How to Follow Up During a Lengthy Interview Process

Many Americans are hard at work, trying to find a new job opportunity in today’s challenging labor market. Some job seekers have been out of work throughout the entirety of the pandemic. As a result, you may feel a little anxious if you haven’t heard back from your interviewers. And while you might feel awkward contacting the employer and asking for an update, it is perfectly acceptable to follow up afterward – you just have to do it the right way to ensure you don’t give off the wrong impression. Here is how to successfully follow up during a lengthy interview process.

Wait at least two weeks

If you have been unemployed for months, it can be hard to be patient and wait for feedback. Of course, you are probably excited about this opportunity and refreshing your inbox every five minutes for that much-anticipated email. However, before you even think about following up, you should wait at least two weeks. Give the company time to interview every applicant and review their application materials.

Employers’ hiring processes maybe even lengthier right now because of the virus. Companies must continually adjust to become compliant with social distancing and new safety guidelines, and thus, may need a little extra time to get organized. The worst thing you can do is be impatient and follow up too soon, which will undoubtfully put a bad taste in a hiring manager’s mouth.

Pro tip: if you asked about what the next steps are during your interview, you would have a better idea of when you can expect to hear back, and thus, when it’s appropriate to follow up.

Send a brief check-in email

After a sufficient amount of time has passed, and you still haven’t heard anything, it is appropriate to send a follow-up email. You want to keep your email short and sweet but gently nudge the hiring manager to provide some feedback or give you an update on the timeline of the next steps. Your goal is to briefly re-introduce yourself, remind them which job you are interviewing for, and ask if there is any additional information from you. Here is an example you can use for almost every job interview follow up.

Example follow-up email

Subject Line: Checking in RE: Technical Writer Position

Hi [Hiring Manager Name],

My name is Sophia Gardner, and I interviewed for the Technical Writer position on October 17th.

It was a pleasure to meet you and the rest of the team last month to discuss the position and learn more about [Company Name]. Please let me know if you need anything else from me to assist in the decision-making process. I look forward to your update.

Thank you,

Sophia Gardner


This is an excellent way to follow up during a lengthy interview process. The hiring manager will know who you are right off the bat. The email is also short and is a friendly follow-up email to hopefully get some feedback or learn more about the timeline of the interviewing process. Patience is a virtue during any job search, but if you need to follow up, this template will help you get the answer you have been anxiously waiting to receive.

How To Handle Being Ghosted During Your Job Search

Almost every single professional has dealt with being ghosted during a job search. It is absolutely agonizing waiting to hear back about a job in which you have invested both time and emotions. Even worse is the pit in your stomach when you realize you will never hear back. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to understand why it happens and what you can do about it.

Understand Why It Happens

While we wish no one ever had to deal with being ghosted by a prospective employer, it is unavoidable. Especially in today’s market, hiring managers are receiving thousands of applications for a single position. Unfortunately, it means they aren’t able to follow up with each and every applicant.  

If you’re being ghosted farther along in the hiring process, that certainly leaves a stronger impression. However, you have to understand that a company’s only objective is to fill their open position, so that is where they are focusing all of their energy. On the plus side, it does mean you have a bit more leverage.

What You Can Do About It

Once you’ve been in contact with a company during a hiring process (meaning you’ve had an interview or two), there are a few things you can do after being ghosted. Career Strategist Bob McIntosh recently recommended following up with your primary contact up to three times. Keep your follow-ups short, professional, and positive. If you haven’t heard back after the third attempt, it’s time to move on.

Further ghost-proof your job search by keeping an open mind. Don’t limit yourself to the one position you’re interviewing for. Continue applying for jobs and accepting interviews as they come your way. Most importantly, don’t take ghosting personally. Being ghosted during your job search is lamentably an inevitable part of the modern hiring process. Finally, when you eventually climb the corporate ladder, you’ll have the opportunity to break the cycle

How to Write the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

thank you note

Congratulations! You’ve navigated your way through the job interview and you’re excited about the opportunity. The company is everything that you are looking for and you feel like you nailed the interview. But wait! Now is not the time to sit back and wait to hear back from HR. You must send a thank you note to seal the deal.

Here’s how to write the perfect thank you note that’ll leave a lasting impression on the interviewers.

Highlight why you are the best candidate

Now, I’m not saying you should actually state that you are the best candidate in your thank you note. However, this is your opportunity to remind them why you are a perfect fit for the position. Remember, your goal is to express your gratitude, not make another pitch. Subtly remind them why you are a good fit for not only the position but also for the organization!

Send a thank you to each interviewer

This is crucial. You must send a thank you note to each person you interviewed with. And you can’t just send the same thank you note to each interviewer. You must make each email unique. The easiest way to do this is to bring a notebook with you for an interview.

To be polite, you can ask the interviewers if it’s okay to jot down some notes during the interview. Write down everyone’s name on a notebook so you remember their names. When crafting your notes, reflect on something each interviewer said and mention that in your interview. For example, if an interviewer brings up a new product launch, you can say something like “I enjoyed discussing ABC company’s recent product launch and how it…” By mentioning a certain talking point in your thank you, it proves that you mean business about the job.

