Take the Guesswork Out of Following Up After an Interview

Hiring managers agree — a prompt, enthusiastic thank-you after the interview is a great way to show interest, stand out and communicate your gratitude for being considered. But what’s the best way to do it?

Two Steps Closer to the Offer

Step One: At AppleOne, we encourage our candidates to bring a brief prewritten thank-you card to the in person interview and drop it off right after the interview has concluded. This demonstrates forethought and a little extra courtesy in this instant-gratification world.

Step Two: However, this technique cannot stand alone as your follow up.   It will help you stand out immediately, but a traditional follow up should be delivered as well.

Whether you follow up with a posted letter or an email, it is the contents that counts. If you are emailing, be direct, not overlong and enthusiastically express your interest in the position.


After discussing this opportunity and what you need to have accomplished, I am confident that I would do an excellent job.  I am very impressed with you and your company, for example _____.  I work hard every day, I am loyal and take pride in continually improving.  You described that you needed someone that could ______, and I am able to excel in those areas because of my abilities and successes in _____.  I would like to be a contributing employee at your company and I hope you will offer me this job.


Email Address
Street Address
Phone Number

When to send?

The short answer is ASAP. Drop your note off, your letter into the mail or click send on your email on the same day, while you are still fresh in the minds of the interviewers.

“Recovery Mode”

Some interview pros advocate using the thank-you note as an opportunity to address mistakes you may have made in person. Here’s what Monster’s career experts have to say:

Perhaps you feel that you didn’t make the best impression in the interview. The follow-up is your chance to recover.

“Tell them you’re going to provide them with additional resources,” McKee says. If you can send documentation of your abilities — or even get references to send notes on your behalf — do so.

But if your reason for thinking you blew the interview is something minor, like spilling your coffee, ignore it.

What if you get no response for a week or more?

Forbes Magazine recommends periodic check-ins. Don’t pester or be rude, (obviously), but sometimes, the process can get bogged down and a helpful reminder can shuffle you to the top of the pile. From the Daily Muse via Forbes:

Now, this is not about harassment: “Did I get the job?” “Do you have a job for me?” “Did you make a decision?” Not at all. It’s about offering something of value to your contact. And in doing so, you will also (by default) remind her that you’re still out there.

This could mean forwarding an article that you think she’ll find interesting, or congratulating her if you notice she’s been promoted or earned some sort of recognition. Maybe thanking her for a bit of advice that you employed. Keep it simple and brief, and don’t ask for anything back. If that person hears from you and has an update? She’ll absolutely be in touch. Try:

“Hi Sue, We spoke last month about the product manager position at XYZ Industries. In our conversation, you highlighted some emerging trends in food packaging. I noticed this attached article about the same topic and thought of you. No response necessary. I hope you find the information useful!”

Nothing elaborate, and once a month is probably about right if you don’t get much response. But you can be assured that Sue will remember you, and in a good way if you’re helpful and non-pesky in the follow-up.

Make a Connection for the Future

Finally, remember to leverage even unsuccessful interviews as job connections. Reach out on LinkedIn, stay in touch and find out the contact information of others through your interviewer, and grow your network. The answer may be “no” today, but there may be other positions in the organization, or other organizations to which the interviewer can recommend you that will result in a “yes!” next week or next month.

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