Why Should You Send A Thank You Email Or Letter After An Interview
If you think its terrifying being interviewed, youre not alone. But let me tell you, interviews can be an equally traumatizing experience from the other side of the table.
I kicked off the search for my first hire at Grammarly earlier this year, and when the first on-site interview came around, I was terrified. Sitting there with my list of questions and my notebook, I tried to simultaneously project confidence, follow my companys values, ask the right questions, make sure my hair didnt do anything weird, and mask my nerves.
Even if interviews are a vital part of the recruiting process, the first round of the interview process can be awkward for everyone. Thats why its key to write a thank you note after the interviewoften the process has made them just as uncomfortable as you are! Thats why a killer post-interview thank-you note can help you make a great impression and land the job.
But dont take my word for it! Lily Zhang, a career expert at MIT, put it this way on The Muse:
Think of it this way: Your interview isnt over until you send a thank you note. You want to move the hiring managers from interview mindset to decision mindset as quickly as possible, so dont drag it out.
I asked Olivia Seastrom, a recruiter at Grammarly, what she loves about thank-you notes. She said,
Printed Thank You Notes
A word-processed note printed by a computer printer is usually acceptable in most organizations today. Its also usually much more legible.
Choose the format that seems most appropriate for the organization unless your handwriting is illegible. If no one can read your writing, use your computer to send the printed version.
See the sample printed and handwritten thank you notes below on this page or the Sample Job Interview Thank You Email for comparison.
Sample Recruiter Thank You Notes
1. Short Thank-You Notes. This is the most brief, uncomplicated, and forthright style.
Who theyre for: Short thank-you notes will work with almost any type of position that you are aiming for Theyre particularly ideal for people who know its important to get a brief thank you in, because the decision-making process is moving quickly. It would likely be more suitable to send over via email than in handwritten form.
Be sure to include the 6 elements and send within 24 hours of having met for the interview. The goal with this note is to be swift and proficient in your communication, especially if the company is looking to hire quickly.
Email Subject Line: Thank you for the interview.
I wanted to say again how much I appreciate you setting time aside for our meeting last week. Our conversation about the responsibilities for the Food & Beverage Manager role was insightful, and it solidified my excitement about the possibility of running the department.
With the recent growth in the department, I sensed that you are looking to hire someone who is ready to adapt quickly and create even more collaboration in the culinary team. My degree in Culinary Arts, coupled with my 15 years of experience, gives me confidence that I could .
I look forward to talking to reconnecting! Feel free to call or email me for additional references, or any other information you may need for your decision.
2. Detailed Thank-You Letters
3. Informal Thank-You Notes
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The Importance Of Following Up
Following up with the people you communicate with during each stage of the hiring process shows that you are grateful and excited about the position. This will likely help to increase your chances of getting to the next interview, and eventually receiving an offer.
Writing a thoughtful follow-up expressing your enthusiasm about the job, thanking the reader for their time and including anecdotes from your conversation shows strong soft skills. Because soft skills are more difficult to teach in the workplace, candidates that show respect, communication and active listening skills will be highly sought-after by employers. It will also make you a more memorable candidate as you will have had more communicative touch-points than those who did not send a follow-up.
When To Send A Thank You Email After An Interview
Timing is everything. Of the factors that contribute to an effective thank-you note, the timing is perhaps the most sensitive. Youll want to begin writing your email as soon as possible to ensure your email sounds genuine and you have plenty of time to make it great.
The completed thank-you email should arrive in the interviewers inbox within 24 hours of the interview. This way, you once again get to demonstrate your interest in the job, while also making sure youre remembered. Send it too much later, and you may have already been forgotten.
Note: Email thank-you notes are now considered the standard and are always appropriate. We are often asked about when it would be better to write and mail a physical thank-you note.
Its always possible that some, more traditional interviewers may appreciate receiving a thank-you note or card in the mail. Its true that a mailed card may help you stand out.
However, theres also a chance this gesture could make you seem less responsive or tech-savvy. We would recommend sending your thanks via email in almost all cases. If you are dealing with a more traditional interviewer or company, you can address this in the tone and content of your thank-you email.
