To Follow Up, or Not to Follow Up? That is The Question.

It is not out of the norm to leave an interview feeling nervous about when you will hear back from the interviewer, if at all. But here is where you may or may not be surprised. YOU are the one that needs to reach out first. Sending a thank you letter (or nowadays, a thank you email) within the first 24 hours after your interview is a key step in your interview process, even if it does not seem like it is part of it at all. 

Sending a thank-you email further builds upon any first impression that you made, but not sending a thank-you email can diminish what the interviewer initially thought of you. They serve the purpose of following up after your interview. It allows you to express to the interviewer that you are grateful for just the opportunity to interview for the position. Additionally, it can be used as a strategy to keep you in the interviewer’s mind hours after the interview is over.  

So, when is the most optimal time to send a thank-you letter?  

After an interview that went well 

After you were offered the job 

After you were told that you would not be a good fit? 

Trick question… You should send a thank-you email right after every interview no matter the outcome! Doing so displays utmost professionalism in your character. As mentioned above, sending that post-interview email shows your gratefulness for the opportunity itself; whether it be a job offer that arises from the interview, or just the opportunity to present yourself and make the professional connection.  

The first part of any thank-you email is the easiest part. It’s in the name! 


“Dear (Interviewer), 

Thank you for….” 


Thank your interviewer, by name, for meeting with you, and remember that you do not have to be limited to just that; you can thank them for their time, the opportunity to interview, the job offer, etc. Use whatever you feel either applied more to your scenario or their position as well as what you may find yourself saying in a verbal conversation. It also helps to add a personalized one-liner in the letter that was specific to the conversation you had. For example, “It was great to learn that we have a mutual passion for restoring vintage cars.” This shows that you truly paid attention to the conversation and enjoyed it while also connecting with them.

Formatting a thank-you email is easy, but it is applying what you discussed during your interview and how the interview went that can be tricky. They can vary based on the way the interview went. 

If your interview went phenomenal, and you accepted a job that was offered on the spot, thank the hiring manager for that. Thank them for the opportunity to join the team and mention how excited you are to start working thereby implying what you had talked about during the interview; something that you are excited to start and build up in the organization. 



“Dear (Hiring Manager), 

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today for my interview. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to join the team and assist (the organization) in creating a stronger marketing campaign to influence a more positive and profitable consumer response. I look forward to starting on (day/start date)! 

In shared success, 

(Your name)” 


Let us say that the interview did not go well at all, and the interviewer let you know that they did not feel that you were a good fit for the role. You probably wouldn’t be too thankful. Who would be? Nevertheless, it is important to remain positive in your professional life as well as in your personal for the sake of your reputation and your mental health. Think about what good came from the interview and show gratitude for that. The chance to interview for the open position alone is something to be thankful for. Sending a thank-you email ensures that even though you may not have been a good fit, you can still leave a good impression. That way when you eventually DO meet the criteria for the position, you already sit well in their mind. 



“Dear (Hiring Manager), 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present myself to you for the position. Although it did not work out, I hope you keep me in mind for any positions that open in the future which I would be a great fit for. I wish nothing but the best for you and (organization). 

In shared success, 

(Your name)” 


Another scenario (and probably the most common) which could result from the interview would be the interviewer’s decision to continue meeting with candidates and getting back to you later. In that case, the possibility of either getting the job or not is still up in the air. Like that of the case where the interview did not go well, you should express that you are thankful for the opportunity to interview and making any new connections.  

Differently, however, you should further present your case for why you are a good fit for the role. When you write your thank-you email, think of it as if it were a second cover letter. State why you believe you a good fit for the position, and back it up with reasons why, briefly. You can mention something discussed during your interview, something just brushed on in your cover letter or resume, or something that was not brought up at all that you are confident can help your case.  



“Dear (Hiring Manager), 

Thank you for meeting with me to discuss the Engineering position and allowing me to present myself as a candidate. I believe that my bachelor’s degree, 8 years of experience, and skillset in software including, but not limited to Java, Unix, and Web Application Servers makes me a perfect fit for what (organization) is looking for. Additionally, I am confident that based on the way we got along during the interview, I will have an unbelievably easy time getting incorporated into the work environment and social aspect at (organization).  

I hope you have a great rest of your day and look forward to hearing back from you. 

In shared success 

(Your name)” 


No matter the outcome, you should feel free to invite the interviewer to connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch and stay updated on each other’s careers. If you got the job, it could help you better get to know each other and your professional interests. If the decision is still up in the air, it can aid you in their decision process by displaying how you present yourself professionally on social media. And if the interview did not work out in your favor and you did not get the job, connecting on LinkedIn will allow the hiring manager to see you grow in your career. Your accomplishments will appear in their feed and may impress them. Additionally, there is the possibility that you will be on their mind when the position opens again.  



  • “I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn and stay in touch! (LinkedIn profile link)” 
  • “I look forward to hearing back from you, in the meantime, let’s connect on LinkedIn! (LinkedIn profile link)” 
  • “I look forward to growing our professional and personal relationship over the course of my employment at (organization) Let’s connect on LinkedIn! (LinkedIn profile link)” 


No matter the outcome, it’s always a great idea to send a follow-up or thank-you note. Personalize the messaging, show your gratitude, and reiterate your good character and success will follow!


Written by

Spencer Ford

Marketing Contributor


If you found this blog helpful, check out some of our others!

Navigating an Applicant Tracking System

Our Top 7 Job Boards for 2021