How to Write an Interview Email Asking for the Decision

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Don't let impatience get the better of your good judgment.
Don't let impatience get the better of your good judgment. (Image: Allen Simon/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A week has passed since your job interview, and now you're just waiting for the phone to ring. Whether you have another employment offer in hand or you just need a job -- any job -- the key to writing a follow-up email is making yourself sound like an attractive candidate. Whatever you do, avoid a tone of desperation and don't send so many emails that you annoy the recruiter. While you want to be the squeaky wheel that gets answers, you don't want to be the applicant who loses out for sending too many needy emails.

Email the interviewer within the first couple of days of your initial meeting. Don't ask for a decision yet. Instead, talk about how excited you were to meet the recruiter and how much you're looking forward to joining the company. If you really want to impress, add a summary of what you would do within the first six months of being hired. You're more likely to get a quicker callback if you're memorable.

Send a second email if it's been more than a week since your interview and you haven't heard from the company. Include your name, the interviewer's name, the position title and the date of your interview. Communicate that your meeting made you excited about working with the company, and politely ask for an update on where the department is in the hiring process.

Mention other offers if you've received any, but underscore that you're most enthusiastic about securing a position with the company you're contacting: "I've recently received other employment offers, but I'm really set on working for your organization. I'm wondering if you could estimate when you might have a final decision."

Emphasize your cooperative nature if you don't have other job offers in hand. Say you'd be happy to help strategize about how to move the hiring process forward, especially because you're so eager to join the company.

Email the hiring manager directly if you've been in contact with human resources and haven't received any answers. HR might not respond to candidate emails, especially at larger companies where the department oversees hiring across divisions. Sending a similar follow-up email to the hiring department could put enough internal pressure on HR to get the hiring process moving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask questions at your job interview to help you gauge how long it might take to get a callback. "How soon are you looking to hire?", "Where do I stand in comparison to other job candidates?" and "How many people are you interviewing for this position?" are good questions to ask.
  • Get contact information for your interviewers at the end of the session. Ask what the next steps in the hiring process are and when you should expect to receive a call.
  • Don't send more than one follow-up email per week.

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