Ask the Intern: How to follow up after an interview

Dear Danielle,
I just had an interview for my dream internship yesterday and I am trying to research follow up advice. How should I send them a thank you note, and what exactly should I be saying to show my gratitude for their time? I also want to convey my interest in this position. Any advice you have to offer is greatly appreciated. – Stephen from London

Dear Stephen, thank you for reaching out with your question about how to follow up after an interview. Timeliness is key, so I’m happy you reached out when you did. Here are a few tips for how to follow up after an interview, to land you your dream internship.

 

1. Respond via email within 24 hours

If there’s one thing that people notice upon first impression, it’s your punctuality. Similarly to arriving to your interview on time, you want to make sure that you do the same with your thank you correspondence as well. Within 24 hours of your interview, make sure to send a note via email to the people who interviewed you. This is a key step in your follow up.

 

2. Write individual emails to everyone who interviewed you

Rather than writing a group “reply all” thank you email, take the time to personalize your message by sending a thank you note to each person who interviewed you. This may take time and research, as it’s possible that not everyone who interviewed you was on the original email invitation to interview. Start your research by looking at the company’s “team” page to see if each person’s email address is listed there. As a last resort, it is usually fair to guess that other people’s email addresses follow the same pattern as the person who originally emailed you. Usually companies follow email trends like first.lastname@companyname.com.

 

3. Reference talking points from your interview

Not only should you thank each person for taking the time out of their busy schedule to interview, but you should also showcase your listening skills by referencing things that came up in your interview. Did so and so mention that they too started out in this internship role, just like you? Mention how inspiring it is to have heard about their upward mobility. Did someone else mention their favorite part about working at this company? Reply back and tell them that that also excites you about your own career endeavors there as well. This will help make you stand out among the other emails they’re receiving that simply just say “thank you, and hope to hear from you soon.”

 

how to follow up after an interview

 

4. Reiterate your interest in the position

End your email by restating how much you would love to intern at this company. Remember, they have your resume already, so there isn’t a need to go into an elaborate description of your work experience. That’s what your initial application email was for. Use this email as a chance to let your personality shine through.

 

5. Keep it short and simple

A general rule of thumb for follow up emails is to keep them at no more than five sentences, or a paragraph long. You can open the paragraph with a sentence thanking them. The chunk of your paragraph should be focused on referencing talking points from your interview, as well as reaffirming your interest in the role. You can close your paragraph by saying that you’re excited to hear back from them soon, and leave your preferred method of contact.

 

6. Be patient

Patience is a virtue, especially in the interview process. Remember, they are likely interviewing many other candidates and taking the time out of their normal work schedules to do so. Once they reply to your thank you email, they’ll likely give you a turn around time for hearing back about secondary interviews, or role confirmation. Hang tight and be patient until they reach out to you again.

 

how to follow up after an interview

 

Now that you know how to follow up after an interview, apply for an interview for an international internship.

Photos

1. Based on IMG_4544, by Masa_Israel

2. Based on IMG_3167, by Masa_Israel

3. Based on Interviews,by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

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Danielle Ortiz-Geis

Danielle's love for travel and intercultural exchange stemmed from her study abroad experiences in Prague, where she studied in 2012. After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C. she began her career in marketing and international education and has held previous roles at CET Academic Programs as their Marketing Coordinator, AFS Intercultural Programs as a High School Study Abroad Advisor, and Go Overseas as a Content Writer. After receiving her American-Chilean dual citizenship, she moved to Santiago, Chile and is very excited to join The Intern Group's Marketing team. On the weekends you can catch her in the mountains, at a coffeeshop, or exploring a new city by foot with her camera in hand.
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