how to follow up after your interview

If you haven't followed up after your interview, you should. Here's how to follow up well:

* Send a thank-you note immediately. E-mail is fine for this and has the advantage of arriving faster, but handwritten notes are still appreciated (and are increasingly unusual so will stand out). And if there are multiple interviews, send a thank-you note each time.

* Find out their timeline. Hopefully, you asked about their timeline in the interview itself, but if you didn't, follow up within a week to reinforce your interest and politely ask what they expect their timeline for a decision to be.

* Be enthusiastic—but not desperate. Most commonly, job seekers are too worried about looking desperate. It doesn't look desperate to express your interest in the job or check in to ask about the timeline. However, enthusiasm does cross the line if you are calling more than once a week, calling earlier than the date they said they'd get back to you, sounding like you're eager to take any job as opposed to this one in particular, or appearing as if this is the only option you have. (And if you do truly feel desperate, ask yourself what a candidate who felt confident about having sufficient options but was particularly interested in this position would do—and do that.)

* Don't be alarmed if you don't hear from them immediately. The hiring process often takes longer than a candidate would like, for all sorts of reasons—the decision makers are out of town, scheduling conflicts have delayed a final interview, or the company bureaucracy that is required to finalize an offer takes time to work through (not necessarily a great sign about the work environment, but that's a different topic), and so forth. Nerve-wracking, yes, but don't read too much into it.

* When you don't hear back after they said you would, politely follow up, explain you're very interested but understand that hiring can take time, and ask if they have an updated timeline. It's completely legitimate to ask this; employers assume you have other balls in the air and need to be able to plan.

If you've gone through all the steps above and still haven't heard anything, then you're being treated rudely. (But not until then.)

At this point, be more explicit, saying something like, "Would you let me know when you expect to be making decisions? I'm extremely interested in the position, but I'm talking with other companies as well, and hope to get a better sense of your timeline." If you don't hear anything back after that, mentally move on—that's really all you can do. If they resurface in a month with an offer, you'll have to evaluate at that point whether it's even a company you want to work for. And if they don't—well, perhaps bullet dodged.


  1. Good advice. Also consider "giving something" within your thank you note. What news article or book have you read that might be a good suggestion based on the topics you covered in the interview. More on follow-up in my blog post, The Art of the Thank You Note.


  2. I totally agree with those steps. I also would say that if a company takes the time to phone screen or personally interview you, they should give you the respect of responding back to you even if you aren't being considered so you know either way.

  3. Just had my final set of interviews. This is a job i really want and another division of the company was a customer of mine (many people there pulling for me). The interviews went well and the hiring manager got a head of himself after the second interview and nearly offered me the job. Was flown 2 weeks later to meet with CEO and other senior members. Thought the interviews went well but CEO mentioned a guy that works for them that I used to indirectly report to i a prior life (I did not realize he worked for the compoany). My relationship with this guy soured as I left the company after one year (this was 9 yrs ago)due to a feeling that the division I was working for was not getting the commitment needed. the division was shut down 7 months after I left and the entire company exited US market one yr after I left. I feel this validated my decision but know the manager at the time was not happy with me. I now somehow feel this guy is getting in the way of me being hired. The company told me that they would be in touch with me soon after my thank you letters were sent. This was on a Tuesday...i subsequently followed up on Friday afternoon prior to entering this weekend.

    Any thoughts or advice regarding this situation?



  4. I wish I could give you an advice on this, but reading this, seems like I have had the same situation. I have just let go of it but would really appreciate a good advice please. Anyone?

  5. Hi KMan,

    If you old ex-co-worker who is now at the current company that you are applying for a job at holds a personal grudge against you and you believe that is what is stopping you from being hired the only thing I think of that you can do is to find another ex co-worker who worked with ideally both of you at that old company who can vouch for your character either through a general letter of recommendation or a recommendation on LinkedIn. This way when you are evaluated the positive recommend will be weighed against the negative recommend...needless to say the more recommendations you get for that job the better.

    Unfortunately as with political campaigns negative news is generally given more weight than positive news its human nature, which mean you really need to work on getting positive references for that position even if it is 9 years ago.


