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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

It’s important to keep the conversation going even after the job interview when going through a recruitment process.

[Featured image] A woman wearing an orange turtleneck sits at home in front of her laptop working on a job application email.

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

Generally, three common scenarios 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 scenario, including when to send your email and how to craft your subject line.

You may also have other reasons to reach out after an interview. 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.

How to follow up after an interview

The specific text in your follow-up email will depend on the type of email you're sending, but there are a few general components to include:

  • Subject line

  • Greeting

  • What you're following up on

  • What you'd like to know

  • Sign-off

Let's take a closer look at how you can incorporate each of these components to thank your interviewer, check the status of your application, or stay in touch.

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 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 for you from the conversation or aspects that you’re excited to continue learning about. Still, there’s no need to rehash your interview if you have nothing to add to the conversation, such as a reaction, how you feel, something you later remembered, or additional questions directly related to your discussion.

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.

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Post-interview thank you email sample

Dear Mr Kumar,

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 look forward to hearing from you next week.

Best wishes,

Naya

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 expect to receive an update on your application status

Sample subject lines:

  • “Update request”

  • “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 initially 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 avoid making assumptions about why they didn’t reply.

Tip: During your interview, it can be helpful to ask about next steps. This approach can give you a sense of 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.

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Status check email sample

Dear Mrs Patel,

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 mentioned the next step may be a call with the managing editor. I would love to continue the conversation and set something up in the coming weeks.

I am looking forward to your thoughts!

Many thanks,

Amar

Status check email sample—second follow-up

Dear Mrs. Patel,

I just wanted to follow 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,

Amar

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 an interview process. One potential gain is forming new relationships. If you feel you have a strong connection with someone you met during the interview, you may consider contacting them to see if they’d be willing to stay in touch. You may ask to set up an informational interview or express continued interest in the company should any future opportunities arise.

Staying in touch email sample

Hi Kabir,

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.

Can you 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,

Jai

Follow-up email after interview tips

There are no complex rules regarding follow-up emails, so you can follow up in whatever feels natural. If you stay focused on your intention, communicate clearly, and maintain an appropriate tone, it’s okay to take some leeway with your writing approach.

Some conventions help you effectively communicate whatever you aim to express. Here are a few extra tips to consider when writing a follow-up email.

Be direct.

Remember that the person you’re emailing is probably busy (that’s most likely why they didn’t follow up with you in the first place), so be clear in your communications.

Before you start writing, know your objectives in getting in touch, and express those objectives in your email. Shorter emails are generally easier to read and respond to, and busy people appreciate emails.

Be honest.

When you’re focused on crafting the perfect email, it can be easy to lose your voice. Throughout your job search, 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 contacting are also likely trying to build a comfortable work environment, and the interview process is an excellent 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. Usually, 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 your note. This can help ensure your outreach aligns with the company’s established boundaries.

Be mindful of their timeline.

When following up with your point of contact, keep their timeline in mind. If they told you they needed two weeks before they’d be ready for the next steps, give them the whole two weeks plus a day or two to account for delays before you make contact.

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 prioritise this opportunity, approaching 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 you 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 CV-boosting qualifications, 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, The University of London, and the University of Michigan.

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