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Job Interview Follow-Up: Protocols and Best Practices

Why Job Interview Follow-Up is Important

In the competitive job market, following up after a job interview is a critical step that can significantly influence hiring decisions. Effective follow-up demonstrates professionalism, reinforces your interest in the position and your appreciation for the interviewer’s time. A thoughtful follow-up also provides an opportunity to reiterate your suitability for the role; keeps communication open and it can keep you top-of-mind. In many cases, a well-timed follow-up can be a deciding factor for employers when making final hiring decisions.

When Is It Appropriate to Reach Out?

Timing is key when it comes to follow-up communications. Generally, it is appropriate to send a follow-up email within one day after the interview. This timeframe shows promptness, without appearing overly eager. If the interviewer mentioned a specific timeline for the interview process and hiring decisions, respect that timeline and wait until it has passed before following up again. It’s also important to adhere to any specific instructions provided regarding follow-up communications.

Protocols and Best Practices for Job Interview Follow-Up

To maximize the impact of your follow-up, consider these best practices:

1. Send a Personalized Thank-You Note

A thank-you note should be sent within 24 hours of the interview. This note should express gratitude for the opportunity, highlight a specific aspect of the interview or company that excites you, and reiterate why you are a strong fit for the role. If any questions were not answered during the interview, it is a great time to answer them. Personalization is key—refer to something specific discussed during the interview to make your message stand out.


Subject: Thank You for the Interview

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

Thank you very much for the opportunity to interview for the [Name of Role] position at [Company] on [Interview Date]. I appreciated the chance to discuss how my background, skills, and experiences align with the goals of your team.

I am very excited about the possibility of joining [Company] and contributing to [specific project or aspect discussed]. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

2. Follow Up After the Specified Timeline

If you don’t hear back by the date the interviewer mentioned, it’s appropriate to send a follow-up email the next day or a couple days later. This follow-up should be polite, express your continued interest, and ask if there have been any updates on the hiring process.


Subject: Follow-Up on [Position] Interview

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

I hope you are doing well. I am writing to follow up on my interview for the [Name of Role] position on [Interview Date]. I remain very interested in the opportunity to work with [Company] and would appreciate any updates you can provide regarding the hiring process.

Thank you again for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

3. The Feedback Request

If you have been notified you didn’t get the job, sending a final follow-up to request feedback can provide valuable insights for future interviews. Be polite and express your desire to improve based on their input.


Subject: Request for Feedback on [Position] Interview

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

I wanted to thank you once again for the opportunity to interview for the [Name of Role at [Company]. While I am disappointed to learn that I was not selected, I am very interested in improving and would greatly appreciate any feedback you could provide regarding my interview performance.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to staying in touch and hope our paths may cross again in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Balancing Professionalism and Persistence

Striking the right balance between professionalism and persistence is important. Here are some additional tips:

  • Proofread Your Writing: Ensure your follow-up emails are free from typos and grammatical errors.
  • Use Email: Stick to email for follow-ups, avoid creative or intrusive methods (ie. social media).
  • Provide Additional Information: If relevant, use follow-up emails to send additional information, such as a work sample or a relevant article.
  • Cut Your Losses: If three follow-ups spaced reasonably apart fail to get a reply, it may be time to move on.

By adhering to these best practices, candidates can enhance their professional image and improve their chances of securing the desired role.

Conclusion: Prioritizing Effective Follow-Up

In summary, the job interview follow-up process is a vital aspect of the job search journey that can significantly influence hiring outcomes. By prioritizing timely, personalized, and respectful follow-up communications, candidates can leave a lasting positive impression on potential employers.