You've just had the best interview of your life – now what?!

You're walking out of the hiring manager's office feeling like you're on cloud nine! Everything went perfectly – you gave well-practiced answers to the interview questions, you posed some great questions back to the interviewer, and left with the feeling that you were a shoo-in. 

But now, as your adrenaline starts to come down, you start to wonder, “What next?” In true human form, doubts start to creep in. Did you really do as well as you think you did? There was that one answer where you kind of stumbled over your words. 

Fret not! You're probably being your own worst enemy! On top of that, you can put yourself back in front of the hiring manager as soon as later today or tomorrow – by following up. Let's talk about optimal timing for post-interview follow-ups. Actually, the when and the how. 

Why follow up after an interview?

Many people wonder if following up after an interview is still a thing. Isn't it an outdated practice? 

The fact is, following up after an interview isn't just good manners; it's a strategic move. It shows you're genuinely interested in the role, demonstrates your professionalism, and helps keep you on the interviewer's radar. Plus, it's an opportunity to reiterate why you're the perfect fit for the position.

And let's face it, anytime you can get your name back on the hiring manager's mind, you should definitely do so!

When to follow up after an interview

There is a right and wrong way to follow up after an interview, though. 

  • You don't want to seem desperate

  • You don't want to bug the hiring manager

  • You do want them to remember you

Here's how to strike the right balance:

Same day:

Sending a follow-up email on the same day as your interview can show enthusiasm, but it can also come off as too eager. If you do choose to follow up on the same day, make sure it's later in the day, preferably a few hours after your interview. This email should serve as a simple thank you note, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and briefly reiterating your interest.

24-48 hours:

This is generally considered the sweet spot for follow-up timing. It gives you enough time to reflect on the interview and craft a thoughtful message. It also shows you're respectful of the interviewer's time. Most hiring managers expect a follow-up within this timeframe, so sending your thank you note during this period is ideal.

1 week later:

In some cases, waiting a week might be appropriate, especially if the interviewer mentioned a specific timeline for decision-making. At this point, your follow-up should serve as a gentle reminder and an opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the role. Use this email to remind the hiring manager why you're the perfect candidate for the position, highlighting key points from the interview that demonstrate your fit for the role.

How to write the perfect follow-up email after an interview

Just like there's a proper time frame for following up after an interview – whether you're simply thanking the hiring manager for their time or inquiring about the next steps in the hiring process – there's a right and wrong way to craft your email.

One thing's for sure – every little detail matters.

Subject line:

The detail that's most often overlooked is the subject line. Think of your own email. How many messages do you delete vs how many you actually read? What makes you open the messages that you read? It's likely because you know who's emailing you or the message has a compelling subject line. 

It's the same for the hiring manager. They get a metric ton of emails every day. You have to give them a reason to open yours.

Example follow-up email subject line

Your subject line should be clear and concise. Examples include: “Thank You for the Interview – [Your Name]” or “Following Up on Our Interview – [Position Name]”. 

Opening or greeting:

After you meet with the interviewer, you should know what their name is. If you're terrible at remembering names, be sure to grab their business card off their desk because, at this point, it would be completely inappropriate and off-putting to open your thank you or follow-up email with “Dear Sir” or “To Whom It May Concern.” 

Instead, you should start with a proper greeting, using the interviewer's name. Personalization is critical. 


Here comes the meat of your message. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview. Reiterate your interest in the position and highlight any additional points you might have forgotten to mention. 

Above all else, avoid being generic. The whole point of following up is to give the hiring manager another nod to how well you'll fit in the position they have open. So, reference a specific part of your conversation to show that you were engaged and attentive.


Finish with a professional sign-off, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name. Offer to provide more information if needed, and thank them again for their time.

Follow-up email template

Subject Line: Thank You for the Interview – [Your Name]

Email Body:

Hi [Interviewer's Name],

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [Position Name] role at [Company Name] on [Interview Date]. I truly enjoyed our conversation, especially the discussion about [specific topic discussed during the interview].

I am very excited about the possibility of joining your team and contributing to [specific project or aspect of the company]. My experience in [relevant experience or skill] aligns well with the requirements of the role, and I am confident that I can bring [specific value or contribution] to [Company Name].

Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to assist in your decision-making process. I look forward to the possibility of working together and contributing to the continued success of [Company Name].

