April 24, 2024

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How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

You’ve updated your resume, written your cover letter, and prepared for your interview. Now it’s time for your thank you note to seal the deal. In this piece, the author outlines what to say — and not to say — in your thank you email to interviewers and answers common questions like: How much detail should you include? When should you send it? And why is it important to do? He also includes three sample emails to use as a guide.

You’ve just finished an interview for a job opportunity you’re really excited about. You know you should send a thank you note to your interviewers, but you’re not sure what to write. How much detail should you include? Should you send an email to every person you interviewed with? And what’s really the best way to follow up?

Here’s some advice on what to say — and not to say — in your message, along with sample email templates. I’ll also cover why writing a thank you note is something you should do, even if it feels like a formality. Let’s start with what to write in your note.

How to Write a Thank You Email

Your email should be short, sincere, and sent within 24 hours of your interview.

1. Address the email to the person who interviewed you and make sure you spell their name correctly. If their name is Christopher and they asked you to call them Chris in the interview, address them as such in your follow-up. If you interviewed with multiple people, it’s a good practice to send each person a brief message as well.

2. Thank the person for their time and consideration.

3. Briefly highlight your draw to the organization. David Lancefield, a former partner at PwC and now CEO coach, suggests that candidates “call out an aspect of the conversation that was particularly interesting or share a helpful hook to help them remember what you spoke about.”

4. Express your continued interest in the job opportunity.

5. Offer to answer any questions.

Lourdes Olvera-Marshall, who teaches networking and career management courses at NYU, recommends jotting down quick notes when you’re interviewing. Write down your interviewer’s name, what you discuss, and a few key words to trigger your memory, so you can make your follow-up message more meaningful. As she told me, “The thank you note starts during the interview.”

What to Avoid in Your Thank You Email 

If you don’t want to leave the interviewers with a bad impression, avoid these three common mistakes.

Adding too much detail

Remember that the intention of the message is to say thank you, not to pick up where your interview left off. “Your follow-up is not the place to add all the things you wish you had highlighted in your interview,” Olvera-Marshall warns. When you do, you run the risk of appearing desperate or like you weren’t prepared for the interview.

Making requests

People are busy. Avoid requesting anything that creates additional work. You want to show your interviewer that you’re easy to work with.

Typos

And of course, don’t forget to review your email for grammar and spelling before sending. This is an example of your communication.

Sample Thank You Email Templates

Use the samples below to get started, but make sure you customize them to fit your needs.

Sample 1

Subject: Thank you

Hi Genesa,

It was great speaking with you yesterday about being a possible fit for your team. I appreciate the transparency into the project you are working on and what it is like working at [company name]. It seems like an amazing team and an exciting project with huge potential. I am excited about the possibility of working with you. If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please reach out at any time.

I look forward to being in touch.

All the best,

Sample 2

Subject: Thank you

Hi Maria,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today and sharing some of the innovative work you and your team are doing to support your clients.

From our conversation, I understand that the pace is fast, the work is top-notch, and as hard as you work, you all have a great time doing it together. People’s passion for their work was tangible and the sense of community was amazing.

I also understand you are looking for a person who can hit the ground running, does not need hand-holding, and is fun to work with. I am confident I am that person.

If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please feel free to reach out at any time.

I look forward to being in touch.

Best,

Sample 3

Subject: Thank you

Dear Mr. Cassidy,

I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss the financial planner position at Cascade Associates. I appreciate you sharing the history behind your family business and that you care for every customer as if they were your own family.

From our conversation, I understand that maintaining the legacy of top-notch service is your priority, and you are looking for planners who want to continue that legacy for years to come. As I shared, I have a young family of my own, and I am looking to put down roots with an organization that I can be proud to work for. I am excited about the possibility of joining your team.

If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please feel free to reach out at any time.

Sincerely,

Why Is It Important to Send a Thank You Note?

Beyond it being a nice gesture, there are multiple benefits to sending a follow-up message after an interview.

It creates a positive connection with the interviewer(s).

No matter how well your interview went, many hiring managers squeeze multiple interviews into their busy schedules. A thoughtful message helps you leave a lasting positive impression after the interview is over.

It helps you stand out from the crowd.

Investing the time to send a thank you increases your chances of standing out from other applicants. One study found that only one out of four candidates sent thank you messages after their interviews, yet 80% of HR managers said those messages were helpful when reviewing candidates.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and people skills.

It’s one thing to tell an interviewer you’re detail-oriented and work well with others — it’s another to show them. A well-crafted and timed thank you message illustrates your follow-up, your ability to capture the meeting’s essence in writing, and that you understand the importance of expressing your appreciation for others.

It confirms your interest in the job. 

Hiring managers understand that candidates may be interviewing for multiple jobs at the same time. Busy themselves, leaders don’t want to invest time in a candidate who is not invested in the role they’re hiring for. A thank you message confirms that you’re both interested and excited about the role and worth following up with.

. . .

You may send your message and get a response in minutes, or you may never hear back at all. Either way, investing 15 minutes to express your appreciation may be the difference between getting the job or getting lost in the crowd.