You just finished an interview and you’re feeling pretty good! Now you find yourself thinking: what else can I do to improve my chances of getting the job?
There’s a simple but important action I recommend: send a thank you email!
This small step can be easy and quick for you as a candidate, yet leave a lasting impression and give you the slight edge with the interviewers. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of why, when, and how to craft an effective thank you email after an interview.
Writing a Thank You Email After an Interview
Before I jump into the details of how to write your thank you email, let’s talk about WHY it’s an essential part of the job hunting process.
Some recruiters have argued that thank you notes or emails are not a requirement and have no impact at all on their decision, while some job seekers have said that thank you notes feel like an outdated requirement in an already complicated job search process.
However, done well, a thank you note can help you and won’t hurt (unless it’s filled with typos and grammar issues), so I think it’s always worth doing.
Related Post: What to Wear to Your Next Video Job Interview
Why It’s Worth Sending a Thank You Note After a Job Interview
It seems like a small action, but sending a thank you actually has a ton of possible benefits for you as a job seeker:
Leaves a Positive Impression
Beyond basic courtesy, a thank you email is a powerful tool to create a lasting impression after your interview. It shows you’re someone who takes the extra step, values people’s time, and knows how to engage in professional communication.
Hint: instead of saying you’re detail-oriented and a strong communicator, prove it with a well-crafted message (that’s typo-free!).
Lets You Reiterate Your Strengths
Let’s be real, interviews can be stressful, and sometimes you might forget to mention something or not say it as eloquently as you wanted. The thank you email is your chance to restate or add on to any key points about why you’re the right person for the job.
Especially if you’re a career pivoter, this is your chance to positively frame your career story as being an asset to their company!
Keeps You Fresh in Their Minds
Interviewers are typically juggling many candidates at the same time. A well-crafted thank you email can serve as a gentle reminder of your interest and your memorable conversation, helping you stay top of mind as they make their decision.
Beyond that, not every candidate will send a thank you note, so it helps you stand out a tiny bit more with that extra 1% step.
The Fortune is in the Follow Up
As they say in sales, the fortune is in the follow up, and a strong follow up email after an interview can demonstrate to interviewers that you’re genuinely excited about this opportunity while positioning yourself as the best fit for the role.
When Should You Send a Thank You Note After an Interview?
You want to send your thank you note while you’re still fresh in the minds of the interviewers. Ideally, you should aim to send your thank you email within 24 hours of your interview. This demonstrates your interest, initiative, and attention to detail, plus it ensures the discussion is still fresh in your interviewer’s mind.
I wouldn’t recommend sending a hand-written note in the mail any longer post COVID. You never know how often the snail mail will make it to their hands if they are working a remote or hybrid schedule. Email is the fastest, cheapest, and arguably most reliable way to go.
Guide to Writing a Thank You Email After an Interview
Writing a thank you email is a delicate balancing act between maintaining a professional tone and letting a bit of your personality shine through. If you’ve found yourself staring at a blinking cursor, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you create an email that leaves a lasting impression:
Craft an Eye-Catching Subject Line:
Your subject line should be concise and clear. It can be as straightforward as “Thank You – ” or something a bit more unique like “Grateful for the Opportunity to Discuss the Role.”
Start with a Personalized Greeting:
Address the interviewer by Dear and their first name if the interview was more casual. If the setting was more formal, stick to Mr., Mrs., or Dr. followed by their last name.
Alphabetize if Multiple Recipients in One Email:
If you’re interviewing with a panel and don’t want to message each person individually, you can put each person’s email address and list the names in alphabetical order (first name or last name) so there isn’t any weird power struggle addressed.
Or maybe you didn’t get everyone’s email addresses and full names. You can absolutely just make the message out to the recruiter to ask if they can forward it to the appropriate parties. In this case you can address it as Dear Hiring Committee.
Express Your Gratitude and Interest:
Start by thanking the interviewer for their time and the chance to interview. Make sure your appreciation feels genuine and heartfelt, and express again how much you’re interested in this role.
