When you walk out of an interview, you may think there’s nothing more you can do other than cross your fingers and hope for a call from the hiring manager. However, there’s one follow-up step that’s always worthwhile: writing a thank you email.
A quick, formal thank you note sent after an interview can be an excellent way to express your thanks and demonstrate your professionalism. It allows you to tastefully reiterate any important points you made during the interview and helps you stand out as a responsible, communicative candidate.
If you’re going to send a professional email after an interview, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
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Personalize Your Letter
As you write your letter, it’s important to do so with the specific interview in mind. If you have multiple interviews, it may be tempting to create a template that you simply copy and paste, but letters blandly addressed to “whom it may concern” thanking them for “a nice interview” aren’t going to do you much good.
Instead, craft a thank you letter that calls out specific things about the company, the position, the hiring manager, and even the interview itself. This reflects well on you, as it shows a sense of thoughtfulness, respect, and intentionalism. It also demonstrates your ability to listen and retain facts.
Remind Them of Your Strengths
A thank you letter can also be a great time to briefly remind the interviewer of any strengths you have that are particularly relevant to the position.
These can either be sweet and condensed reminders of qualifications you already brought up during the interview or strengths and skills you may have forgotten to mention. Sending an email also gives you a chance to link to or attach any files or portfolio pieces that you may have wanted to provide during the interview.
For instance, you could say, “After talking with you, I’m convinced that my past experience in marketing makes me an excellent fit for the Social Media Manager position.” This can be a gentle reminder that you:
- Have the skills they are looking for.
- Have past experience.
- Were actively listening to what it is they’re looking.
Keep It Short
Thank you letters should be short and succinct. This is both professional and shows a sense of respect for the hiring manager’s time. Your letter shouldn’t be longer than four paragraphs, including:
- An intro in which you express your thanks.
- A paragraph during which you mention something you enjoyed about the interview.
- A paragraph that highlights your strengths in relation to the position.
- A final paragraph to close the letter and provide your contact information.
Be Flexible With Your Time
It’s important that you make it clear in your note that you’re readily available. A candidate who is difficult to get ahold of will quickly be skipped over.
Make sure to demonstrate a willingness to accommodate the employer’s schedule and provide more than one way for them to contact you when the time comes.
When to Send Your Thank You Note
Make sure that you send your thank you note promptly. This is one of the benefits of sending your letter via email, as you can control exactly when it will arrive in the hiring manager’s inbox.
Typically the best time to send the email is mid-way through the following day. If your interview is on a Friday, feel free to send the note at the end of the day.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email
After sending your thank you note, you should hear from the interviewer within the next few days. However, if you don’t receive a response, don’t panic. Hiring managers are often inundated with emails, and a lack of communication does not automatically mean they lack interest.
If you don’t hear anything for five days, you can send a follow-up email. Make this very concise and clarify that you’re simply following up on your previous note. You can ask if any progress has been made regarding the hiring process and if there is an estimated time by which the decision will be made.
Sample Thank You Email After Interview
As previously noted, you should never create a generic, unaltered template for your thank you emails. Still, if you’re struggling to come up with the right words, the template below can help you get started.
Copy and paste it into a blank email, thoroughly personalize it to your own situation, proofread it carefully, and then add the recipient’s address and send it.
Dear [name of hiring personnel],
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [name of position] position at [name of company].
[This paragraph is where you can mention one of the highlights of the interview. Try to focus on the employer and the position itself. Be succinct and specific.]
[This paragraph should mention any skills, certifications, or other qualifications you think are worth reiterating to improve your chances of standing out against the other candidates being considered.]
I look forward to continuing our conversation regarding the position and how I can help [name of company] find further success in the future. If you need any other information, don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, email, or text. My information is included below. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your contact information.]
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