recently applied for the position of a horticulturist at your botanical gardens. I enjoyed our interview on Thursday, January 10, and was pleased to meet with you and your team.
I am writing to inquire whether I am still in consideration for the horticulturist position. If this position is still available, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my keen interest in working with you and the company.
Thank you for your time and consideration regarding the above matter. Feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 if you have any further questions or information.
After you’ve had a successful interview, sent a thank you letter, and still have not heard back, sending a well-written follow-up email is another chance for you to leave a good impression on the hiring manager. Hiring managers are very busy and interview many people for each position. The follow-up ensures you won’t get lost in the shuffle. Follow-up emails also exhibit your initiative, interest, and eagerness to join the company. If 2 candidates are vying for the same position, and only one sent a follow-up, there is a better chance that the individual will be selected. Remember the important elements of a follow-up email: Keep the email short, specific, be respectful, and show an active, interest in the position including thanking them for the interview. There you have it, a guide on how to compose a follow-up email after no response from an interview. We sincerely hope this guide will assist you on this topic so you may attain the position of your dreams.