Follow Up on Your Interview: Ten Steps to Leave a Good Impression

By Kristen Harris

There is so much excitement surrounding a job interview that it’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities and newness of the opportunity. By following up in a planned and polite way, you can use your excitement and eagerness to make a great impression with the potential employer. On the flip side, following up too often, too soon, or not at all can be a real negative in your job search.

The follow-up actually starts before you leave the interview.

  1. Express interest before you leave the interview. Let the interviewer know that you’re interested in the position, and excited to move on the next step of their hiring process.

  2. Ask what that next step is, and their expected time frame. They should be able to tell you what will happen next, and how soon they plan to have a decision.

  3. Say thank you for their time before you leave. Let them know you appreciate the opportunity.

  4. Get a business card for everyone you met with. You will want their contact info for later, so feel free to ask for one if they don’t offer.  But don’t push it, you can get that info elsewhere.


As soon as you can, and definitely within 24 hours, send a formal thank you.

 5. Send a thank you note via mail or email right away to each person you met. Express your interest in the position. Include something specific you discussed or are excited about.

6. Put a note on your calendar to follow up a day or two after the time frame given in #2. Give them a little cushion; hiring processes always take longer than people think they will. 

When the appropriate time has passed, follow-up with your main contact.

7. Reach out via email or phone. Let them know that you’re very interested in the position, and wanted to see how their interviewing process is going.

8. Put a note on your calendar to follow up in another week

Follow up once more with your main contact.

9. Reach out via email or phone. Let them know that you’re interested in the position. Ask if there is anything else you can provide that would assist with their decision, such as references or additional samples. If you actually speak with someone it’s fine to ask if they have a time frame in mind to fill the role.

Move on, and let it go.

10. If you don’t hear back after two polite follow-up attempts, move on and focus on other opportunities. You might still actually get a call back; jobs get delayed for a myriad of reasons. With more than two follow-up attempts you have the potential of seeming desperate or unprofessional. Come to terms with the fact that the majority of companies simply do not follow-up with their applicants, and you’ve done everything you can at this time.

What if you decide you’re not interested in the job? Thank them for their time in the meeting, and keep your thoughts to yourself. You don’t need to tell them you’re not interested unless they ask you directly, or contact you later for next steps. If that happens, politely decline by saying you don’t think you’d be the best fit for the job. Let your contact know you would be interested in future roles with their company, if you are. If not, no need to say anything more.  Keep it short and professional and you’ll still leave a great impression.