Following Up After an Interview

Following up after an interview is extremely important. Learn how to write an interview follow up email or interview follow up letter here.

Introduction

Woman with Thinking Expression Completing the interview does not mean you are finished. There are several things you should do afterward to make the most out of your interview.

This lesson will explain how and why you should reflect on your interview and give you some samples of follow-up emails and thank-you letters. It will also discuss ways to evaluate a job offer, as well as how to gracefully accept or decline the offer.

Reflect on your interview

After an interview, you may experience many emotions. Regardless of whether you feel the interview went well, you should take time to reflect on the experience. This type of reflection can help you come up with additional questions you can use in a follow-up interview or thank-you letter, and it can better prepare you for future interviews.

The Reflecting on Your Interview worksheet below can help you determine how you performed during the interview.

Reflecting on Your Interview DocumentPage 1 of 3. Click to open full length document in a new window.

Follow up with a thank-you letter

Writing a thank-you letter after your interview is one way to demonstrate your good manners. But this isn't all a thank-you letter does for you.

A thank-you letter:

See what hiring managers have to say in this 2011 CareerBuilder survey on thank-you letters.

Writing thank-you letters

Not everyone enjoys writing thank-you letters. In fact, some people are not sure how to write one.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about writing thank you letters:

edit hotspotsa sample thank-you letter

Thank-you letter tips

Evaluate the job offer

If you get a job offer, how should you respond? You may want to accept the job immediately if you feel that the employer is offering you a fair wage. You also may want to take some time and think it over, especially if you have other opportunities to weigh. Either way, express your enthusiasm and ask to take some time to consider the offer.

The only way to know if an offer is fair is to compare the offer to the regional average and evaluate the offer against your personal and financial considerations.

To compare the offer against the regional average:

Use Salary.com's Salary Wizard (seen below) to find out how your offer stacks up against the average. Answer a few questions to get a free report that graphs your salary compared with the regional average.

Salary.com Salary Wizard

To evaluate your job offer against your financial considerations, answer the following questions:

Personal factors to think about when evaluating a job offer:

Accept or decline the offer

After you have evaluated the offer, it's time to either take the job or turn it down. Both should be done politely and in writing. Today, it is common to respond to job offers via email, although regular mail may also be acceptable.

To accept the offer:

Review our example to see what a good acceptance letter should look like. To download and print a copy of your own, click the image below.

Acceptance LetterClick to open full size document in new window

If you decide to decline an offer:

Call the person who interviewed you to discuss your decision. Then follow up with a letter—like the sample seen below—that thanks the interviewer for the offer and explains why you have decided to decline. Remember to keep the tone of your correspondence professional and courteous.

Letter Rejecting Job Offer
Sample: Letter Rejecting Job Offer

If you're sending an acceptance or declining letter via email, you don't need to include the date, return address, or mailing address at the top of the page. Just include your own address and other contact information—such as your email or phone number—below your name in the signature area.