Ultimate Guide To Following Up: After Job Application, Interview and No Response [Video + Transcript]

By Taylor Meadows, Host

December 1, 2021

10-minute watch

So if you're anything like me, waiting to hear back from the employer that you're interviewing with, is easily one of the most stressful parts of the entire process. So, in this video, I'm going to walk you through not just how to respond, but when to respond.

It's going to be my goal for you today to educate you on how to not under-communicate, but then, not to bombard your recruiter or your hiring manager, with a cascade of emails just seeking to understand where you are in the process. There needs to be a good balance.

OK, so quickly, let's just recap what a follow-up email is.

What is a follow-up email?

A follow-up email is simply a note, or a message, that you send to your hiring manager, or your recruiter, because you've applied to the position, or maybe you've even interviewed for it, and you haven't heard anything back yet.

Now, this is going to be really important, because it's going to do four main things for you.

  • It's going to serve as a reminder to your recruiter as to who you are, and why you're a fit for the role.

  • It's going to give you another shot at making a good impression.

  • It's going to help you move conversations along that may have slowed down in the process.

  • A follow-up email is going to resurface you as an interested candidate for the position.

If you're finding this video helpful so far, and you're enjoying what you're learning, and potentially want to share it with other people, please “like” and subscribe. And then, for your benefit, we have other career advice videos that I think would be really helpful for you as you navigate this process.

Now, let's discuss when to follow up.

When to follow up

There are going to be three primary times that you want to make sure that you're following up appropriately.

  • The first one is going to be immediately after your application.

  • The second is going to be immediately after your interview.

  • And then the third is going to be after your interviews, as you're waiting to hear back throughout the process.

You know, something very important to keep in mind here is that recruiters are very busy folks, and it's highly likely that they are interviewing for other positions, as well. We want to make sure that we are respecting their schedule and their time. However, if you haven't heard anything, or if you do need to reopen those lines of communication, a follow-up email may be very necessary.

So, let's talk about when to follow up in any of these three scenarios.

After an application has been submitted

The first is following up after an application. If you have submitted your credentials and you haven't heard back in about a week, that would be the appropriate amount of time to wait, and then send a note to introduce yourself as a candidate. For more advice on following up after an application, click on this link right up here for more.

Immediately after an interview

So, next is following up immediately after your interview. This is crucial to your candidacy. So what you want to do is wait no longer than 24 to 48 hours to send this note, and you want to send an individualized note to every person that you've interviewed with.

Now, things to include in this note, of course, would be, thanking the interviewers for their time, reiterating your excitement and zest for the role, but importantly then what you want to do is recall something in the conversation that really stood out to you. So, whether it was a story that either you or they told that you remember, a specific example of a project that you worked on that you were really proud of, whatever it might be to very softly and succinctly remind them as to who you are. It's going to really help you out.

Now, if someone had referred you into the role, this would also be a great place to mention that individual, and then thank them for their assistance, also.

When you have not heard back after an interview

Now, you may be in the situation where you have sent a follow-up note, and then you still haven't heard anything back. So, what I would recommend in this case, is if you need to send a follow-up note, or if you want to kind of reinvest in the conversation and get it going again, I would wait a minimum of a week after that initial follow up email. But again, your recruiter or your hiring manager could be processing a lot of candidates at one time, so it could take a little bit of time to get back to you.

At the end of the day, this is what I would recommend if you haven't heard back anything at all. Make peace with that, take a therapeutic pause, and maybe consider other opportunities. The ultimate goal of the interview process, and for you to get to know this employer a little bit better, is just to see if it's going to be a symbiotic match, right? You want to make sure that it's a culture fit, and if part of the culture that you're looking for is clear and consistent communication, and that's not what you're getting from this particular employer, it simply might be time to move on.

How to write a follow-up email

Now that you know when to send a follow-up message, let's talk about how to construct the body of it. There are going to be four main components that you want to keep in mind when you're thinking about the construction of your email: subject line, reminder, purpose and call to action.

Write a concise subject line

In this subject line, you want to make sure that you are straight to the point and very, very clear with your recipient as to what the purpose of the note is. So, an example might be:

  • Thank you for your time

  • re: John Smith's application for brand coordinator

  • Or it could even be Follow-up for brand coordinator position

Share a brief reminder

So, brevity is going to be paramount in this follow-up note because it's highly likely that the person who interviewed you, or your recruiter, is going to be very, very busy. Be sure in the body of your note to include pertinent details, like who you are, the position that you applied for, maybe when you had your conversation and again something that really stood out to you in that conversation that is going to allow your recruiter, or your hiring manager, to easily recall you as a candidate.

