How to End an Interview and Follow-Up Successfully: A Guide
You have an interview coming up! While you have practiced what you will say during the interview, you’re now worried about how to end an interview and how to follow up afterward if you don’t hear back. Well, after an interview, there are a few more steps you need to take in order to stand out and show just how interested you are in the position. In this post-interview guide we will discuss:
- How to End an Interview
- Questions to Ask at the End of the Interview
- How to Write a Thank you Message
- Thank you Message Template
- Following Up When you Don’t Hear Back
- Successful Follow-Up Email Examples
- How to Brief and Share your References
How to End an Interview
To begin, how you end an interview can be just as important as how you perform during the interview. Once you have gotten through the interview, it is time to ask the questions you have prepared, remind the interviewer of your qualifications, and thank them for their time. The last few minutes of an interview can help shape the interviewer’s overall impression of you, making it especially important to put thought into how you will close.
Take these steps to ensure you end a job interview successfully:
- Ask specific and well-thought-out questions about the position and company. (These can be prepared before the interview.)
- Reiterate your qualifications for the job.
- Inquire if the interviewer requires any additional information or documentation.
- Address any issues.
- Restate your interest in the position.
- Request information on what to expect from here.
- Get the interviewer’s contact information.
- Thank everyone for their time.
- Follow up as soon as possible.
Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview
At the end of an interview, it is more likely than not that an interviewer will ask you if you have any more questions. Above we mentioned asking specific and well-thought-out questions about both the position and the company. It is very important that you are prepared with any questions you have that may not have been addressed during the interview. Plus, asking questions gives you a final opportunity to emphasize your interest in the job and the qualifications that make you a great candidate for the position. Here are a variety of questions to ask:
Questions about the job
- Is this a new role or will I be taking over for an employee who’s leaving?
- What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
- What does a typical day or week look like in this role?
Training and Development Questions
- What does your onboarding process look like?
- What learning and professional development opportunities are available to your employees?
- Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?
Questions about how your success will be evaluated
- What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
- What is the performance review process like here? How often will I be formally reviewed?
- What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
Questions about the company
- What direction do you see this company heading in the next few years?
- What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
- What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
Next Steps Questions
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
- Can I answer any final questions for you?
Looking for even more questions to ask at the end of an interview? Check out Indeed’s article on 39 of the Best Questions To Ask at the End of an Interview.
How to Write a Thank You Email
Even if you’ve absolutely nailed your job interview, you could rule yourself out of the running if you fail to follow up with your interviewer afterward. In order to stand out, it’s important that you send a thank-you note or email immediately after the job interview. However, your follow-up communication has more to it than merely saying thank you. You want to remind the interviewer why you’re the perfect person for the job.
Follow these pointers in your message:
1. Thank your interviewer
You should begin by thanking your interviewer for their time and for offering you the opportunity to interview with them. Be specific about the role that you interviewed for and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and your discussion.
2. Repeat why you feel that you’re a perfect fit for the role
Go back over what you have told them in your interview, about how your skills and experience align with the role they are looking to fill. Try to be specific and use examples, because details are more memorable than vague statements.
3. Remind them about a key topic you spoke about
It’s likely that they have spoken to many other applicants, so you want to provide them with a reminder about who you are and what you have to offer. For instance, you can remind them about something specific you talked about to prompt their memory.
4. Provide new information
If there’s something that you forgot to let your interviewer know in your interview that you think could be an important factor in their decision, now is your chance to let them know. Explain that you thought it would be helpful to let them know about this experience/skill etc. and how it fits in with the role.
5. Let them know that you will follow up
Hopefully, your interviewer will have provided you with a rough idea about when you should expect to hear from them by, so you can end your thank you note by letting them know that you will follow up again if you haven’t heard from them by that date. This will show your genuine interest and commitment.
6. Keep it short and sweet
Your follow-up should be brief and only cover the essential information. You’ve had your chance to explain everything in more detail in your interview, so your follow-up email should act as merely a reminder.
7. Send within 24 hours
Make sure you email your interviewer while the meeting is still fresh in their mind. Any longer than a day and they may have made their decision already.
