You nailed your interview and built great rapport with the hiring manager. You sent your thank you email within 24 hours to thank them and reiterate your interest. It felt like a job offer was right around the corner.
And then… crickets.
Arg! It’s every job seeker’s nightmare, but unfortunately, not hearing back after an interview is all too common. Companies are notoriously slow to hire with the average hiring time frame being at least four weeks in most industries–and that’s on the fast end.
So, should you check back in to find out what’s up?
While you don’t want to pester a busy hiring manager, sending an appropriately timed follow-up note is a normal part of the process and can give you some much needed peace of mind about what’s going on. But that comes with a caveat: you have to do it the right way.
Follow these tips for how to check in when you haven’t heard back after a job interview and use the sample emails below to craft a follow-up message of your own.
When and why you should follow up
Wait until the right time
While it can be tempting to check back in within a few days of your interview, the reality is that with most positions, they’re probably still conducting interviews and will have no news to share that quickly. You don’t want to risk coming off as aggressive or out of touch, so it’s important to get the timing right.
If the hiring manager gave you a time frame when you could expect to hear back, wait until that deadline has passed before following up. If they didn’t give you a time frame, wait at least a week or until the job listing has closed.
…Unless you got another offer
The exception to the timing rule above is if you received an offer from another company. If you intend to accept the offer, it’s a courtesy to inform the hiring manager as soon as possible so they can give their full consideration to other candidates. But if you’d rather work for this company, or you want to at least see where they stand before making a decision, letting them know you have an offer on the table might nudge them to move a little faster with their decision.
What to include:
The basics of your interview
In your follow-up note, reference the job title and the date of your interview. Your email subject line should be something straightforward like ‘Interview follow-up’ or ‘Checking in on [position name].’ Alternatively, if you have an existing email thread with the hiring manager or recruiter, send your follow-up as a response to the thread.
A brief message
Shorter is better. There’s no need to provide additional content other than your request for a status update.
A question tends to elicit a response more effectively than a statement. Try including one in your message, like ‘are there any updates you can share regarding the position?’ or ‘do you know when you might make a decision?’