How to Write an Interview Follow-Up Email: Guide and Samples

Written by Coursera • Updated on

When you’re going through a hiring process, it’s important to keep the conversation going even after the job interview is over.

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Following up with a recruiter or hiring manager can keep you on their radar and signal to them that you remain interested in the position.

Generally, there are three common scenarios that prompt job seekers to reach out to their points of contact after an interview:

  1. To send a post-interview thank-you note

  2. To check on the status of their application

  3. To stay in touch

In this article, we’ll offer tips and sample emails for each of those scenarios. You may have other reasons for wanting to reach out after an interview as well. Use your discretion to determine whether your reason for outreach feels appropriate given the context of your situation, and review the general email tips below to help craft your original note.

Keep in mind that these tips are flexible. As long as you stay focused on your intention, communicate clearly, and maintain an appropriate tone, it’s okay to take some leeway with your writing approach.

Post-interview thank you email

Email objectives: To thank someone for their time and express your continued interest in the position

Who you might send this to: The person you interviewed with or the person leading your interview panel

When to send it: Either the same day or the next business day

Sample subject lines:

  • “Thank you”

  • “Thank you // interview follow-up”

  • Or reply directly to your previous chain

For a standard thank-you email, you don’t need to say much beyond your expression of gratitude and continued interest. If you feel motivated to do so, you can mention things that stuck out to you from the conversation or aspects that you’re excited to continue learning about, but there’s no need to rehash your interview if you don’t have anything to add to the conversation, such as a reaction, how you feel, something you later remembered, or additional questions directly related to your conversation.

Post-interview thank you email sample

Hi Devi,

Thank you for taking the time to talk about the marketing coordinator position earlier today. It was great connecting with you and learning more about who you’re looking for and the company culture.

I remain interested in the role and am excited to continue showing you what I can offer. Please let me know if there is anything else I can send to enhance my application. Otherwise, I am looking forward to hearing from you in the coming week.

Take care,

Joanne

Tip: Add a personal touch to your thank-you email by referencing something you and your interviewer bonded over during your conversation. Maybe you had a hobby in common or they revealed something about their life outside of work. Briefly mentioning that detail can help reinforce the relationship and show that you were listening.

For example:

--Hope you had a nice trail run this morning!

--I was just reading about a new wood-burning technique—thought you might be interested.

Placeholder

Status check email

Email objectives: To check on your application status after a lull in communication

Who you might send this to: The recruiter or hiring manager

When to send it: Two or more days after you expected to receive an update on your application status

Sample subject lines:

  • “Checking in”

  • “Following up”

  • “Application status check”

  • Or reply directly to your previous chain

If you haven’t heard from the recruiter or hiring manager within the timeframe they had originally communicated to you or within about two weeks of your interview—and you continue to remain interested in the position—you may want to send an email requesting a status update. In this email, be specific about what you are asking for, the job you applied for, and the interview you are following up on. Keep a positive tone and steer away from any assumptions about why they didn’t get back to you.

Status check email sample

Hi Chauntel,

I’m checking in to see if you have any updates on my application for the associate editor position. During my interview on Thursday, Dec. 30, you had mentioned the next step may be a call with the managing editor. I would love to keep the conversation going and set something up in the coming weeks.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Thanks so much,

Luis

Status check email sample—second follow-up

Hi Chauntel,

Following up on my last note. I remain very interested in the associate editor opportunity. Please let me know if you need any additional materials from me.

Thanks again,

Luis

HIGHLIGHT: Tip: During your interview, it can be helpful to ask about next steps. This approach can give you a sense about a hiring manager’s deadlines, as if you’re informally setting a check-in date, and can give you more time to prepare for what’s to come.

Staying in touch

Email objectives: Establish a relationship for continued communication

Who you might send this to: Anyone you communicated with during the application process that you felt a connection with

When to send it: Anytime, though generally after your application process ends

Sample subject lines:

  • “Staying in touch”

  • “Reaching out”

  • “Request to connect”

  • Or reply directly to your previous chain

Even if you didn’t get the job, there’s still value to be extracted from going through an interview process. One potential gain is forming new relationships. If you felt like you had a strong connection with someone you met during the interview process, you may consider reaching out to them to see if they’d be willing to stay in touch. You may ask to set up an informational interview or simply express continued interest in the company should any future opportunities arise.

Staying in touch email sample

Hi Patty,

It was great getting to speak with you during the interview process for the administrative assistant position. I appreciated your business perspective, and even though this role didn’t work out, I would love to stay in touch.

Would you be willing to schedule an informational interview in the coming weeks? I’m interested in learning more about your career path toward becoming an operations manager and am always looking for ideas on how I might improve my skill set.

Thank you,

James

Follow-up email after interview tips

There are no real rules regarding follow-up emails, so you can generally follow up in whatever way feels natural to you. That being said, there are conventions that may help you effectively communicate whatever it is that you aim to express. Here are a few extra tips to consider when writing a follow-up email.

Be direct.

Keep in mind that the person you’re emailing is probably busy. (That’s most likely the reason they didn’t follow up with you in the first place.) So be clear in your communications.

Before you start writing, know what your objectives are in reaching out, and express those objectives in the body of your email. Shorter emails are generally easier to read and easier to respond to, and people who are busy tend to appreciate emails that are to the point.

Be honest.

When you’re focused on crafting the perfect email, it can be easy to lose your voice in the process. Throughout your job search, try to stay true to who you are, what you offer, and what you’re looking for, and show up as yourself in all communications.

Presenting yourself honestly during the hiring process can help ensure that you will end up in a workplace where you feel accepted and empowered. Similarly, the people you are reaching out to are also likely trying to build a comfortable work environment, and the interview process is a good time to establish whether your communication styles are a mutual fit.

Stick with your points of contact.

Typically, you’ll have a main point of contact throughout your interview process tasked with scheduling your interviews and updating you on your application status. Oftentimes, this person will be either a recruiter or a hiring manager.

If you want to send a follow-up email to someone other than your point of contact—unless you were directly given their email address via an email introduction or during your interview—your best option will be to go through your point of contact. Ask if they can share your interviewer’s contact information or if they would mind forwarding a note from you. This can help ensure your outreach aligns with the company’s established boundaries.

Be mindful of their timeline.

In general, when you’re following up with your point of contact, keep their timeline in mind. If they told you they need two weeks before they’d be ready for next steps, give them the full two weeks plus a day or two to account for delays on their end before you reach out.

There are instances when you may consider following up before their timeline. One example of when this would be appropriate is if you receive a job offer from another company. Whether you are leaning toward accepting the other offer or still want to prioritize this opportunity, reaching out to your point of contact to let them know about the shift in your timeline could help both of you make the most informed decision moving forward.

Next steps

Even if you feel excited about one specific opportunity, remember that your job search isn’t over until you’ve signed an offer letter. Keep applying and scheduling interviews. At the very least, the other interviews will be good practice for those interviews you do get excited about—and you may end up pleasantly surprised by how much you like a job after going through a company’s interview process.

In the meantime, continue building upon your skill set and earn resume-boosting credentials, like a Professional Certificate from a top company like Google, Meta, or IBM. With a subscription to Coursera Plus, you’ll have unlimited access to these, plus thousands of online courses from world-class universities like Yale, Duke, and the University of Michigan.

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