It’s been a week and you still haven’t heard whether you got the job… is it rude to ask? Find out when and how to follow up after a job interview without being pushy.

By: Daniel Lorenzo | Marketing Manager for Let’s Eat, Grandma

Picture this. You spent hours perfecting your resume for this job, nailed the interview, sent a great thank-you note…

…and you still haven’t heard anything from the company you interviewed with two weeks ago.

We understand why you’re banging your head against the wall.

This is one of the most common frustrations of job seekers. Hiring staff can be notoriously bad about following up with candidates, especially those that weren’t chosen for the job.

Waiting to hear whether or not they got the job can make an applicant liable to tear their hair out. But deciding whether or not to ask if they got it? That’s just as nerve-wracking.

It is acceptable and in fact necessary to follow up after a job interview if you haven’t heard back with a decision yet. Here’s our guide on why, when, and how to tactfully ask whether you got the job.

Why You Should Follow Up After a Job Interview

Many job seekers are afraid of following up after a job interview because they don’t want to seem pushy or rude.

While this is a fair concern, following up is too important to let this stop you. We’ll cover how to not be rude further down. For now…


Sending a follow-up email is crucial because there are a million potential reasons why the hiring staff hasn’t gotten back to you yet.

For one, hiring managers and recruiters are incredibly busy. Especially at large companies, they can have many positions to fill and up to hundreds of other applicants to deal with.

We’re all human, and we all get swamped and miss emails. Since you’re coming from outside of their organization as well, it’s entirely possible your first thank-you email could have ended up in their spam folder.

Don’t let flukes like this be the reason you didn’t get the job. Be bold and send a follow-up email, because they do work.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen? Are the hiring managers going to tell everyone not to hire you because you pestered them? No! The most likely scenario is that you come across as persistent.

When to Follow Up

For starters, we’re assuming that you did your due diligence and sent a Thank-You email within 24 hours after the interview. (Not sure how to do that? Read this blog.)

The timing of your first follow-up email after that depends on one surprisingly overlooked factor: did they say when you could expect to hear back? If not, be sure to ask the interviewers in your next interview.

If they didn’t give you a date, we recommend sending your first follow-up one week after the interview.

In any case, commit to the follow-up. Eliminate your decision anxiety by putting a date on your calendar within the business week following your interview (or a few days after they said you would hear from them).

If they haven’t responded to your first follow-up, you can send another one a week after the first. It’s even appropriate to be persistent and send a third follow-up (though you should wait about a month after the interview for this one.)

How to Follow Up

Now that you know when and why, here are a few tips on how to send a follow-up after a job interview.

Don’t Call.

Email is the best medium for following up with hiring staff. Calling almost always means you’re interrupting someone, and that can make you seem annoying.

Write your email so that it gets read.

Be sure to send the follow-up email to someone who remembers you and will read it. The best option is to send it to whoever has been in contact with you about the job over email. If you’ve been communicating in an email thread, even better – just reply to that.

Be brief. How do you feel when you get a giant email? An overwrought message will only decrease your chances of them replying.

To save both time and effort, we recommend drafting a template for a follow-up email for each job you apply to.

Be Kind.

An image of horrible boss character Bill Lumbergh from the movie Office Space, with the caption "Yeah If you could let me know if I didn't get the job, that'd be great," representative of many job seekers' frustrations at not knowing how to follow up after a job interview.

It’s easy to be unintentionally passive-aggressive (or just aggressive!) in an email. This is especially true when it’s someone who’s left you hanging.

Hiring managers won’t receive your email well if your tone is anything less than kind. Be sure to say “thank you” at least once. Whatever you do, do NOT mention the fact that they haven’t yet responded!

Be sure to also check that you’re not using phrases like “I know you must have been very busy,” or “as I still haven’t heard back from you…”

Don’t Take it Personally.

This may the biggest challenge of all. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from any of these follow-ups!

Remember that you’re in a realm of extremely busy people, and an employer’s silence has nothing to do with you. If your follow-ups haven’t been successful, move on and stay motivated. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, and an effective job search strategy will work out in the long run.

Do you keep getting rejection letters even after following-up? Check out plenty of other interview tips on our blog and podcast.

And if you’re not getting to the interview stage, your resume is likely the problem. Schedule a free call with us to find out how our professional writers can rework your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to land you that dream job.