So you’ve just aced your interview with a new potential employer. However, your task is not quite complete. Instead of simply waiting for them to get back to you, it’s a good idea to send a thank you email afterwards.
In this article, let’s discuss what a thank you email is, why it matters, and how to write the perfect one. That way, you can increase your chances of landing that dream job.
Why a thank-you email matters
It’s no exaggeration how competitive the job landscape is these days. It’s fortunate to get an interview in the first place. In fact, 85% of candidates that didn’t get the job believed that a real person at the company never looked at their application or resume. Chances are you’ll be pitching against dozens of other candidates, so you need to work extra hard to stand out.
While you’ll be doing the bulk of the legwork for the interview itself, it’s important not to forget the common courtesies that come afterwards, such as your post-interview thank-you email.
Not only will it help confirm why you’re perfect for the job, but it will demonstrate some of those qualities that future employers are on the lookout for: good manners, enthusiasm, and professionalism. In fact, studies show that over 80% of employers say a thank-you letter helps them make their decision; yet, only 27% of job seekers bother to write one.
When to send a thank-you email after an interview
It’s crucial to get the timing of your thank-you letter right. Too soon, and you may look over-eager (or that you had a prewritten message ready to fire off); too late, and they might have forgotten who you are.
Ideally, you should send your thank-you email within 24 hours, or the morning after your interview. Be careful to send your email during working hours or, again, you might come across as over-eager.
To help ensure you get your timing spot on, use Right Inbox’s Gmail Send Later function to write your email and then choose the specific time it will be sent for perfect timing.
Keep your subject line simple, providing just enough information about why you’re sending the email. For example, try “Thank you [first name]” or “Thank you [first name last name].”
How to Write an Interview Thank You Email
So how can you write an effective thank you email after your interview? Let’s walk through it step by step.
Step 1. Start with a professional greeting like “Hi Dan.”
Step 2. Thank your interviewer for their time — even if you don’t get the job they still dedicated a portion of their day to speaking with you.
Step 3. Refer to something specific that you enjoyed or remembered from the interview. This makes it personal and doesn’t seem like a copy and paste email.
Step 4. Restate the fact that you are interested in the position and communicate that you look forward to seeing if they want to hire you.
Step 5. Assure the interviewer that they are free to contact you for any questions or any next steps. Then, sign off professionally with something simple like “Cheers — John”.
Step 6. (Optional) — Send a handwritten note in the mail. This is not necessary, but can often make you stand out even more. Just be sure to use the same basic framework above but change it so it’s personalized.
One more tip is to ask the interviewer for their contact information before the interview concludes. This is especially important if you don’t already have their number, address, or email handle.
5 Effective Interview Thank You Email Templates
Thank you for your time on (day) interviewing me. I thought our conversation on productivity was really insightful. The role seems really rewarding and I believe I could truly succeed in it. Looking forward to any updated info you can share about hiring for this role. Feel free to contact me anytime.
Why it works:
This email is casual, and right to the point. Modern companies will appreciate its brevity and also professionalism. Keep in mind that you don’t need to write a novel, but simply convey the main points.
Writing a short email like this also makes it perfect for an HR rep or after a phone interview. Simply confirming your interest is usually enough.
In addition, modern cultures value quick communication rather than drawing it out. It will show that you could fit in very well with the team.
I am really grateful for the chance to interview for (position) at (company).
What really stuck out to me was when you mentioned that you’re looking for self starters. I feel like I would be an excellent fit in this role, and am still interested in moving the process forward and trying to help your company grow.
I am available here via email, or via my number in my email signature. Hope to speak soon.
Why it works:
It’s always a good idea to tie your potential employer’s goals into your thank you email. This way, they are focused again on how you can help them. This can make you stand out from the rest who simply talk about their own aims and ambitions.
Thanks for sitting down with me on (date) to discuss the open position of (position) at (company). It was great speaking with you.
I particularly enjoyed connecting with you about athletics. I agree that staying active physically is a great way to improve performance as a salesperson. Looks like our values really align on that point!
Would love to hear from you when you’ve made a decision. I still am committed to earning a role at (company). You can email me here with any additional questions or next steps.
Why it works:
You’ll notice that this interview thank you email is fairly similar to the rest. They all follow the same template. However, in this one, you add a little bit of emotion and rapport.
This style works really well if you had an authentic connection with the interviewer on some personal points. This can extend to sports, family, or anything where you share a mutual passion.
Some interviewers may be more technical and dry. But when you can tell that rapport is really important to someone, it doesn’t hurt to keep that momentum in your communications.
