A Follow up email after an interview for a teaching job

You can lose absolutely nothing following-up on your interview for a teaching job. Short thank you note, or a longer email, or even a phone call–whatever suits you and your strengths. And just to make things clear right from the start, for the case of erasing any doubts: if you bomb your interview, the very best follow-up email or call isn’t going to win you the job contract.

But in some cases, when the principal is deciding between two or three best candidates, and you happen to be in the mix, a good follow-up can help you walk away with a new employment agreement. In this article we will look at the follow-up email, as well as other forms of following up on your teaching job interview. Let’s start directly with a sample email.


Sample follow-up email for teacher job applicants

Dear Mr/Mrs. [Name of the principal, or other figure who led your interview],

I would like to thank you for an opportunity to interview for a job of [name of the position], on [date of your interview].

It was a pleasure to learn more about your school, and the vision you have when it comes to achieving the best results with your students. Your vision and values resonate strongly with me, and I am extremely motivated to help you achieve your goals, or even better them. From what I learned in the interview, I also believe to be a good fit for the existing team of teachers and administrators you have in place.

I hope you will make the right decision, and if you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards

[Your name and contact details]

What to keep on your mind when writing a follow-up letter

Many schools run the so-called “interview weeks“. In a short period of time (week or two) they try to squeeze in interviews for all open positions for the next school year. Speaking about bigger schools, this can sometimes mean dozens of interviews. Hence you should not rely on the memory of the principal when writing a follow-up letter.

This doesn’t mean that they do not remember you ten minutes after the end of your interview. But they may forget your name, for example. Hence it is important to clearly specify the name of the position you interviewed for, and the exact day when you interviewed for it. The key is to make things easier for the reader of the letter.


Ensure them that your motivation is even stronger after the interview

If things went well, if you had a good discussion with your interviewers and found a common ground when it came to various issues related to teaching, you can definitely point it out in your follow-up email.

Ensure them that you share the same values, are in for the goals they try to achieve, and believe to fit the existing team–at least based on what you’ve seen and heard during the interviews. They likely have the same impression (and a candidate who lost his interest after the interview isn’t going to write a follow-up letter), but giving them a brief confirmation is definitely a good idea. Just to make sure that you are on the same page…


Give them a reason to reply

Maybe you feel like something important hasn’t been said in the interview. Or, in the heat of the moment, you haven’t found the right words, or said something really stupid. And they may have doubts. You can mention these things in the follow-up letter directly, even returning to a specific question you haven’t answered as well as you wish you’d, or haven’t answered it at all.

But you can also simply write that if they have any additional questions, you will be more then happy to provide answers. And then you should leave both your email address and phone number, to make it easy for them to ask that additional question.


Is a follow-up call better than a follow-up email?

Answer to this question isn’t that straightforward, especially when we talk about teacher job interview. Without a doubt, a phone call has certain advantages:

  • You will get some answer immediately.
  • Once you have them on the phone they are not going to ghost you.
  • You can react in real time to what they say on the call–this can be both advantage and disadvantage.
  • If things go well, you can proceed directly to salary negotiation.
  • You won’t waste time waiting days and weeks for some email that may never reach your mailbox.
  • You are showing some courage with making a call, and generally schools look for people with courage.

But a phone call has also some disadvantages. First of all, it is a little pushy. Especially if the principal did not give you their business card, and you simply found their phone number online, on the website of the school, for example.

Secondly, as I’ve already said, the interview with you can be one of twenty job interviews they led during the week, with applicants for different positions. Logically an awkward situation can happen. Awkward for everyone: The principal actually won’t know who they are talking to on the phone

Last but not least, in an email communication both parties have time to formulate their thoughts properly, and convey the message they want to convey, which is not so easy to do on the call, especially when we consider the stress associated with the situation.


The bottom line

Following-up on a job interview won’t make a huge difference when it comes to your chances of getting a job. If you did badly, remained silent when facing some tough situational questions, or said something outright stupid a couple of times, you cannot hope to save yourself with a simple email. Regardless of how well-written it will be. It simply isn’t going to happen.

But if you did decently well, and have positive feelings overall, you should follow up on your interview. A short email (following the advice from this article) can move the needle in the right direction, especially if the interviewers were close, and there’s not much difference between you and the other shortlisted candidates. Hence I suggest you to send one–it is easy, can be done in five minutes, and the potential benefits are definitely worth the effort.

And if you prefer talking to writing, and feel extremely optimistic about your chances, and the principal gave you their business card at the end of the interview, you can even pick up the phone, call them, and find out immediately how you stand with your chances. In any case, I wish you good luck!


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Matthew Chulaw
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