Use Our Thank You Note Template
When you work with ABR Employment Services, our goal is to help you build your career, by providing expert resume support, a dedicated career advisor, and connections to leading area businesses you need to succeed.
After your next interview, we invite you to use our Thank You Note template here.
Following Up When You Don’t Hear Back
You did the interview, you sent the thank you message, and now you wait..and wait…and wait. Now what? Well, if you don’t get a reply after your follow-up email, don’t keep spamming the employer with more messages. It’s easy to lose hope and confidence when this happens. For many job seekers, the experience is so frustrating that they tend to make things worse by sending multiple emails.
The best way to show professionalism is to start the email off with a positive tone.
If you begin with something like, “So it’s been a few days and I still haven’t heard back…,” you’ll come across as passive-aggressive or rude, regardless of whether or not you mean to.
In your follow-up email, do three things:
- Congratulate them on finding the right candidate. This one is a mind game given the fact that you don’t know if they’ve already filled the position or not. However, expressing that you’re happy for them, even though they didn’t pick you, shows you have a good spirit. Plus, it’s likely you’ll get a response either correcting you (e.g., that they didn’t hire anyone yet) or explaining the actual reason as to why they didn’t get back to you yet.
- Ask them what you can do to stay on their radar for future opportunities. While you may be disappointed that you didn’t get the job, you shouldn’t close the door completely with the company – especially if you were really interested in working with them. New positions will eventually come up, and one of them might be perfect for you. So, be clear that you’re still interested in working at the company.
- Lastly, remind them of one thing you enjoyed talking with them about. Was there a part of the interview conversation where you feel like you really connected with the interviewer? Mention it! Again, this is your opportunity to stand out from other candidates.
Successful Follow-up Email Examples
Example #1 – Generic
Hi <Julie / Ms. Jones>,
Thank you for your time < yesterday/date of interview>. It was great to speak to you about the <job title> role and I’m convinced that the position is a perfect fit for this stage in my career. I was hoping to get an update on the recruitment process, so any information that you can give me about the next steps would be greatly appreciated. Also, feel free to ask me any follow-up questions that may have come up since we last spoke.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Example #2 – Specific
I hope your search for the <job title> position is going well. And congratulations if you already found the right candidate; anyone you select would be lucky to work at such a great company.
I wanted to briefly reconnect to tell you that, while I might not be a perfect fit for the role at this time, I loved meeting with everyone on the team. It only reaffirmed my desire to be part of your company’s mission.
I truly appreciate your time and the opportunity to interview. I especially enjoyed our conversation about humble beginnings. Your story about how you worked your way up from an internship to a managerial position in just three years really inspired me, and it’s something I’ll always remember to keep me motivated throughout my career.
Thank you so much,
How to Brief and Share your References
Most employers today perform reference checks before hiring someone. If you’ve got the right skills and experience, it would be a shame if your references were to prevent you from landing a new job! So, what can you do to make sure you have a stellar reference list? Manage your references like so:
- Maintain positive relationships with former supervisors and coworkers. Social media platforms like LinkedIn make it easy, but you should still check in periodically.
- Don’t ever use someone as a reference without their permission. Not just in general, but each time you plan to share your references. Aside from other benefits, asking someone if you can use them for a reference is generally a polite way of asking “Are you willing to provide a positive reference for me?”
- Always ask your references for their updated contact information before giving your references to the hiring manager.
- Another benefit of reaching out each time you want to use someone as a reference is that you can tell them about the specific opportunity, which will help them give their feedback. While you can’t dictate what they say, you can provide suggestions such as describing a time when you worked together on a project perhaps.
- Finally, only provide your references when requested by the hiring manager. For instance, it is best practice to not list your references on your resume.
Don’t have a clue what a reference page looks like? We are here to help! Here is what to include on a reference page: Free Reference Page Templates
All in all, how you end an interview and how you follow up after the interview is just as important as how you perform during the interview. The last couple of minutes of an interview can shape the interviewer’s overall impression of you, which gives you all the more reason to put more thought into how you will close out the interview. To sum up, if you do end the interview and follow-up successfully, you will leave the hiring manager with a positive memory of you as well as a better understanding of your skills, qualifications, and passion for the role. Good luck with your next interview! We hope you can take some of our pointers with you.