After speaking with you, I am even further committed to joining (company) as a (role). I think my passion, tenacity, and attention to detail will help the team grow into new markets and help hit our larger sales goals.
I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me either way. But of course, should you decide to hire me, I would be interested and ready to go.
Please let me know when you’ve got further information or questions.
Why it works:
This thank you message does not strictly follow all the steps in exact order. And that’s okay — you don’t have to follow the format like a science. You can mix and match the segments.
For instance, in this email we started off expressing our interest in the position before thanking them for their time. Furthermore, we elaborated on the specific qualities we bring that would make us a perfect fit.
So if you find yourself stressing about getting the different steps just right, don’t worry. View them more as a checklist that you need to complete throughout the email. As long as the main points are there, it can still work like a charm.
It was great speaking with you (yesterday / Friday, etc.). Thank you for taking the time to interview me and share your company’s goals for this next calendar year.
After our chat, I still strongly believe that I would be the perfect candidate for the position. Should you and (additional decision makers) agree as well, you can contact me at this email for next steps.
Until then, I wish you a happy weekend!
Why it works:
If done right, this kind of email can show your social savvy, and also that you understand how their company works.
There won’t always be just one decision maker in the hiring process. By displaying that you acknowledge this, you won’t come across as pushy or needy. Instead, you will be seen as professional.
Thank-You Email Best Practices
1. Address it properly
You’ll already have a feel for the tone of the company you’ve interviewed with – some companies or industries are super-formal, while others have a more relaxed vibe. If in doubt, err on the side of professional-yet-friendly. After all, you’ve met them, but that doesn’t mean you’re now best buddies.
Also, by now you will know the name of the person or people who interviewed you, so a simple “Dear [first name]” should suffice. For your sign-off, drop the “Sincerely yours,” and write “Kind regards” or “Best wishes” instead.
2. Thank them
The first thing to convey in your thank-you letter is the obvious “thank you” – yet, surprisingly, this is often overlooked. Your interviewers have taken time out of their schedules to meet you, so it’s important to acknowledge that by thanking them for their time.
3. Reiterate why you’re the best person for the job
Your thank-you letter is another opportunity to restate why you’re right for the job. If your interview went well, then you’ll have made this clear already, using good examples to back up your claims. That said, your thank-you letter can sum up one or two main points so that they have written evidence of this for their future reference.
4. Clear up any misunderstandings from the interview
While it’s not worth dwelling on the parts of your interview that didn’t go so well, your thank-you letter is a chance to clear up any glaring misunderstandings or fill in any gaps. Be careful to do so succinctly; your letter shouldn’t be treated as a rerun of your interview.
5. Be authentic
It’s important that you present a personal side to your thank-you email in addition to highlighting your professional attributes. Pick out a specific part of your interview that went well to remind them of your strengths. You may have discussed a particular issue with them in the interview; if so, consider sharing a piece of content with them.
6. Link to further information about yourself
Your thank-you email is also your chance to provide further information about yourself, like your online CV or your personal website. It gives your potential future employers a chance to reference you and your experience but also to demonstrate your personal brand.
What to Avoid in Your Thank-You Email
Your interview panel has already taken time out to see you, so don’t make them try to wade through a long rambling email. Keep it concise.
Try to avoid generic statements in your thank-you email. Your email is a chance to remind your interviewers of your personality, so take a risk and make an impression.
Dwelling on the negatives
It’s easy to come out of an interview and obsess over the things that went wrong. However, chances are it’s not as bad as you think it was. Avoid using your thank-you letter to apologize for interview mishaps, drawing unnecessary attention to them. Instead, use your email to emphasize the positives.
Sending the same message to everyone on the panel
If more than one person interviewed you and you want to thank each of them, take time to write a different email to each recipient. Avoid the temptation to copy everyone on the same email or, worse still, copy and paste the same message and send it to everyone on the panel.
Bad grammar and spelling
You’ve already made a good enough impression to get an interview, so don’t blow it now with bad spelling and grammar. Check and double-check your email before you hit send. If in doubt, get a friend to look it over too.
How you conduct yourself from the moment you begin the interview until you are hired is essential. The thank you email post-interview is a crucial part of this process.
Make sure you review the tips and templates above so that you can craft the perfect interview thank you email next time you talk with your dream employer. And remember that in some cases, other mediums like LinkedIn may be easier and more effective to deliver your note.
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David Campbell is the editor of the Right Inbox blog. He is passionate about email productivity and getting more done in less time.