Be sure to steer clear of odd hours of the night. If the interviewer even manages to find your email buried in memos and junk mail, it may seem strange that you were up at 3am.
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If Youre Writing A Pen
If you did all of these things, congratulations! You deserve to put your feet up and sip your favorite post-interview beverage .
Sound Appreciative And Excited
The tone of every post-interview thank-you email should be appreciative and excited, Jensen, the hiring manager at KeepTruckin, said.
Makes sense. A thank-you note that fails to properly convey the senders appreciation of the recipient is a pretty lousy one. So dont play it cool or hard to get: Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you, and say you appreciated the conversation.
When Manoske coaches job seekers, he recommends they use the word appreciate throughout their email to express their thankfulness for the hiring managers time.
Youll want some excitement to be evident in your tone of voice, too. After all, youre interested in the role, and you had a great conversation with the interviewer. Make sure they can sense your enthusiasm. Your note shouldnt read like an overly formal robot wrote it or like this is the third follow-up email you wrote that day.
Be careful not to let your excitement veer into desperation though. Hiring managers dont want to see candidates begging for a job.
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Thank You Email Length: How Long Should Your Message Be
Some samples above are more formal while others are more casual. Youll notice that theyre all relatively brief, though. In my experience as a recruiter, a short thank you email after the interview is best. On average, I recommend 85 to 150 words.
Its also true whether youre writing to thank a recruiter, HR person, hiring manager, or anyone else who spent time interviewing you!
Your message could go up to 200 words if youre very far along in the hiring process and have spent multiple hours interviewing with people from the company, but Id still aim to be brief and concise, rather than sending a full page.
Use your best judgement, though. You know your industry and prospective employer, so think about what type of message theyll appreciate. The advice above is simply what works best for the greatest amount of people, on average.
Best Thank You Email Samples After An Interview
Below, youll find four good sample thank-you emails. These can also be sent as a typed or handwritten note if you prefer.
Later in the article, Ill cover the pros and cons of sending this via email versus a handwritten thank you letter/note. So if youre not sure which to send, make sure to read until the end.
For now, just know that you can use these sample thank you emails in both cases.
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What To Do Right After A Job Interview
Resist the urge to go straight to the pub. Of course, you should celebrate a bit, assuming all went smoothly. However, whether you feel you aced the interview or not, you should immediately look for an opportunity to write down some notes.
I know what youre thinking, I just spent days stressing over this interview, and now you want me to spend more time thinking about!? Yes, thats exactly right. But dont worry, it will be over soon enough.
While you interview its a good idea to take notes on what the recruiter tells you however, its also easy to miss jotting something important down if you are focused on being responsive. So, when you finish an interview, whether you go home straight away or sit down somewhere else, take a moment to reflect on any important information mentioned during the interview, compare this with your notes, and write down anything you may have missed.
The reason behind is that you will capture information that may help you prepare for a second interview or to help you make a decision should you be offered a job. Salary information, job responsibilities, requested references/portfolios/work samples, and even the names of all of your interviewers are good to capture on paper for future reference.
Keep It Short And Mind Your Structure
In the same vein, dont suddenly write a novel about how much you love the company or the person you talked to. You may have many things to tell this recruiter or hiring manager, but try to stick to one main point, question, or fun fact.
Personally, if Im reading a thank-you email longer than five sentences, Ive probably started to wonder if the time to read it was worth my investment. Knowing how to write a thank you email after an interview is a valuable skill. Trust me.
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Excited About The Mission
Subject: Thank you for your time yesterday!
Thank you for your time yesterday afternoon. I really appreciate you sharing your vision for ___ and taking the time to get to know me and my background.
Please dont hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions. Im looking forward to hearing back on the next steps in the process.
Why Send A Post
A thank you note is considered a common courtesy after a job interview and demonstrates polished professionalism. Showing your appreciation for your interviewers time will solidify the rapport you established. Conversely, the absence of this gesture, at a time where putting your best foot forward is expected, could hurt your chances of landing the job. So, should you send a thank you email after an interview? The answer is always yes.
Beyond exercising manners and business etiquette, the thank-you email presents you with a golden opportunity to re-sell yourself.
Perhaps you missed cues to present some of your talking points, leaving your interviewer without a full understanding of your skills. Your thank-you email is your chance to fill any possible gap and reinforce your fit for the job.