Share Your Interest In This Company:
What about the company or this role is enticing to you? Explain a little about why you would love to work here and reassure them that you would be a strong contributor.
Reassure Them That You’re a Good Fit:
Use this chance to confidently restate your enthusiasm for the role and why you think you’re a great fit. Now’s the time to highlight a few of your relevant skills or past work experiences that align with the job requirements.
Acknowledge Any Weaknesses Post-Interview:
Maybe during the interview you realized there was a red flag you wish you addressed. This is the time to bring it up, in a short, concise manner. Don’t dwell on it, but establish your credibility and positioning if you felt you didn’t address something well during the interview.
Include a Call to Action:
This could be a line expressing your hope for a positive response or looking forward to next steps. It’s a nice way to subtly show your excitement about moving forward.
Wrap Up with a Professional Sign-Off:
End your email with another thank you, followed by your name.
Add a P.S:
If there’s anything fun or memorable you talked about in the interview, this is a chance to add a personal touch and connection with the interviewer!
Spellcheck and Review!
Give your email a thorough proofread before you hit send. Catching any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors shows attention to detail and commitment to quality.
In the case of a physical thank you note, the same rules apply but you may be limited to writing a single paragraph in order to fit it all on one small thank you card. Be sure that your handwriting is neat and legible!
A Sample Thank You Email
To better demonstrate what this might look like, let’s get into an example of a thank you email:
Subject Line: Thank You for the Opportunity to Interview for the –
Thank you so much for meeting with me to discuss the Financial Analyst role at Disney!
I love the commitment to collaboration and creativity in the Parks team as well as the mission of being the Happiest Place on Earth.
As we discussed, I believe my background in finance and accounting at Six Flags aligns well with the job requirements, and I’m confident that I can bring valuable contributions to your team.
I’m excited about the potential to join Disney and look forward to hearing about next steps in this process.
P.S. I’ll definitely have to check out that book from Brené Brown you mentioned!
Thank You Email vs. Mailing a Thank You Note
You might be wondering if a thank you email is good enough or if you should mail a physical thank you note.
The answer to this comes down mainly to how the interview was conducted.
Did you go to the company’s offices for an in-person interview? Will your day-to-day job be at their corporate headquarters? If so, you may want to mail a thank you note.
Or was the entire interview process conducted remotely on Zoom? Will your job also be remote? In that case, a thank you email after a Zoom interview is perfectly acceptable.
In other cases you may not even know what the company’s mailing address is, in which case you’ll want to send an email.
Should You Send a Thank You After a Phone Interview?
Yes, if you have the email address or physical address for the recruiter or hiring manager who has called you, then follow the same guidelines I’ve outlined and send a quick follow up as well!
If you have multiple rounds of interviews, you can reiterate your interest and enthusiasm, and share a new angle of what interests you about the role. You may also choose to wait until the final round of interviews to be conducted to send out a thank you note. There is no right or wrong – communicate how you would like to be communicated with.
The Final Word on Thank You Emails in the Job Search Process
There you have it – the complete lowdown on writing a post-interview thank you email that will help you position yourself as the best candidate for the job and help you land your next dream job.
Remember, this isn’t just about being polite. It’s a strategic move to express your gratitude, highlight your interest, and leave a memorable impression. Being able to thoughtfully compose a thank you email is also another way to indirectly demonstrate strong communication skills!
So, the next time you finish an interview, don’t forget to take the next step and send a thank you note.
Your thoughtfully crafted thank you email might be just the thing that tips the scales in your favor and helps you land your dream role!
If you’re ready to find a better role for this season of your life, check out my FREE on-demand masterclass to get the freshest strategies on how to go from feeling stuck to landing more ALIGNED interviews & offers.
Emily Liou and her team believe that everyone can land their dream job. Want to find out more about how you can wake up happier on Mondays? Whether you like to work at your own pace or have a group to hold you accountable, there’s a Happily Hired job search program to shortcut your job search today.