As an HR professional, conducting interviews is a significant part of your role. However, one crucial step that often gets overlooked is the follow-up email after the interview. This simple act can significantly impact a candidate’s experience and perception of your organization.
This article will guide you through crafting an effective follow-up email that leaves a positive impression on your candidates.
Why send a follow-up email?
Sending a follow-up email to a candidate after an interview has several benefits.
Firstly, it demonstrates your organization’s professionalism and respect for the candidate’s time, which can significantly enhance their perception of your company.
Secondly, it provides an opportunity to keep the lines of communication open, ensuring that the candidate is informed about the status of their application and what they can expect next. This can alleviate anxiety and uncertainty on the candidate’s part, improving their overall experience. Uncertainty and lack of communications is one of the biggest complaints on Reddit about the recruitment process for candidates – you don’t want to contribute to that.
Employer brand at risk
Follow-up emails can help to reinforce the positive aspects of your company culture and values, leaving a lasting impression on the candidate, regardless of the outcome of their application. In a competitive job market, these details can make a significant difference in attracting and retaining top talent.
Consider a scenario in which, during the recruitment process for a position at your organization, a qualified candidate named John experiences poor communication in terms of emails.
After being rejected without clear feedback, John shares his negative experience on social media and job review sites, criticizing the process and discouraging others from applying. This negative publicity tarnishes your organization’s reputation and deters potential candidates, making recruitment more challenging.
Related: Boost your employer branding & retention using AI
When to send a follow-up email
The ideal time to send a follow-up email is within 24 hours after the interview. This timing shows that your organization values the candidate’s time and is proactive in its communication.
The best practice is to send the follow-up email to the candidate before they reach out to you.
Components of an effective follow-up email
An effective follow-up email consists of several key components:
Subject Line: Keep your subject line clear and concise. For instance, “Following up on [Job Title] Interview”.
Greeting: Address the candidate by their name to make the email more personal.
Expression of gratitude: Start your email by thanking the candidate for their time and the opportunity to learn more about their qualifications and experience.
Interview recap: Briefly recap the interview, highlighting any particularly memorable or impressive moments.
Status update: Provide an update about the recruitment process. If a decision hasn’t been made yet, let the candidate know when they can expect to hear back.
Closing and signature: Close the email in a professional or friendly manner, depending on the tone of voice of your organization. Use phrases such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely” for a formal tone, or expressions such as “Best” and “Regards” for a more friendly tone. In any case, remember to provide your full name and contact information.
Here is an example of a follow-up email:
I hope this email finds you well. I’m Alex Rooks from InTech’s recruitment team, and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to speak with us yesterday regarding the Front-End Engineer position.
We understand that waiting for feedback can be nerve-wracking, so I wanted to provide you with a quick update. We are currently in the process of reviewing all the interviews, and we expect to have an update for you by 6th of July.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out. We value open communication and want to ensure you have all the information you need as we move forward in the selection process.
Thank you once again for your interest in InTech and for the effort you’ve put into the interview process. We’ll be in touch soon.
Check Workable’s email templates that win candidates for more ideas.
What to do if a candidate follows up
If a candidate sends a follow-up email before you’ve had a chance to get back to them, respond as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have an update, let them know that their email was received and that you’ll provide an update as soon as one is available.
Let’s follow the same example and see how it differs now.
I hope this message finds you well. Thank you for reaching out and showing continued interest in the Front-End Engineer position at InTech.
I understand that you are eager to know the status of your application. We appreciate your patience as we continue to review the interviews. Our team was impressed with your skills and the thoughtful insights you brought to our conversation, and we are carefully considering all candidates to ensure we make the best decision.
We expect to have a more concrete update for you by [expected date]. Rest assured, we will reach out to you as soon as we have more information.
In the meantime, if you have any other questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to ask. We value open communication and want to ensure you have all the information you need.
Thank you once again for your patience and for your interest in InTech. We’ll be in touch soon.
Common mistakes to avoid
Avoid common mistakes in follow-up emails such as:
- Delaying your response
- Not providing clear updates
- Sending a generic email
- Sending an impersonal email
Remember, clear and timely communication is key in providing a positive candidate experience.
Sending a follow-up email after an interview is a crucial step in the recruitment process. It shows your organization’s professionalism, respect for the candidate’s time, and commitment to clear communication. By using these tips and templates, you can craft an effective follow-up email that leaves a positive impression on your candidates.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the ideal time to send a follow-up email after an interview?
- Ideally, send a follow-up email within 24 hours after the interview.
- What should be included in a follow-up email?
- Include a personalized greeting, expression of gratitude, interview recap, status update, and a professional closing.
- How should I respond if a candidate follows up first?
- Respond as soon as possible, even if you don't have an update, and assure them that you'll provide information when available.
- What common mistakes should I avoid in follow-up emails?
- Avoid delaying your response, not providing clear updates, and sending generic or impersonal emails.
- How can a follow-up email enhance the candidate's experience?
- It demonstrates professionalism, respect for the candidate's time, and commitment to clear communication, enhancing the candidate's experience.