  6. I was interviewed 12 business days ago by a company that I would really like to work for. I felt that the interview wen't vert well and that I connected with the department manager who interviewed me. I sent a follow-up that you email after the interview. Last week I lft a phone message for the manager who interviewed me letter her know that I was very interested in the position. They let me know in the interview that their process was slow and that it may take a while to hear back from them... How long is too long?

  7. I had to leave an organization coz of worst work environment, which eventually my main boss was not aware of. When few guys in the past informed him about this, he was not accepting the facts & truth and felt, its best place to work. I came across very good job opening after 2 years in another organization and i went almost upto final stage, when i had to meet the same guy who was that same boss. Since he recongized me, he asked me why i had left my previous job, when i told him the situation, he said the 1st company where i worked was too good and if i cannot work there, am not fit to work here and so i lost an opportunity to work for world renowned good brand. He rejected my job offer jus coz, i quit my 1st job. then who will ask him why did he leave the 1st job..was it for $ he is earning in millions now and i am nowhere coz of his stupid thinking..

    1. Well first off, you type like an idiot. I can barely understand what it is you're trying to say in this poorly written post. If you interview anything like you type, I don't blame them for shafting you. Play your cards right buddy, stupidity will get you nowhere fast.

    2. Yaah and a guy who is making "in the millions" is not stupid. Maybe you should have stayed with the first company. Sharpen your typing and language skills!

    3. Regardless of who you’re interviewing with, it is never a good idea to ‘bad mouth’ a previous employer. This type of dialog will only caste a bad impression of you and your lack professionalism. Next time, when speaking about why you left your previous employer suggest a neutral (but truthful) reason i.e. pay, distance, looking for a change etc.
      @JoeRivera - Perhaps, English is a second language for this person. You should work on your manners and professionalism, jerk.

  8. I had a phone interview lasting about 1 1/2 hours with the hiring director. I was then asked to fly out for a second interview. Which I did. I met with the director in person and a member on the team. We had lunch and I met with them for about 3 hours! I send a thank you email to each of them. I heard nothing back. I just called the director (she gave me her card and said contact her with any questions)she answered the phone and seem all confused when I told her who I was. She said she was tied up in meetings all day and would call me back. I'm tired of rude people. Just say it like it is. Honestly, this is so frustrating and just not right.

  9. I had an interview that I believe went well, however since he had answered most of my questions in his introduction when it came time to him asking me what questions I have I only had a few to offer, I got the sense he was a little surprised with this and he said if i had any others to drop him a note. The following day I did send a thank you note to him and also highlighted 3 to 4 questions and based on the rapport we had I thought he would have replied however it has been 3 days and he seems to have ignored the e-mail, any thoughts on this? I now feel I should have just sent the thank you note and no questions as it may have put him off? any thoughts?

  10. I had an interview a couple of months back and I felt necessary to say that it was the worst experience ever. The employer was a very bitchy, bossy and rude. She asked me to come to her office on a Saturday and barely give me any time to prepare. During the interview, she already tried to walk all over me despite the fact that I am over qualified for the job. After asking me questions, she even made me do a lot of "tests" and said she will get back to me in a couple of weeks. Well, the fact that I can never work with people who think of themselves as super heroes, I still love to hear back from her to make sure that it was not me who over analyze but it was her who was very unethical and rude.

  11. Sounds like my case! I had an interview seven weeks ago and at the fourth week I received an email from the HR director stating that they were still reviewing others candidates applications and will get back to me shortly. After that, nothing still! I was wondering what to do without being annoying.

  12. All of us that are seeking employment experience the process of waiti.g for a call or letter. I also believe it is very important to follow-up with the person you interviewed with. When you do follw-up reiterate your interest and qualifications selling yourself is the key showing confidence in yourself is also a good sign to prospective employers. Don't get discouraged if you're not hired keep looking. Also books on questions and answers to interview questions will boost your confidence it did mine. Good luck to all the individuals that are seeking employment. I had an interview and was called for a second one. Another company gave me a job offer but the compensation and distant was not something I could commit to. Good luck and keep your head high.