Following up with a quick thank-you email after a phone interview is not only polite, but can also keep you on an employer’s radar. However, done incorrectly, it can turn them off.
A phone interview or phone screening is typically a first step in the interview process, so it’s a great time to show them your interest and professionalism. If you’re still interested in the position after the call, you should send a thank-you email.
Here are a few tips for thanking your interviewer and email examples.
1. Wait about a day, but no more than two
There’s no need to send an email the second you get off the phone while you’re still top of mind—you want to use it as a chance to keep yourself on their radar. One to two days is a good rule of thumb when following up after a phone interview. Any longer and it’ll feel like you forgot.
2. Reference the call specifically
Your interviewer will likely have talked to other candidates the same day, so make it easy for them to identify you. Reference the date of the call and something they said that stood out to you as being particularly helpful or interesting.
3. Use the same email you’ve been using for all communications
4. Reiterate why you’re interested
As we’ll see in some examples, you’ll want to give them a specific indication of why you’re interested in the position. For example, I’m glad we got to discuss the new products the team is developing—that kind of customer-focused attention to detail gets me excited about the position.
5. Write a descriptive subject line that references the title you’re interviewing for
Consider ways they may search in their inbox to find applicants. You should include the position in the subject line Re: Accounting lead position or Re: Data analyst position candidate.
6. Keep it short
Recruiters and hiring managers are short on time. A thank-you email after a phone interview should be no more than 100 words.
7. Make good use of your email signature
Your email signature should include your name, area of expertise (and relevant certifications or titles, like CPA), phone number, and a link to your online portfolio, if you have one.
Writer and editor212.555.3434
Here are three thank-you email examples
How long should it take to hear back after your thank-you email? And how often can you follow up after your interview?
There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how long it will take for a potential employer to get back to you. Some will follow up immediately and others will take a week or two. You have control over neither, but what you do have control over is how often you reach out.
For example, if they tell you you will get a response within a week, be respectful and don’t follow up again before that. If they don’t give you a timeline, you can follow the 3×3 rule: Follow up no more than three times, three days apart.