How to Write the Ultimate Thank You Email After an Interview
Writing a top notch thank you email can be the difference maker in getting the job. It gives you an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition by connecting with the interviewer and highlighting your communication skills.
Before we go into detail, remember the 3 most important rules of writing a great thank you email:
- Be specific. Reflect and mention something you discussed with the interviewer or about the job/company in particular. This connects your candidacy with the specific job.
- Speed wins. Write your email within 24 hours, or even better, later the same day. Stay fresh and top of mind for the interviewer.
- Re-state your interest. Express enthusiasm for the job, and explain how the interview process strengthened your interest.
If you can, these 2 things will give you bonus points and can tip the scales in your favor.
- Connect with the interviewer. Mentioning something you and the interviewer have in common or a topic you both enjoyed discussing is a way to bring you closer to the interviewer.
- Show you are a good fit. If you learnt more about the job during the interview you can further explain why you will be a good fit for the job.
Sample Thank You Emails
Example 1: Interview Thank You Email (After Phone Interview)
Hello <Interviewer’s Name>
Thank you for the time today. I enjoyed learning more about <Company X> and the <group/department name>. [Insert specific point about the role, team, or company} Example: I am especially excited about the opportunity to join a team that is in the early stages of growth and shaping what the revenue model will be.
I also wanted to share the article (link below) I mentioned that outlines the risks of [Strategy X] that we discussed.
I look forward to hearing more about next steps and kindly let me know if you need anything else from me.
Example 2: Interview Thank You Email Example (After In Person Interview)
Hello <Interviewer’s Name>
It was great meeting you in person and thank you for the considering me for the opportunity to join the SMB revenue team. I enjoyed meeting the team and learning about everyone’s experiences.
Meeting the broader team gave me a strong sense of the culture and what it would be like to partner with the team.
I am very excited about the opportunity to join the team and contribute to the company’s mission of <fill in company mission>..
Kindly let me know if you need anything else from me and I am happy to share references [this assumes you have not shared references].
Why is a Thank You Email Important After an Interview?
Many people choose to skip the thank you note, largely because they are drained after the interview and are not sure what to say to stand out. This is why a great strategy is to outline the basics of your thank you letter before your interview!
You can always tailor the email later, but having it in your drafts and ready to go will relieve your stress and ensure you get it in their inbox in time.
Remember, the interview is not over until you put the finishing touches on a spectacular thank you email.
How Long After the Interview Should You Wait to Send the Email?
Ideally, you should send your thank you email the same day as your interview. Sending it late at night is fine too as your email will be at the top of the interviewer’s inbox.
If you do not get it out the same day, make sure to send it the next day as the company is evaluating multiple candidates and you want to keep your candidacy top of mind.
While speed is important, it should not come at the expense of quality. So take the time to write an authentic note that is representative of you and your communication style. Which means do not copy and paste the above examples, but rather use them as a guide to help with structure.
What Should You Write?
Many job seekers find they face writer’s block when deciding what to write. A helpful way to overcome this and identify meaningful things you can talk about is to ask yourself questions like these:
- Did you and the interviewer find something in common?
- Did you mention something to the interviewer that they wanted to learn more about?
- Is there a question the interviewer asked that you want to elaborate on?
- Are you satisfied you presented enough information about you?
- What can you mention that will distinguish your candidacy and make you stand out?
If you want to know what not to do, follow these guidelines:
- Avoid using social media like Facebook or Twitter to send your thank you note. LinkedIn, however, is perfectly fine.
- Do not be overly casual. Remember you are positioning yourself as a professional.
- Do not talk about your current job in bad terms. Some candidates talk about why they want to leave their current job, but this takes the conversation into a negative space.
How To Craft Your Email
Some candidates try to get gimmicky with a catchy title, but remember this is not a buzzfeed article. Rather, you want to be clear and straight-forward so simple and standard is better.
In the age of texting some candidates skip the greeting and go straight into the main content which is a mistake. You want to clearly acknowledge the interviewer by name as it is the easiest way to connect with them.
Body of the Email
The body is the place to emphasize your appreciation of the interviewer’s time and do it in such a way to keep the same level of enthusiasm as during the interview. Remind them of the high point of your conversation and reiterate your passion without rehashing your story.
A general rule is a 3 to 8 sentence limit. Remember, you are showing appreciation for their time and showing you can communicate efficiently.
The All-Important Closing
This step ensures you are demonstrating etiquette and ends the conversation in a graceful manner, ending the discussion on a high note.
A few popular sign-offs:
- Thank you (this is better than a casual one-word “thanks”)
- Sincerely yours
- Best regards
More Pro Tips
Stay in Draft Mode
Stepping away from your computer for 10 minutes and re-looking at your note with fresh eyes will help you find any mistakes and fine tune your note if needed. Remember, this note is a representation of your work so taking a few minutes to let it shine is worth it.
When you come back to it, here is the checklist to review:
- Spelling: Double-check the correct spelling of the name of your interviewer and their correct email address.
- Readability: Re-read your note for ease of readability.
- Grammar: Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You can use a free online grammar checker or app.
- Subject Line: Remember to craft your best subject line! Often, spam filters like nothing suspicious looking, so keep it professional yet informative as to its contents.
- Synthesis: The email is showing appreciation for their time. That said, keep it short. Under five sentences works best and respects your interviewer’s time.
- Common interests: Don’t forget to mention any topics or interests in common from the interview.
- Thank you: Did you thank your interviewer? Once or twice is fine. In the beginning, and toward the end is appropriate. But do not over do it either.
- Cliches: Avoid cliches — remember they are bombarded with emails daily and you are trying to stand out not sound like the rest of the crowd
- Repeated words: Avoid repeated words — this often happens when you start and stop writing your note and is a common mistake
As you write your thank you letter, ask yourself, have I demonstrated I am a distinguished candidate? Make sure your language and tone build on a positive interaction with your interviewer. Five well-written sentences have enough power to influence a decision to hire you or continue looking for candidates.
Your effort in crafting an effective and sincere thank you letter will not go unnoticed.