Career Advice

A Complete Guideline for Follow-up Emails

min read
Justine Schossmacher

Sending a follow-up email after an interview is not one of the most commonplace practices you’ll see in the Hong Kong recruitment market. However, it is not an unheard-of piece of advice. Many candidates struggle to determine whether or not they should send the email, and if so, when is the appropriate time to follow up on a job interview in Hong Kong?

Should I send the email?

A rationale widely used to discourage sending a follow-up email is the fact that “it makes no significant difference”. Some even worry if the email would annoy the interviewer or make yourself appear too eager.

Let’s get this straight, you should always send a follow-up email if you want the job. It’s not annoying if you do it right! However, bear in mind that the gesture of sending this email is not a guarantee for an offer, nor will it save you from a horrible interview (but it’s okay if that happens!) Sending this follow-up email simply emphasize your sincerity and genuine interest in working with the company. It will also put you in a slightly advantageous position amongst similar candidates.

So the verdict is if you think the interview went smoothly and you believe it is a position you see yourself in, go ahead and send that email!

When should I send the email?

Rule of Thumb: a week

The purpose of a follow-up email is to express your interest in the position, as well as look for an update in their hiring process. This is why a great rule of thumb is to allow a one-week (or 5 working days) interval before you follow up. After all, it is likely that they are still interviewing other candidates and have yet to reach a decision. Sending the email too soon makes you seem inconsiderate and impatient, which is the last thing you want to be remembered as!

Respect the recruitment timeline

Sometimes, interviewers may tell you when they plan on reaching a hiring decision, or by when would candidates be notified if the company is interested. If such a timeline is mentioned in the meeting, make a mental note of it and honor it. If not, take the initiative and ask about the hiring process! For instance, if the hiring manager said it would take two to three weeks to move onto the next stage, be patient and wait until the end of the three weeks to send that email!

Two points of contact — The HR manager or the interviewer

You can contact the interviewer directly using the email address on their business card. Typically, interviewers would give out their business cards during the initial self-introduction. However, if they didn’t offer a card, take the initiative and ask for one at the end of the interview.

If you are reading this after an interview and you realized you don’t have the contact details you need, don’t worry! You can always email the HR manager using the email they contacted you for the interview.

Draft your email with this handy template

Subject: [Position applied for] position status update

Dear [name of recruiter],

Thank you again for your time [day of the interview]. I want to reaffirm my gratefulness in being considered for the position, and I am confident that my ability and experience can contribute to the team.

I look forward to the next steps — Do you have an idea of when a final decision would be made? I understand that the interview process can take some time, so I am happy to check back in later. Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to let me know if I could provide any additional information to facilitate the process.

Best regards,

[Your name]

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