This also makes it easier for your recruiter to redraft up materials that maybe you had sent them previously if they were wanting to check on your status. A good example of this might be:

”Thank you for taking the time to speak with me last Wednesday about the marketing coordinator position at Indeed. I was really excited to hear about the new brand campaign, and I really believe that my experience in successfully coordinating cross-functional initiatives is going to well equip me for the project management necessary to take your campaign to the next level.”

Explain your purpose for writing

This could be as simple as you want to reintroduce yourself as a candidate, remind the interviewer as to who you are and your interest in the role or it could also be because you're just simply reaching out to determine what next steps in the process might be. Now, this does not need to be long, but a couple of examples of this could include:

  • “I wanted to reach out to see if you had any update on your decision.”

  • “I want to affirm my interest in the role.”

  • ”I wanted to see if there were any follow-up materials that I could provide you to make the process easier.”

Include a call to action

This is going to be a really great way to showcase to your recruiter that you're patient, that you're empathetic and appreciative of their time, but still interested in the position itself. Now, this is going to be more direct than your statement of purpose, but it is going to allow you the opportunity to then see what the next steps might be.

For example: “Thank you for your time and your consideration during this busy time of year. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me via phone or email if you need any additional materials.”

For detailed examples as to how to write a great follow-up note, click on this link right up here for more.

Example follow-up email

So, let's take a look at a complete example of all these elements put together.

Subject line:
Thank you for your time

Dear Mr. Jefferson,

Thank you very much for your time yesterday. It was a pleasure speaking with you about the account executive role at Indeed. I especially enjoyed discussing your need for someone who can create value and insight during client conversations. Prioritizing the quality of the conversation over a simple information delivery has been one of my most successful tactics in overcoming these roadblocks, and one reason why I've routinely exceeded my quotas.

Purpose for writing:
I'm excited about the prospect of bringing that skill set to Indeed, and I want to affirm my interest in the role.

Call to action:
If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me by email or by phone.

Thanks again,
Jamie Patterson.

Check before you send

Before you actually hit send on that note, what I want you to do is check your note for the following items:

  • First, is to address the individual that you spoke with, in particular. If you've reached a point where you are on a first-name basis with them, then great, go ahead and use that. But if you haven't, what I want to make sure that you do is use "Mr." or "Ms.," (if you know their preferred pronouns) and then their last name before you proceed.

  • Review the length of your note. So, while it is important to be brief and concise, it's also important to make sure that you have all the necessary information in there to remind the interviewer of who you are as a candidate, and why you're qualified for the role.

  • Close the letter out with your name, your phone number and your email. Make sure that that signature down there has all the necessary information for that recruiter to reach back out to you, if for some reason they might need, let's say, follow-up materials.

  • And then, finally, I want you to proofread. Read the note a couple of different times. Grammatical errors are just such a tarnish to a well-written note. What I want you to do is, maybe, start from the bottom and then read your way up. This is a little trick of the trade that I have applied to review my own notes over the past couple of years, and it's always worked very well for me. I always seem to catch at least something.

Key takeaways

All right, so let's recap all the necessary steps you can take to craft a very compelling thank you note and went to send it.

  • Assess how much time has passed. So other than that initial thank you note that you're going to send about 24 to 48 hours after that interview, I want you to wait at least a week to send a follow-up email from your last interaction.

  • Keep the email short and concise. We want to strike a nice balance between brevity and including all the details necessary for them to remember who you are. So your name, the position that you applied for, when you interviewed and then something specific about the conversation that you want to recall.

  • And then, finally, I want you to make sure that you include a call to action. This is going to indicate to your recruiter that you're interested in next steps, and hopefully solicit a response so that you're aware of where you're at in the process.

All right, everyone, well that is it for now. I want to thank you so much for joining. I really hope that this was helpful for you.

If you did find it helpful and you want more videos like it, feel free to “like” and subscribe to this channel. And if you'd like to connect with us on social media, all of our information will be listed below in the description. We'd be happy to answer any questions for you.

But other than that, happy writing, happy interviewing. You got this.

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