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You’ve spent weeks preparing for that job interview. You know you’ve nailed it. Your answers were on point. You impressed the hiring manager with your insights and wit.
“Now we wait.”
Are you sure this is enough?
See, 57% of hiring managers won’t consider your application further if you don’t write a thank-you email after an interview.
Oh, and a casual “Thank you for a great interview and I’m looking forward to hearing from you later” won’t do.
That’s what everyone is doing: sending half-hearted thank-you notes they copy-paste from the web.
In a moment you’ll know how to write a thank you letter after an interview and interviewers won’t just appreciate your good manners, but will actually want to give you a shot.
In this article, we’ll show you:
Imagine you’re on a date. It’s going really well. The chemistry is there, and it turns out you two have so much in common! You already can’t wait to meet again!
The next day, your smartphone beeps. It’s a text from your date!
Hi, thanks for the date. It was fun. Have a nice day.
Well, that reads like a pretty long Meh. They don’t seem interested, so why should you?
See the problem?
A generic thank you email after a job interview reads like the text above: polite but boring at best, disinterested and forced at worst.
Employers will roll their eyes and move on to the next candidate.
Here’s what you need to do instead if you want to write an effective thank you email after an interview:
And here’s a very basic outline of what to include in a thank you letter after an interview:
What To Say In a Thank You Email After an Interview
Have a look at this sample thank you email after an interview:
Subject: Thank you for the opportunity, Jessica
Dear Jessica (1),
I wanted to take a moment to thank you again for the opportunity to meet you in person (2) this afternoon. It was really nice to have a meaningful talk with someone who is as excited about guest relations as I am (2) and to learn about your invaluable industry insights.
The details you provided me with about working as a Guest Relations Manager at Drygonfly Inn, convinced me that this is a job that I would enjoy and one where I could make a valuable contribution with my skills and experience (3). Your idea of implementing a new, fully automated mobile online booking system (4) is a project I would love to work on.
I was thinking about what Michael said regarding customer feedback on your social media channels. In my last role as Guest Relations Manager, I found that personally responding to comments on social media resulted in an overall increase in repeat customers by 22% (5). I hope that helps.
Please feel free to contact me if you find you need any more information (6). I look forward to our call next week (7) as discussed. Thank you once again, Jessica.
Best regards (8),
P.S. - I also wanted to say that you were right about the coffee at Luke's (9). I stopped by on my way home. Delicious!
See what John did here?
First, since it’s a “thank you email” he opened it with a thank you. It’s a very important thing to do.
Remember to be sincere and authentic when expressing gratitude or appreciation. Show that you care about the time the interviewers spent with you describing the details of your position.
It's easy to make a mistake by being too brief when it comes to showing gratitude and too elaborate when it comes to selling our backgrounds.
In the body of his thank you email, John was concise and to-the-point, but also specific - he mentioned his employer’s plans and referred to the topics that were discussed during the job interview. He also made the thank you note about the employer’s gain, not his personal benefit.
John used a formal tone because he felt that it reflected the formal atmosphere of his job interview. The degree of formality you use should reflect how formal your interviewer was.
Finally, he included a personal remark in the postscript. That way, even if multiple candidates were interviewed that day, the hiring manager will surely recall who John is.
Use the same strategies for your post interview thank you note, and it’s guaranteed to be a killer one.
Pro Tip: Writing a thank you email after a phone interview is also mandatory. And it’s actually easier to write it! While talking with the hiring manager on the phone, take notes. Then, use them to write a personalized phone interview thank you email.
If you’re wondering how to email your resume the right way to get more job offers, we’ve got a handy guide for you! Make sure to give it a read: How to Email Your Resume to Get More Job Offers (Examples)
So you’ve seen a perfect sample thank you note after an interview.
But once you’ve written your own, what should you do with it? When to send it? To whom to address it?
The sooner the better - the same day as the interview or the next, but definitely no later than 24 hours after the interview. That way:
Send a thank you email after every interview to everyone that was in the room with you. A separate thank you email to each person is a must.
And, I’m sorry to break it to you - each of those thank you notes has to be different and personalized because they will share them with one another.
The exception to the rule would be a panel interview, especially if many of the participants joined via phone or Skype.
In this situation, it’s okay to send one thank you email after an interview addressed to everyone.
But what if you don’t have the email addresses for everyone?
Send one email to the person whose address you have with a postscript at the bottom requesting that they forward the email to the other people who were present.
Alternatively, you can request the email address of the other people in the postscript so that you can send them personalized emails as well.
Pro Tip: If you interview with multiple people, ask for business cards during the interview, so you don’t have to search for emails later.
Expecting another interview? Make sure to read our guide and learn how to make the most of your performance! Read our complete job interview guide: Common Job Interview Questions and Best Answers (20 Examples)
The nineties had us believe that it’s necessary to send a handwritten thank you letter after an interview via snail mail. True, it’s elegant, adds a personal touch, and shows that you’ve really taken some effort to express your appreciation.
But we’re living in the digital age where good communication means fast communication. And most employers understand that.
Research shows that up to 90% hiring managers agree that it is appropriate to receive a thank you email after an interview instead of an interview thank you letter written on paper.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not a hiring manager would appreciate an email or a post-interview thank-you letter more. In some rare cases, a hiring manager may not find an email appropriate at all.
Pro Tip: You can attach a formal letter, properly formatted, as a PDF file. Then write a shorter thank you email after an interview if you want to make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases.
For example, if you are applying to a stiff, suit-and-tie law firm, ala Devil’s Advocate, you may want to send a handwritten thank-you-for-interview letter.
Still, in almost 90% of the cases, it’s perfectly fine to send a thank you email after an interview.
Another 45% of recruiters will reject your resume if you don't attach a cover letter. Not sure how to write one? Read our guide: How To Write A Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples]
Bonus: Download FREE step-by-step checklist of things to do before an interview. "Things You Need To Do Before Your Big Interview."
To be effective, the follow up email after an interview has to be personalized. You already know that, right?
That means, there’s no magic, universal formula for every thank-you-for-the-interview letter. Every interview thank you email will be different, just like every interview is different.
Luckily, there are some universal rules you should always have in mind when writing a thank you note after an interview.
The three commandments of sending a thank you email after an interview are as follows:
Open your note with an authentic “thank you.”
Refer to the details of the position that were discussed at an interview. Add a personal reference to make yourself recognizable.
Finally, confirm when a recruitment decision is to be made.
Still not sure whether to send an email or a traditional thank-you note? Not sure which interviewer to thank? Leave us a note in the comments, and we will get back to you. Thanks for reading!
Michael is a writer and a resume expert at Uptowork. When he's not busy passing on career advice, he's probably somewhere out there swinging a tennis racket, reading Russian poetry, or enjoying his triple espresso.