The final stretch: A guide to post-interview emails

This article was originally published on CharityVillage and has been reprinted with permission.
Job hunting isn’t easy.
In fact, it can sometimes feel like a never-ending marathon. So, once a jobseeker finishes an interview, they often feel like the last stretch is over. However, there are still several steps that candidates can take post-interview to remain active in the hiring process.
This article provides a step-by-step guide you can share with clients and students on how to proactively prepare, engage with and respond to hiring managers during each potential stage of the post-interview process. Through this, jobseekers can better support their career goals and (hopefully) start off in their new roles on the right foot.
Note: All the email templates included below are from my own real-world correspondences with hiring managers.
24 hours post-interview
Send a thank you email to the hiring manager with your references and/or any work samples (if requested/applicable), and organize your interview notes to be referenced later when needed. Here is the base thank you email I use after all my job interviews:
Subject Line: [Position Name] Thank You Email – [Your Full Name]
Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me regarding the [position name] opening with [organization]! I really enjoyed our conversation, particularly, [brief description of some aspect of the job or organization you found intriguing (e.g., “hearing the challenges that your centres are facing, especially due to COVID-19, and how this role can best manage that”)].
Attached to this email you will find [list of documents attached to the email (e.g., “my references and several work examples from my past programming roles, including that 24+ paged annual report that I referenced during our interview. Hopefully, these documents can help give you more insight into the types of expertise I can bring to this role”)].
I am very excited about this opportunity, and I look forward to the next steps!
All the best,
[Your Name]
[Your Number]
[Your Email]
[Link to Your Website or LinkedIn]
1 day to 2 weeks post-interview
Continue to research the organization, position and total compensation package (if known). This information, combined with self-reflection, will help you determine if this role fits into your short and long-term career goals. That way, if you get offered the role, you are more prepared to respond with an informed decision.
For example, in fall 2021 I interviewed for a role which on paper, was perfect for me. Post-interview, however, I thoroughly researched and reflected upon the role to critically determine if it was a good fit for me long term. Ultimately, this process helped me to confidently reject the position and eventually accept a different role with another organization.
2 weeks+ post-interview with no update
My guideline is that if I haven’t heard back from an organization for 2 weeks after the interview and it’s a role that I am genuinely interested in, I will send a follow-up email. Gently reiterate your interest, and only ask the hiring manager their decision timeline if necessary (e.g., you are offered another role but are still interested in this position). Here is an example:
Subject Line: [Position Name] Follow Up – [Your Full Name]
Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Hope you are doing well!
I wanted to follow up to see if there have been any updates regarding the [position name] role with [organization] that I interviewed for on [date of interview]. I am still very interested in the role, and I am excited to hear about next steps, so any information you can share on your end would be great.
[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]
If you are rejected over email
Be gracious, brief and professional. Even in rejection, it is always important to maintain a positive professional relationship. Here is an example:
Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Thank you so much for informing me and giving me the opportunity to be considered for this position.
All the best!
[Your Name]
If you’re offered a job …
Over the phone
Here is some controversial advice: never answer the phone if you suspect or know that an incoming call is from a hiring manager with a job offer. What I’ll do instead is wait for the call to go to voicemail, listen to the message and write down a quick response script. I will then call them back within 10-20 minutes. This really helps me to collect my thoughts and engage with the hiring manager and offer in a professional and productive manner.
Here is an example script I’ve used for this scenario:
Hi! This is [your name]. I just missed a call [number of minutes since the voicemail] from this number about the opening for [position name].
[pleasantries/their response regarding the offer]
Thank you so much for this offer! I am really excited about this position. Is it possible for me to have a few days to fully consider the offer and get back to you?
[insert any remaining questions you have about the role, salary, compensation package etc.]
Thank you again so much! I look forward to connecting soon. Have a great week.
Over email
If responding to an offer over email, here is a template you can use:
Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Thank you so much for offering me the role of [position name] at [organization]. I am very excited about this opportunity and believe that my [notable skills, experience, or quality] will make me an invaluable member of your team.
Before I can accept this offer, however, I wanted to discuss [remaining questions about the role you’d like to know].
Again, I am thrilled to be offered this position, and I look forward to learning more about the offer at your earliest convenience!
[Your Name]
[Your Number]
Whether responding to an offer over the phone or email, my advice is to always ask for a few days to think it through, even if you already know your response. I find that fully sleeping on an offer helps reassure me long term that I made the right choice. Either way, be sure to ask for the following information:

Your allowed decision deadline
Total compensation package clarification
How salary is determined for the role
Any additional information you need to make an informed decision

If you decide to reject the offer
Rejecting a job offer is a valid choice for any reason (e.g. how well the role aligns with your goals, your mental health, the position’s work culture, timing, commute, compensation, etc.). While this can be done over phone or email, I tend to favour email. Be sure to be vague yet truthful and professional in your reason for rejecting the offer. Here is an email response you can use:
Subject Line: [Position Name] Offer Follow Up – [Your Full Name]
Hello [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Thank you so much for offering me the opportunity to work at [organization name] as a [position name] and for your time and assistance in the hiring process. After much deliberation, I will unfortunately not be accepting this position as it isn’t the right fit for me at this time.
I sincerely appreciate this offer and I give my best wishes to the successful candidate!
All the best,
[Your Full Name]
[Your Number]
If you accept the offer
Congratulations! Accepting a new role is very exciting. Typically, I find calling the hiring manager back to accept an offer is the best option unless all your correspondence has been exclusively over email thus far. Be sure to ask your remaining questions about the role and the next steps in the hiring process (e.g., criminal record checks, start date, tax documents etc.).
If you haven’t already done so, negotiate your salary, especially if your acceptance is dependent on being offered a certain amount. Here is my favourite video resource on salary negotiation.
Final thoughts
 While tackling an interview is one of the biggest hurdles you will likely face in job hunting, it is important to continue to maintain a positive impression following an interview. From your own research, reflection, and professional correspondences, one can continue to maintain an active versus passive role in their own professional journey!
The post The final stretch: A guide to post-interview emails appeared first on CareerWise.