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Oct 18, 2021

Writing

10 examples for informing candidates of interview decisions

Learn to write an email to candidate after interview informing them of interview decisions with the help of our follow-up email examples and template.

Blog writer

Lawrie Jones

Writer

Blog writer

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Blog image

It doesn't matter whether you're delivering good news or bad; sending an email informing candidates of interview decisions is essential. In this guide to how to write an email to candidates after an interview, we provide 10 examples you can use to provide important information, insights, and updates to jobseekers.

We provide several examples of emails to candidates after the interview, including follow-up recruiting emails. This guide is suitable for any recruiter creating a follow-up email to a candidate no matter the industry, sector, or specialty.

How to write an email to a candidate after an interview?

The email has transformed the world of recruitment, with almost all candidate communication now completed online. Jobseekers, like the rest of us, check our emails throughout the day, says Business Insider. But most of us will screen calls, ignoring those from numbers we don't know. 

But email isn't faster; it's fairer, too – removing bias from the process. Every candidate receives the same message at the same time, giving everyone the same chance. 

Communicating via email enables you to establish an audit trail, providing a log of all interactions demonstrating that your process was fair and transparent.

When should a potential employer follow up?

During the interview process, you should communicate with candidates as often as possible to keep them informed. Be clear about dates, times, and deadlines. 

On average, there are two to three interviews per job, says Indeed. The more senior the position, the more interviews you'll need to complete, and the more correspondence required. 

The average recruitment process takes around a month from interview to appointment. Still, it can be put back for several reasons. For example, staff absence and a shortage of HR support can lead to delays. 

At each stage, you should keep job seekers updated and informed about their progress through the process.

There are several stages you may wish to contact a jobseeker, including: 

  • Thank you email to candidate after interview 
  • A rejection email after interview
  • Email to successful candidate after interview
  • Sample email to keep candidates warm
  • Follow up email to passive candidates

Failing to communicate effectively is a process called "ghosting", and it's on the rise, says Jack Kelly in Forbes. The article highlights a survey showing that 76% of employers have been ignored by employers, demonstrating a worrying trend.  

Kelly provides some sober advice for job seekers and professionals. "It's easier for them just to keep quiet and hope the person goes away," says Kelly. He recommends that staying in contact is a duty, and we agree. Failing to communicate can harm your reputation and affect the mental health of the jobseeker, as this young jobseeker describes.

How do you follow up with an unresponsive candidate?

It's not just employers that can go missing during the recruitment process; candidates can too. If this happens, we recommend that employers continue the process and maintain communication.  

Treat each applicant as if they're part of the process until they either let you know they're not interested or you've passed that stage of recruitment.  

Below we provide sample emails to keep candidates warm and examples of a follow-up email to candidates after no response that should give a helpful guide.

Basic principles for every email after the interview

The job search process starts a relationship between you and your future employee, so be professional. At every stage in the process, your emails should be formal.

That means following the rules of effective email communication:

  • Keep emails concise – Get to the critical information quickly. 
  • Be precise – Ensure that the reader understands precisely what you are saying.
  • Don't be afraid to use bullet points, bold or underlining to make your point – Simple text improvements can ensure your message is communicated clearly.
  • If you want a reply, ask for one – Tell the recipient what you need, including a reply.
  • Set deadlines – You don't want a jobseeker to hold up a process, so be clear when you need to hear from them.
  • Communicate consistently – Every jobseeker in the process must receive the exact correspondence at the same time. This ensures that your approach is fair and transparent.

Finally, if you're not taking an application further, it's kind to offer feedback to job seekers. Don't offer this unless you're willing to do so. 

If you need some more guidance on how to write a professional email, check out our in-depth guide that tackles the topic.

10 example emails informing candidates of interview decisions

Here are 10 example email templates you can use to support the recruitment process. These examples cover several situations you may encounter.

Rejection email after interview 

Informing unsuccessful candidates after an interview is tough, but it's essential that you do so. When creating a candidate rejection email after an interview, don't beat around the bush. Tell them straight if they're not a good fit for the job.  

You should be clear and concise and explain that, while this role wasn't the right one, there may be others in the future. For example, here's a rejection email after the interview template.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

Unfortunately, we will not be taking your application further.

The panel was impressed by your previous experience and insight. Still, we felt on this occasion that there were other candidates more suited to the position.

We are unable to provide detailed feedback on the interview. However, we encourage you to check our job board regularly and apply for suitable roles.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Thank you email to candidate after interview

Sending a thank-you email to candidate after interview is a positive recognition of the effort they have made and demonstrates that your organization values them. 

While not always necessary, a post-interview thank-you email can provide essential information on the recruitment process. You may want to let a candidate know that you are interested, you've yet to make a decision, the recruitment process is likely to be extended for some reason, or you want to invite the candidate to the next interview.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

The panel was impressed by your previous experience and enthusiasm for the role. 

We are currently assessing all interview candidates and will be in touch to advise you of the next steps on 12 September.