Send it promptly

This is key. Sending a thank you note is important. But sending it promptly can make or break your chances of progressing through the interviewing process. If you wait until the end of the day to send it, chances are, the employer has interviewed another candidate. Think about it: If they have interviewed another candidate and they promptly send their well-crafted thank you, you instantly become an afterthought.

If you want to leave a lasting impression, it’s best to send a thank you note within the hour. What happens after a job interview? Everyone that sat in on the interviewer starts talking about you and how well you did. The best possible scenario that could happen is them sitting around the office talking about how much they liked you and boom! They get a notification on their phone from the thank you note you just sent. Pretty impactful, right?

Let your personality shine through

Yes, hiring managers are concerned with your hard skills and qualifications. But they are also interested in learning your soft skills. Employers can train you to learn hard skills, such as using Excel spreadsheets, understanding a new CRM, or blogging. However, they can’t teach you soft skills like critical thinking or certain personality traits.

With this tight market, employers want to know the real you and ensure that you’re a good fit for the organization as well as the role. Showing your personality is a great way to prove that you’ll be a successful addition to the team.

If you follow these steps, you’ll surely get a call back from the hiring manager. Good luck!

F is for Follow Up – Following Up After a Job Interview

Following up after a job interview
You just landed an interview and you bring your A-game. You walk out of the office feeling good about the interview. Now what?

You know you should follow up with them, but how often do you do so? What should you say? You want to make a lasting impression on the interviewers, but you’re afraid of coming off as too eager or bothersome. Here are some dos and don’ts of following up after a job interview.

Do – Fire off a thank you note

Shortly after your interview, you MUST send a thank you email to every interviewer. It’s best to send a thank you note within an hour after your interview. At the very least, it needs to be sent within 24 hours to be effective and leave a good impression on the hiring manager.

Use this opportunity to quickly affirm to the hiring manager that you’re excited about the position. Remind them the value you will bring to the position and why you are a good fit. Make sure each thank you note sent is personal to each interviewer. Reflect on something they said in the interview or tell them you enjoyed discussing a certain topic.

Just remember to keep it brief and friendly!

Don’t – follow up unless you have proper contact information

If you don’t have the correct contact information, don’t bother following up. Sending a thank you email to a contact form or a random email address listed on the employer’s website will almost never get to the right person.

Instead, write down all the interviewers’ names during your interview. Afterwards, look them up on LinkedIn or do a quick Google search. You shouldn’t have an issue finding their work email addresses to send them each a personal thank you email.

However, if you do struggle to find their contact information, you can send an email or make a quick phone call to HR. They will be happy to send over their contact information!

Do – Personalize each thank you note

You’re likely not the only person to interview in the last few days. You need to stay at the top of their mind by sending a thank you email that truly stands out. The thank you note needs to relate back to your interview and remind the interviewers why you are the perfect candidate.

As your interview begins, ask the hiring manager if it’s okay to jot down some notes during your interview. As each interviewer is talking to you, write down some notes to help you write a personal thank you email to each of the interviewers. Sending a personal email will go a long way and will remind them what you’ll bring to the table.

Don’t – Follow up too often

Nothing is more aggravating to a hiring manager than a candidate who is constantly trying to follow up after an interview. Don’t panic if you haven’t heard back exactly when you were told. Every company has a unique hiring process and different timelines. Some employers are looking to make a decision in a few short weeks while others may want to take their time. This can all depend on the size of the company, the industry they play in, or even the type of position you are applying for.

If you haven’t heard back a few days after you were expecting a phone call, it’s okay to send a follow-up email. This email should be kept brief and be written in a friendly, yet professional tone.

And if you have been waiting patiently and you still haven’t heard back after your follow up email, chances are, you are no longer being considered for the position. The best way to move forward is to focus on other opportunities.

Do – Ask for the next steps so you know when to follow up again

If the interviewers have not discussed the next steps in the hiring process, the end of your interview is the perfect time to ask what to expect next. You can simply ask, “When are you looking to make a decision?” or “When can I expect to hear from you again?”

By asking the hiring manager what the next steps are, you know when you can follow up again. For example, if the hiring manager tells you that they’re looking to make a decision by the end of the week, it’s okay to follow up again a few days after that if you still haven’t heard back.
I know it can be difficult to be patient, but the hiring process is anything but short and sweet. It takes time for employers to schedule interviews, discuss each candidate, and make a decision, all while maintaining their everyday tasks.

Don’t – Stop job hunting after the interview

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! While you are waiting to hear back from the hiring manager after your interview, you should keep searching for other opportunities. Even if you think you nailed your interview and you meet every qualification on the job description, you never know what decision will be made.

The best thing you can do is keep searching and applying for job openings. Keep your options open while you wait to hear back from the employer. You never know what other opportunities await! And if you get the unfortunate news that you were not selected for the position, you’ll be ready to move on and continue your job hunt!