Thank you once again for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Phone Number]

Common mistakes to avoid

At the risk of sounding like a broken record and reiterating that there's a right and wrong way to follow up after an interview, let's talk about the wrong things – i.e., what not to do. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of when you're writing your follow-up emails. 

Being too pushy

There's a fine line between showing interest and being overbearing. You don't want to come off as desperate or annoy the hiring manager. Avoid sending multiple follow-ups in quick succession. If you haven't heard back, give it a few days before reaching out again. Remember, patience is key. A well-timed follow-up shows you're considerate of their busy schedule and that you're confident enough to wait for a response.

Spelling and grammar errors:

Proofreading is crucial. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can make you appear careless, and that's the last impression you want to leave after a stellar interview. Take the time to review your email for any typos or awkward phrasing. Use tools like Grammarly to catch errors, or even better, ask a friend to review your email before sending it. A polished, error-free email demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

Vague messaging:

Be specific in your follow-up. A generic “Thank you for the interview” doesn't add much value. Instead, mention specific points discussed during the interview. This shows that you were engaged, attentive, and genuinely interested in the role. 

For example, you could say, “I really enjoyed our discussion about the company's upcoming projects and how my experience with project management could contribute to their success.” This not only highlights your attentiveness but also reinforces your suitability for the role.

When to follow up after an interview for the second time

Sometimes, even the best interviews don't result in a job offer. Before you start thinking there was something wrong with how you performed during the interview, you can follow up again. Perhaps you'll learn that the hiring manager is on vacation or the company has instituted a short hiring freeze. Either way, you'll get more of a clue about what's going on and can decide to keep waiting or move on. 

Second follow-up:

Considering the concern people have about when to follow up after an interview, the concept of following up a second time can be worrisome. Is it proper etiquette to follow up after an interview if you already followed up? 

Yes! It's perfectly fine!

If a week has passed since your first follow-up and you haven't heard back, it's okay to send a second email. Keep it polite and express continued interest in the position.

Phone call follow-up:

You can also call, of course, if you keep to the timeframe outlined here. Avoid calling on the same day you send a follow-up email because that makes you look desperate. However, if your emails are going unanswered, give them a call. It could be that your messages are ending up in a junk folder, and no one knows they exist.

Just like you would with an email, be brief, courteous, and reiterate your interest. Also, check the business hours to make sure you're calling while they're open.

Move on:

It is inevitable that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you won't hear back. It's important to stay positive and keep your job search momentum going. Every interview is a learning experience that brings you one step closer to landing the right job.

Some companies are building up a pool of candidates, while others are simply in the habit of ghosting job seekers who don't make the cut. Don't let it get you down; instead, hold your head high and move on to the next opportunity. Momentum can be your friend. Remember, every interview is a building block toward your career goals, and persistence will eventually pay off. 

What if you receive a rejection?

Sometimes, you will get a response from your follow-up, but it's not the news you were hoping for. If the company decides not to move forward with your application, handle it with grace. Thank them for the opportunity and ask if they can provide any feedback on your interview. 

This can help you improve for future opportunities. Additionally, express your interest in staying in touch for any future roles that might be a better fit. Networking is key, and maintaining a positive relationship can open doors down the line.

What to do if your follow-up results in a job offer?

Getting a job offer is, of course, the best possible outcome. It's what all your hard work has been about. Now, you're staring at another “What now?” moment! Here's what to do:

  • Say “Thank you”

  • Read the offer and go through the details with a fine-toothed comb

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions to clarify something you're unsure of

  • Negotiate the salary

  • Accept or decline the offer

Just because you've put your all into landing this job doesn't mean it's the right job. A lot of people forget that bit. 

When to follow up after an interview – doing it right!

You've done the hard part by acing the interview, you just have a few more steps on your job-search journey. Your follow-up is likely the final opportunity you'll have to leave a lasting impression and show the hiring manager that you are not only interested but also proactive and professional. 

Go forth with confidence! Use your follow-up to reinforce your enthusiasm, highlight your strengths, and remind them why you're the perfect fit for the job. Every step you take is a step closer to landing that dream role. Stay positive, stay professional, and let your passion shine through. The right opportunity is within your reach – seize it!

If you're ready to take your interview skills to the next level, we have interview coaches ready to help. Our expert interview coaching services can be just the ticket to help you stand out from the crowd and ace your next interview, leaving you with the burning question, “When to follow up after an interview?”

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