Just finished a job interview? Now it's time to follow up with a thoughtful email or note.

Whew. Your job interview is out of the way; one of the most stressful parts of the job application process is over. But before you start celebrating, you need to do one more thing: Send a follow-up email.

Following up after an interview is an important part of the process, but unfortunately some job applicants overlook this simple gesture. The truth is, a thoughtful follow-up email or note could increase your chances of getting the job, so here's everything you need to know about following up after an interview.

Why should you follow up after an interview?

Following up after a job interview certainly won't hurt your chances of getting the job. If anything, it'll help.

In fact, TopInterview's sister site, TopResume, surveyed more than 300 U.S. employers about common job interview deal-breakers. The survey revealed that 51 percent of those surveyed responded that receiving a thank-you email or mailed note after an interview impacts their hiring decision. Additionally, six percent of employers said they've dismissed a candidate who failed to follow up after an interview.

In addition to impressing the employer, follow-up emails and notes can also be helpful for you. A post-interview thank-you note gives you one more chance to show your excitement for the opportunity and reiterate why you'd be a great fit. It's also an opportunity to check in on the timeline of the hiring process and give the hiring team a nudge to follow up with you.

When and how to follow up after an interview 

As a good rule of thumb, you should follow up after a job interview within 24 hours. Here are a few ways to follow up.

How to follow up after an in-person interview

How you follow up after an in-person interview is entirely up to you; you can follow up with an email or a handwritten note. 

Typically, an email is best if the hiring process is moving fairly quickly. For instance, if the employer hopes to have a decision for you within 48 hours, an email is guaranteed to arrive before the decision. Snail mail — while perhaps more personal — could take up to a week.

If you still want to send a handwritten thank-you note and ensure it arrives promptly, you can always deliver it yourself. You can also do both: Send an email followed by a handwritten note.

How to follow up after a phone interview

Even if your interview is a phone interview, you'll still want to follow-up with a thank you. Typically, at this point in the hiring process, the interviewer will be talking to several candidates, so it's important to send your email shortly after your conversation ends. 

Take notes during your phone interview, jotting down anything interesting or unique from your conversation you can use in your follow-up email. Do this to help set you apart from the other candidates and jog the interviewer's memory.

What to include in your follow-up email or note

Now the question becomes: What should you include in this follow-up email or note? Here are the points you'll want to hit:

  • Thank the interviewers for their time.

  • Reiterate your interest in the position and why you're qualified.

  • Ask about the next steps, if not already addressed, or include any other follow-up questions you may have.

You can also add a personal touch that points back to your conversation, but in general, the perfect job interview follow-up email is short and sweet.

Example of a follow-up email or note to send after a job interview

Use this example to help you get on the right track:

Good afternoon Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I enjoyed learning more about ABC Cooperative and your goals of growing the editorial team.

I love the valuable content your website offers to its readers, and I believe my experience in both journalism and marketing would make me a great fit for the role.

Don't hesitate to contact me with any additional questions.

Thank you again for your time, and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Best,

Cynthia

P.S. I hope you and your family enjoy your trip to Florida next week!

Simply put, sending a follow-up email may seem like a small gesture, but it could help you secure your next job.

Before you can write your follow-up email, you need to sit down for the interview. Are you prepared? Our TopInterview coaches can help!

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