If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please don't hesitate to contact me at any point.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Still interviewing other candidates email template

This is a slightly amended version of the template above. You could call this our "we haven't made a decision yet" email template. In some cases, you may need to interview over several days or weeks. This template provides some clarity for the candidate. We've decided to make a date bold, which makes it harder to miss.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

The panel was impressed by your previous experience and enthusiasm for the role. 

We are interviewing several candidates over the next two weeks. We will be able to advise you of the next steps once these have all been completed.

We aim to contact all candidates with our decision on 12 September.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Sample email to successful candidate after interview

If you're wondering, how do you email a shortlisted candidate? Here's an example for you. This sample email to successful candidate after an interview (or pass interview email, if you prefer).

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

The panel was impressed by your previous experience and enthusiasm for the role. We are delighted to invite you to a further, final interview. 

Your interview is scheduled to take place at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on 12 September. 

Please confirm to me in writing if you would like to attend this interview.

If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please don't hesitate to contact me at any point.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Congratulation mail to selected candidates

We're moving through the process; how do you let a candidate know they got the job? The "email to offer job after interview" is perhaps the easiest to write (and the best to receive!). You're giving good news, but stay polite and professional.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

We've finished conducting interviews and are delighted to say that we feel you are the best candidate for the position and would like to offer you the role.

We want to invite you to a call with Karen Smith, our CEO, who can discuss the job details, agree on a start date, and answer any questions you may have. 

Please confirm to me in writing by 12 September if you would like to accept this position. 

If you have any questions before your call with Karen, please don't hesitate to contact me at any point.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Interview result email to candidate

The interview outcome email is important at every stage, especially the final one. At this point, you (or your recruiting team) will have spent a significant amount of time with a candidate. A short email isn't going to reflect the time, effort, and potential expense they've spent on this. Here's how you deliver an interview result email to a candidate with some compassion.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

Unfortunately, I am writing to advise you that you were not successful in your application.

However, on this occasion, we felt another candidate has more relevant skills and experience and a clearer strategic vision for the business.

We appreciate that this is disappointing news, but I would encourage you to apply for future roles. In addition, Karen Smith, our CEO, is available to provide more detailed feedback and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to speak to her, let me know, and I'll make the arrangements.  ntact me at any point.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Sample email to keep candidates warm

Sometimes the recruitment process can drag on, and you'll need to stay in touch with applicants to let them know what's happening. In this sample email, we provide clarity on dates to keep candidates warm, enabling them to plan.

While it's easy to offer an apology, you don't need to. However, depending on the length of the delay, you can encourage candidates to contact you if their plans have changed.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

There has been a delay in the recruitment process, but we aim to complete all interviews by 12 September. We will advise you of our decision and the progress of your application on this date.

If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please don't hesitate to contact me at any point. Likewise, if your plans have changed or you would like to withdraw from the process, please let me know as soon as you can.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Follow-up email to candidate after no response

Candidates "ghosting" employers is an increasing phenomenon, as we've documented above. Candidates may ignore you at any stage of the process, from the initial email request to a job offer. 

It's essential to recognize numerous reasons why a candidate may not respond to you immediately. Therefore, our advice is to remain polite and formal but set deadlines. 

Here's how that works in an example of a candidate not responding to an offer email.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

I wrote to you on 12 September advising you that you had been successful in your application, but I have not received a reply to my email.   

I've also tried to contact you on the phone but have also been unable to speak to you.

If we don't hear from you by 1 October, we will assume that you are no longer searching for a role and offer it to another candidate.

If you have any questions or concerns about the role, please don't hesitate to contact me at any point. Likewise, if your plans have changed or you would like to withdraw from the process, please let me know as soon as you can.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Follow up email to passive candidates 

Sometimes candidates can go cold and need a gentle nudge. So we've amended the approach above for this follow-up email to passive candidates.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

Thank you for attending an interview for the (position name) at (business name).   

I wrote to you on 12 September inviting you for an interview, but I've yet to receive a reply.

Please can you confirm by 1 October whether you would like to attend an interview or not? If your plans have changed or you would like to withdraw from the process, please let me know as soon as you can.

If we don't hear from you by 1 October, we will assume that you are no longer searching for a role.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

How to follow up with candidates after job fair

Job fairs are a great way to meet potential employees; however, you'll have to compete with hundreds of other stallholders for their attention. In this template, we illustrate how to follow up with candidates after a job fair.

Dear Thomas Bennett,

I'm contacting you from (business name). It was wonderful to meet you at the (insert job fair) on insert date).  

I'm attaching some information about our organization, including a link to our current vacancies page. 

If you have any questions about roles, the recruitment process, or the organization, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Ewing

Informing candidate of interview decision with Flowrite

Flowrite is an AI writing tool that turns short instructions into ready-to-send emails and message. No matter the industry, role or stage of the recruitment process, our product can help you to communicate with job candidates faster and better. Take a look at the example below to get an idea how you can supercharge your applicant emails with Flowrite.

Did this blog post help with informing candidates of interview decision? We hope so. The next time you are writing an email to a candidate after the interview, just keep these learnings and examples in mind and you should be good to go. Better yet, give Flowrite a change to write the email for you.

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