Following up with an interview: E-mail enquiry template

The interview is over and now comes the wait: Did you make a good impression? Are you better suited than the competition? Especially if employers take a lot of time with accepting or rejecting candidates, this can strain your nerves. Just asking questions quickly can get more and more tempting. However, demands should not happen thoughtlessly in the moment – after all, your future is at stake. You’re better off sticking to a template.

Before the follow up e-mail: What is to be done after an interview?

Before you even send an enquiry by e-mail – and a so-called follow-up letter – there are other ways you can be remembered.

  • Business cards: Ask for business cards directly after the conversation. This has two advantages: On the one hand, you may be able to stand out from the crowd of applicants. On the other hand, it helps you to write e-mails after the interview. Instead of contacting an anonymous HR department, you can easily write to a specific contact person.
  • Questions about the procedure: Before the interview ends and you leave the office, take the opportunity to ask what the process will be like. You will probably also be given a time frame to help you decide whether a follow-up letter is appropriate after the interview. It will also help you to show further interest.
  • Thank you e-mails: To be remembered, a friendly thank you can help. Without building up too much pressure, you can send a reminder of yourself by e-mail shortly after the interview and leave a positive impression.

Finding the perfect time

It is not easy to find the right time. You’re usually operating in an unknown window of time. Above all, you don’t want to write too early and run the risk of annoying personnel decision makers. However, you don’t want to wait too long either: After all, demand gives you the chance to make another positive impression. In addition, you may also have to make a decision because you may have another job offer.

Since time is such a sensitive issue, it is worth asking the question on the spot. If you have been given a rough time frame, you can also refer to it. If, for example, you are told that the application process will still take two weeks, you can follow up by e-mail up to three weeks after the interview at the latest. Nevertheless, don’t be carried away by the fact that you will be following up directly after the expiry of the specified time frame. An application process can be stressful, and not everything always goes according to plan. If you stick too pedantically to the details, you won’t make a good impression.

If you have not been given a time frame, you should set a deadline for yourself for sending a follow up e-mail. You should plan between two and six weeks. In order to find the right time, consider both the characteristics of the company and the circumstances of the application: Large companies in particular usually take longer to make decisions. This has to do on the one hand with the large number of applications, and on the other hand, with the internal structures. There are comparatively many people involved in the decision-making process, which costs a corresponding amount of time. Small companies and a manageable number of applicants, on the other hand, can expect a quick response.

Finding the right tone

Think carefully about how you want to express yourself – after all, you are still in the application phase. So, when you send a follow up e-mail after the interview, pay attention to the wording. If you seem too impatient or unfriendly, you can ruin everything you have achieved already. In order not to put your own foot in your mouth, make it clear why you are asking and don’t forget your counterpart’s perspective. In any case, it is important to remain friendly and polite.

Of course, you would like to receive an answer directly, but even more important will certainly be employment – and that’s what we’re waiting for. So, don’t push for a decision, but find out what’s going on. So, put your interest in the foreground and not the intention to enforce your will or even to express your frustration.

What you should express, however, is understanding: There are many possible reasons why you have not yet received an answer. A lot of stress in the department or a delayed selection process is more likely than you think. This insight also tells you how to write the follow-up e-mail: keep it short.

Get to the point quickly and formulate clearly what you want to know. This will make it easier for the recipient to respond. A dissipated e-mail, which may contain several paragraphs, will be left for later and may be forgotten. However, if they can reply to the request within a few minutes, they tend to do so directly.

When formulating the e-mail, the subject is also important: Make it as easy as possible for the recipient and formulate the line in such a way that the e-mail can be clearly assigned to your application. In the body of text, you refer directly to the interview. So, it can be useful to address concrete points from the interview again briefly. This proves attention and gives the recipient another clue as to whose message they are dealing with.

Tip

A call can be even quicker. However, this is not always the right solution. Your call could get off on the wrong foot or arrive at an unfavorable time. When it comes to e-mails, the recipient decides for themselves when to process it. If you still prefer a phone call, think about what you really want to say beforehand and keep it short.

Under no circumstances should you make any accusations, demands, or threats:

  • “You were meant to contact me two days ago…”
  • “Tell me if I have the job or not!”
  • “If I don’t get a response from you soon, I’ll have to choose another job.”

If you drive the decision makers into the corner or attack them, you can be sure not to get the job.

