Writing a thank you note after an interview is a very important step in the process and one that we advise all our candidates to do. In fact, 68% of hiring managers say that receiving a thank you note impacts their decision-making process. When done correctly, writing a note post-interview will only improve your chances of moving forward in the interview process, so why not take this simple step?
Why Write a Thank You Note?
Stand Out from the Crowd
According to a study done by Robert Half, only one in four candidates send a follow-up note, yet 80% of HR/hiring managers take them into account during the decision-making process. If the final decision comes down to you versus someone else with similar skills, taking the time to write a note may just be the factor that sets you apart.
Recap Your Skills
Though we recommend keeping these emails short and sweet, writing a follow-up email will give you an opportunity to highlight a few key points of your experience and how it is a good fit for the position and company you are interviewing for.
Show Appreciation and Professionalism
In today’s nonstop, busy world, we rarely thank someone for their time. Writing a thank you note will accomplish that and also show your professionalism in business communications – often an important skill for many roles!
When Should You Send?
We recommend sending a thank you note within 24 hours of an interview. However, do not send it immediately after ending the interview. Give yourself at least a few hours, or until the next morning, to digest the conversation and write a thoughtful note. This also gives you some time to think about if there is anything you forgot to mention or wanted to clarify after the interview.
Tip: Jot a few notes down immediately after the interview so you can reference this when going back and writing a thank you note!
How to Send Your Note
Email is often the best format to send a thank you note. It’s easy, quick, and the most common form of business communication.
In the past, snail mail was often recommended as the best way to send these thank you notes. However, sometimes interview processes may go quickly and the hiring team may not even receive your note before making a hiring decision. With all of today’s technology, sending snail mail may also appear outdated. However, use your best judgment. If you firmly believe that the hiring manager would appreciate this personal touch, then go for it!
What to Include in Your Thank You
If you already have an email chain in process with the hiring manager, simply reply to that chain. If not, then make a short and descriptive subject line to decrease the odds of it getting lost in the hiring manager’s inbox.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Thank You for the Interview
- Thank you – Interview for “Job Title”
- Thank You – “Your Name” Interview
- “Your Name” – Interview for “Job Title”
Addressing the Email
If you interviewed in person, ask for a business card with their name and email address. If this is virtual, you can often find this information on the meeting invite. As a last resort, you can contact whoever coordinated the interview to get name spellings and email addresses.
If you are working with a third-party recruiter, you can go to them first. They can either get you the information or forward the note along to the appropriate person.
For the greeting, make it professional and simple. Make sure to double-check the spelling of the names of the interviewers! Address them by the name or title they provided you with when you met them.
Example: If their name is Thomas but they asked you to call them Tom, go with Tom. If they introduced themselves as Dr. Smith, you’ll use Dr. Smith. If you are unsure or they do not specify otherwise, go with the formal Mr., Ms., or Mrs.
- Hello “Name”,
- Dear “Name”,
Body of the Email
For the body of the email, you will want to keep it concise and to the point. Hiring managers are busy and probably won’t read an email over a few paragraphs. Make sure to include the following elements in your note.
Thank them for their time.
Start the email with a simple, quick thank you to show your appreciation that they considered you and took the time to interview you for the position. Make sure to include the name of the position you interviewed for.
Reference Why You Are a Fit for the Position
In 1-3 brief sentences, mention a few qualifications you have that align with the job. Ideally, you’ll want to reference how your skills are a match to the most important components of the position.
Avoid writing about why the job would be great for you. Keep it focused on what you bring to the company.
If there was a hobby or interest outside of work that you bonded over with the interviewer, make a quick reference to it. This helps to build a rapport with them and will help you further stand out. However, if nothing like this came up, don’t force it. Just skip this section.
Confirm Interest in the Role
Close out by reiterating your interest in the position. Maybe highlight a quick fact that draws you to the company. Also, offer to answer any questions they may have.
Conclude with a simple “Thank you” or “Sincerely” followed by your name.
Make sure to do a final read-through to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. If you have a friend or family member that can take a look, a second set of eyes is ideal. Grammarly is also a great tool to check both spelling and grammar (and they have a free version too).
What if You Interviewed Several People?
In the case you had a panel interview or met with several individuals, you will want to write a thank you to each interviewer. Do not copy the exact same note to each person. HR may request these follow-up notes for your file and it may reflect poorly if it is clear they are all the same. These thank you notes do not have to be entirely different but reflect on different points or skills that related to each individual.
We wish you the best of luck in your interviewing process! If you are just starting your job search, check out our open jobs!