“Should I Reach Out?” The Process of Following Up After a Job Interview

You’ve just finished an interview for a position you’re really excited about! You believe that it went well and are looking forward to hearing about next steps. However, a few days goes by and you don’t hear anything. What happened? Should you send an email? Maybe make a call? Following up after a job interview can be a tricky process, but fear not! We’ve got you covered with best practices to ensure you receive the feedback you’re looking for. 

Send a thank you note

After finishing your interview, send a thank you note to the employer. Only about a quarter of interviewees take the time to send a thank you note after an interview, so this can really be your opportunity to stand out! Thank you notes can be sent after any step in the interview process, even a preliminary phone screen, and should be sent the same day or day after your interview. They’re a great way to show the employer your professionalism and interest in the role. 

You can email or hand write your thank you note. In your note, address the person you spoke with specifically and thank them for their time. Convey your interest in the position and why you believe you’d be a good fit. Make sure to add in something that you spoke with the interviewer about to make the note personal. This can be something such as, “I really enjoyed hearing about….” or “I appreciate you taking the time to explain…” This shows that you were paying attention during the interview and genuinely enjoyed meeting them. 

Wait the appropriate time

This is the hard part. After sending your thank you note, you have to wait. Most of the time, your interviewer will give you an estimated timeline of when you should expect to hear back from the employer. Even though it can be difficult to be patient, it is very important that you do not reach out to an employer prior to the given timeline. Many times, employers interview multiple candidates over a series of several days or weeks. If you reach out too soon, it could reflect poorly on you or give the impression that you were not listening when the timeline was given to you. Give the employer time to make a decision on if they’d like to move forward with your application. 

Follow up 

After waiting the appropriate amount of time, if you have still not heard back from the employer, it’s time to follow up. The best way to do this is by sending an email directly to the person you spoke with or the recruiter you’ve been working with. Emails work better than phone calls since they do not cause an immediate disruption in the employer’s day and allow them time to gather the information or feedback you are looking for. In your email, start by thanking the employer for taking the time to interview you. Continue by saying you are following up as you have not heard back by the given timeline. Then, ask if there have been any updates on the status of your application or any feedback that you should be aware of. In conclusion, convey your interest in the position and thank them for their time. 

Here is an example template that uses our recommended follow-up structure. Feel free to use this as a starting point for your own outreach! 

“Hello ____, 

Thank you again for taking the time to interview me last week for the ______ position. I am writing to follow up on the status of my application. Has there been any updates on the position or any feedback from the interview that you are able to share? I am highly interested in this position and believe I would be a great fit for your team. 

Thank you again for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you very soon!” 

This short and simple note should get you the feedback you’re looking for. If you still don’t hear back, you can send an additional email several days later.

So, there you have it! Sending a thank you note, waiting the appropriate amount of time, and then following up with a simple email will help you navigate the post-interview process and stand out to future employers. 

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