5 Ways to Follow Up After a Job Interview

How candidates can be proactive, no matter how long it takes an employer to respond.

Companies are eager to hire—there are more than 10 million job openings across the country, after all. But there may still be a lengthy wait time between a first interview and a job offer. On average, most companies don’t make that final job offer until 24 days after the initial interview, according to the job website Indeed.

Candidates can sit around and wonder whether they’ll be hired, or they can use any of a variety of positive ways to keep their names on the minds of hiring managers and other decision makers. Here are five ways to follow up after a job interview.

Write personalized thank-you notes.

“It is still essential to write a personalized thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview to each person you met with,” says Sondra Levitt, a Korn Ferry Advance career coach. The note should mention something memorable about the conversation—a client you both know, a volunteer organization you both support, or something that came up during the discussion that created a connection between you and the position, or between you and the person who interviewed you.

A thank-you note also provides an opportunity to share information that wasn’t discussed during the interview, Levitt says. For instance, if an interviewer mentioned a project and you didn’t have a chance to say that you excelled on a similar project at a previous job, you could write it in your thank-you note.

Writing a thank-you note also gives the candidate an opportunity to provide additional materials to support their job application. For instance, if you discussed a case study or a thought-leadership piece you wrote, send a copy with your follow-up note, says Deepali Vyas, global head of Korn Ferry’s FinTech, Payments, and Crypto practice. You could state, “I appreciated our conversation, and as we discussed, here is some material you might find useful regarding my background as you consider me for this role.”

Connect on LinkedIn.

After your interview, send LinkedIn invitations to the individuals you met with, Levitt says. “This will help you build your professional network within the company prior to even being hired,” she says.

Consider also sending LinkedIn invites to a few people at the company whom you haven’t met yet, Levitt says. Send a customized note stating something like, “I am doing some research on your industry and am interested in your organization. Your background caught my attention, and I’d like to connect with you here.” If they accept your invitation, respond with a thank you and state, “As I mentioned, I’m interested in your company. Would you have time to talk with me?”

Hold off on mentioning that you are interviewing with the company, Levitt says. However, if you do talk by phone or in person, consider saying you applied for a job, provided your search isn’t confidential.

Reach out to the person who referred you.

If someone referred you to the job opening, be sure to send an update on how the interview went. Thank them for their help, tell them you had a good conversation, and let them know whether you’re still interested in the position, says Vyas. “But don’t expect them to burn their political capital checking on the status of your application or pushing for you to get the job,” she says.

Ask for an update.

During the interview, ask the hiring manager about the next steps in the process, along with how many people are being interviewed and when the new hire is expected to start working, Levitt says. This will provide a sense of timing so you know when you can reasonably ask for an update, she says. During that follow-up, says Vyas, a candidate can politely tell the hiring manager that they are fielding calls for other opportunities and might have to make a decision soon. This may encourage the hiring manager to take action.

Keep the door open.

If you don’t get a job offer and you’re still interested in the company, you should send a feedback email, Vyas says. The email could state, “I enjoyed my experience during the interview process, and I admire the company. Although I didn’t get the job, I’d like to keep in touch for future opportunities.”