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Interview Thank You Letter Format
Use our interview thank you letter format, separated into individual paragraphs, to help you structure the perfect letter today!
1st Paragraph Open your letter by thanking your interviewer for taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss the available position at their company. Reference a personal connection you made with the interviewer and how it has increased your interest in the company and/or role.
2nd Paragraph Use this section to expand upon the factors discussed in the interview which make you a strong candidate for the position. Explain how your educational background, the experience you gained in your previous role, and your noteworthy accomplishments will allow you to help the company reach its goals.
3rd Paragraph If you werent able to discuss certifications, skills, or experience which makes you an ideal candidate during the interview, use this section to offer information about these qualifications. You can also use this section to clear up any misconceptions or discuss any point in the interview that you feel you didnt cover strongly enough.
4th Paragraph Close the letter by restating your gratitude for the interviewers time, your anticipation of their response, and an invitation to contact you if any additional information regarding your application is required.
The breakdown of an email looks something like below:
Proofread Your Interview Thank You
When you’re competing against other qualified candidates, the smallest mistake in your interview follow-up can be used to eliminate you from the running. Don’t rely entirely on spell-check to proofread your note. Before you send your thank-you note, carefully reread your message. Then read it again, starting with the last sentence and working your way back up. Then ask someone you trust ideally someone who majored in English or writes for a living to look over it to ensure everything is grammatically correct and typo-free, including the name of the organization and your interviewer.
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Think Of It As More Than A Thank You
Even more than polite and proper etiquette, this is a chance for you to reiterate your personal selling points. A successful note will express gratitude as well as continue the conversation from the interview. Include your qualifications for the position, and use the opportunity to address anything that you felt you might have missed during the interview.
Formal Thank You Letter After Interview
If youve interviewed for a business professional position, its important to send a thank you email to the hiring manager after your interview. In a formal industry or company, a thank you note is used to demonstrate your professional competence and knowledge of business-related formalities. Failing to send a follow-up after your interview may hinder your chances of receiving a job offer.
Sending a formal thank you letter after your interview is ideal for situations where:
- The industry or company youve applied for is known for placing emphasis on formality such as a bank or accounting firm.
- The position youve applied for requires a high-level of formality to be used in your daily interactions with customers, clients, co-workers, and management.
- The hiring manager conducted a formal interview in which you strictly discussed your application and avoided topics of a personal nature.
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Which Is Best Follow
So, you might be asking, which option should I use? Which is best?
In our collective opinion, we recommend an email first, and a letter second. The email is a surefire way to make sure you get seen and can efficiently convey your thoughts about the interview as well as your gratitude.
The letter does this as well, but it really should mostly be used in the most formal of interviews. Think finance and law, not tech and service. However, we cant be there to judge every situation, so use your best judgment, think about the personality of the interviewer and the culture of the company, and pick the best option for you. One word of warning dont pick more than one. Just like giving a gift can seem like too much, an email and a letter can seem like you are kissing up and kind of begging for the job. Choose one option, do it well, and let it be.
Sample Interview Thank You Email/note #:
Hello < Interviewers Name> ,
Thank you for taking the time to interview me < yesterday/Friday/etc> . I enjoyed our conversation about < specific topic you discussed> and it was great learning about the < Job Title> position overall.
It sounds like an exciting opportunity and a role I could succeed and excel in. Im looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and dont hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns in the meantime.
< Your First and Last Name>
This is a short, casual email thats best for modern industries like tech, e-commerce, digital marketing, etc.
This type of short message also makes an ideal thank you email to a recruiter or HR person after a phone interview or other first-round interview. At that stage, you dont need to be sending a lot of detail in your thank you letter you simply want to give thanks and reaffirm your interest.
And modern companies dont want to see a ten-paragraph, formal thank you letter that takes ten minutes to read. In fact, it might make them want to hire you less because theyll doubt whether youre a fit for their company culture. Thats why I recommend keeping your message short and genuine, like the sample above.
Even if its a second- or third-round interview, this type of very short, concise thank-you email can still be effective. Heres an example of the type of message Id personally send if I were job hunting right now:
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