Even if you follow all the tips, you should not rely too much on a satisfactory answer. A total of four scenarios are conceivable:

  1. You receive a decision: You are one round ahead or you receive a rejection.
  2. You receive a binding time: Now you know how long you still have to wait and can decide whether to accept this waiting time or decide on another offer.
  3. Your contact person will continue the dialogue: You will just have to continue waiting.
  4. You don’t get an answer at all: The recipient of the e-mail ignores your question completely and only responds with a decision or not at all.

If you do not receive an answer even after a reasonable waiting period, it is worth changing the medium. You now have to chance to persuade your contact person to make a statement by telephone. If, on the other hand, you are promised a waiting period or are not given a precise answer, you will have to wait further. Should the company let too much time pass by, you can ask again – but be sure to remain friendly and polite.

E-mail follow-up after the interview: Templates + examples

To make it easier for you to follow up after interview, we have prepared various samples. Of course, you will have to adapt them to your own situation. Try to design the follow-up e-mail as individually as possible after the interview in order to be more memorable.

Example 1

Subject: Re: Invitation to interview on 01.15.19

Dear [Name of recipient],

I would like to thank you again for inviting me to the interesting interview about the position as [insert job title]. I truly believe that I would be a perfect fit for the team. I was also fascinated by your comments regarding the job – especially the aspects relating to the [special discussion point] area. Even more than before, I can see my future at [insert company name].

Therefore, I would be grateful for an update on my current application status. Can you estimate when a decision on the position will be made?

If you need further information about my application, please contact me at any time. Either by e-mail or under [your telephone number].

I wish you all the best in the meantime,

[Your Name]

The above example assumes that you haven’t already sent a thank you e-mail after the interview. You are just replying to the interview that you received by e-mail. This makes it easier for the recipient to assign you correctly. In order to avoid the contact person having to scroll through the entire conversation, you should briefly state in the first sentence which position is actually involved. If possible, address your e-mail to the specific interview partner at the interview. It is therefore an advantage if you ask for a business card after the interview.

Note

Be sure to pay attention to the address bar – especially if you are replying to a previous e-mail. Often, you receive invitations from the HR department address, but would now like to write to a specific person. Exchange the e-mail addresses, and move the department e-mail address into the CC field.

In the following, thank them for the interview, individualize the message with concrete conversation content, and confirm your interest in the advertised position once again. After this brief introduction, you will come to your main concern and offer to support the decision-making process through your willingness to communicate.

Example 2

Subject: Request for job interview [job title]

Dear [Name of contact person],

I would like to contact you again regarding my application as [job title] and would like to express my great interest in this position once again. [Company name] seems to be my perfect future employer. I would be keen to know if there is any news regarding the application process. Can you estimate when I can expect a decision?

Please feel free to contact me – also with any further information or questions – by telephone at [your telephone number].

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

In this second example, we assume that you have already contacted them with a thank you message immediately after the interview. That is why the second sample is shorter than the first. In this case, a new subject will be formulated, but will still make the facts clear. Also, in the follow up e-mail itself, you can briefly clarify the context. Despite the brevity, it does not hurt if you affirm your interest in the job. Then the actual reason for the message follows. All this fits into one paragraph and costs the recipient hardly any reading time.

Tip

The tone of your e-mail should be based on that of the interview. If, for example, you have spoken formally at the interview, this tone can also be retained when writing the follow-up e-mail.

Dos & don’ts: What to keep in mind

With the follow-up e-mail after the interview, you can do things right, but you can also put your foot in it.

 

Dos

Don’ts

Time point

After enough waiting time has passed, you can confirm your interest with a request for information

Write your contact person too early, appear impatient and aggressive

Scope

A short and concise message invites you to respond quickly

If you beat around the bush, the recipient may postpone processing the application

Tone

Honest interest and understanding for the other persona are sympathetic

With threats and demands, you scare off your contact person and perhaps even lose the chance of the job

Formulation

When addressing the interviewer, be guided by the formalities of the interview

Ignoring the tone of the conversation may push your contacts buttons

No answer

After sufficient waiting time, you can try again with a phone call

If you become impatient and write a new e-mail directly, you will annoy the decision makers

Mistakes

Check your e-mail for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors to make a good impression.

If you write your message too hastily and make too many mistakes, this can jeopardize your application

Tip

You have not yet been invited to an interview and are waiting for feedback on your application? Read our article on following up with an interview.

Click here for important legal disclaimers.

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