How and When to Follow Up After an Interview

If you are not following up after a job interview, you are neglecting an important step in the recruitment process. Far from being an antiquated formality, the follow up is still a common practice and one that resonates with hiring managers. It’s important, however, to handle it properly. This guide will help you make the strongest impact with your follow up.

Step One – Make Notes

Immediately following your interview, write down as much as you can remember. Focus on the details of the conversation and the full names and title of everyone you met. You might be able to flesh out forgotten details by searching around on LinkedIn. The goal of this step is to create a reference while the information is still fresh in your mind that you can come back to later.

Step Two – Write a Thank You

Within a day or two of the interview, send off thank you notes to everyone involved in the interview process. The goal of this step is simply to express your gratitude. Limit your notes to 3-4 sentences, but try to sprinkle in some specifics. Mention the names of everyone that sat in on the interview, and reference something you specifically talked about. Phrases like “I look forward to continuing our conversation about issue A,” or “I valued your insights into current event B and am curious to hear more” work well. You might be more inclined to send an email, but a short and simple handwritten note makes a stronger statement and stands out more.

Step Three – Speak with a Friend

Before you send a more substantial follow-up, it’s important to review the interview from an objective perspective. You might have a much more positive assessment of the situation than it merits. Get the notes you took earlier and have a frank conversation with a friend about as much of the detail as you’ve been able to recall. Ask them to comment on anything that seems positive, negative, unusual, or revealing. Later, you can use these insights to develop a more targeted follow up.

Step Four – Send a Follow-Up

If the interviewer mentioned a time line for contacting you when you met in person, wait for that date to pass before you send a follow-up. If they didn’t, wait about a week before sending a follow-up. This message should be longer than your thank you note but still concise, and email is usually the preferred delivery method. Express your continued interest in the position, and bring up specifics in the context of what you gleaned from your interview debriefing. Try to close with a statement that invites additional contact and provides an incentive for the employer to reach out.


After sending out your follow-up, wait for the employer to contract you. You don’t want to alienate yourself by seeming too persistent. The ball is now in their court, and you’ve done everything in your power to pique their interest. Learn more about navigating the details of the 21st century recruitment process by working with the engineering staffing experts at Selectek.