This is Exactly When to Follow Up (or Give Up) After an Interview


Woman applying for a job


Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas866
Conducting yourself properly after a job interview can be as difficult as navigating the aftermath of a first date. You want to contact them, but you're not sure how soon is too soon, or how many times it's acceptable to check in. You don't want to come off as overzealous. We get it.
Knowing when and how to follow up — and when to give up — is tricky. In fact, one anonymous FGB'er wrote to ask for advice on this very subject:
"I had a job interview last Thursday (about 7 days ago now). My interviews started on Wednesday with a short phone interview before I was asked to come in for a short-notice in-person interview the next day. I met two interviewers on Thursday. On Friday, I sent a personalized thank you email to all three of my interviewers to thank them for their time and reiterate my interest in the position. I really felt like the interviews went well, and I feel like I would be an excellent fit for the position I was interviewing for. In my thank you email, I asked one of my interviewers when they were planning to make a hiring decision. It has now been six days, and I have not received a response from any of my interviewers and I'm becoming increasingly anxious about the whole ordeal. Since I have not received a response yet, is it likely that I should give up on this opportunity and cut my losses or should I reach out to follow up again?"

A few other FGB'ers responded to the discussion — and we're loving the advice they offered.

"Definitely reach out! That way you're back at the top of their email inbox," one woman said.
"Sometimes hiring managers are just really busy! This is a great opportunity to follow up and provide a little more information about why you're excited to connect," another woman wrote.

And we agree.

According to Forbes, "Job candidates frequently make one big mistake after an interview: idly waiting for the employer to call with good or bad news." Following up shows you are still interested in the position and are bold enough to reach out. "Interviewers like proactive and ambitious candidates; they are the lifeline of the employer and its future. What’s more, some interviewers dismiss candidates who don’t follow up," the article continued.

However, there is a wrong way to follow up.

This FGB'er did the right thing by sending a thank-you note after the interview. A polite, conversational thank-you note should always be sent within 24 hours of your meeting. Even better: make it a personalized note. Reference or expand on a specific detail from the interview itself, and explicitly state how much you'd love to join the team you're hiring with and why.

With this initial formality out of the way, there's a balance to strike with further followups.

Immediately after the interview (preferably in-person, so you're not waiting for an email response), ask the hiring manager what the next steps are in the hiring process and when you should hear back about the position. If the hiring timeline comes and goes, definitely feel comfortable to reach out via email asking for an update.
If you are not given a timeline — per our discussion post — wait at least one week after your interview to follow up for an update. After seven days, feel free to send a follow up that explains why you're excited about the role and hearing about next steps.

Following up more than two times (not including the thank-you note) without a response could seem too aggressive for the hiring manager

However, these recommendations are entirely objective, and you should gauge your own situation and relationship with the company before making a decision.
Regardless of what happens, always remain cordial. Your hiring manager could reach out when another position becomes available or even recommend you for another opening within the company.

What's your no. 1 piece of interview follow up advice? Leave your answer in the comments to help other FGB’ers.