An impactful job interview thank-you email can be the difference between landing the job or continuing the search.
Remember when your mother told you it's important to say thank you? She was right — and it's never been more important than after a job interview. In fact, it could help you land the job over other qualified candidates.
In a survey by our sister site, TopResume, 68 percent of recruiters and hiring managers confirmed that receiving a thank-you email or note impacts their decision on whether or not to hire a candidate. In fact, some 16 percent of interviewers (one of every five) “have completely dismissed a candidate because they didn't receive a thank-you email or note after an interview.”
Now that you know how important this is, here are some tips on how to write a follow-up email after your interview that will help you continue to sell yourself as the perfect person for the job.
How to write a follow-up email after interviews
Get contact information
To create your job interview follow-up email, you need contact information. Ask everyone who interviews you for a business card, which should have their email address on it. If there's no card, you can confirm the spelling of the interviewer's name and ask for an email address.
If you realize later that you've missed someone, call the company to get the information. It's important to email everyone who took the time to interview you.
Timing is everything
Send your thank-you emails no later than 24 hours after your interview. Hiring managers and recruiters have come to expect an email versus a handwritten note, and an email arrives much more quickly!
It's important to send your thank you during business hours. It's OK if you write it at 3:00 a.m., but schedule it to send when the company is open. Sending it any other time can give a hiring person the impression that you can't work for the company's regular hours.
Tailor each email to the interviewer
The key to any thank-you email is that it's written specifically for each person who met with you. Sending a generic email can absolutely reduce your chance of getting hired. Recruiters and hiring managers often compare the thank-you notes they get, so they'll know if you send the same generic letter to everyone.
During your interviews, jot down specific things that the recruiter or hiring manager said about the job position or company, as well as anything not related to the job, such as their hobbies or something you have in common. Put these specifics in each thank-you note to show that you were listening and engaged. Also, take the opportunity to address any concerns the recruiter brought up and reiterate how your skills are well-suited for the job.
Be brilliant, but brief. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy and a short, concise email with the information above shows that you respect their time — even as you sell your qualifications one more time.
Writing a thank-you email is easy once you know the formula. Here is a list of guidelines, followed by an example of a thank-you email, to get you started:
An eye-catching, post-interview thank-you subject line will stand out from the other hundreds of emails that the recruiter receives every day. Something personal is much better than a statement like “Regarding our interview” or “Following up.” Some good subject line examples include:
Thank you, [recruiter or hiring manager first name]!
Thanks for your time today, [first name].
I enjoyed our conversation, [first name].
Make sure your greeting is professional but friendly.
Put a positive statement in the opening paragraph, if appropriate. For example: “Thank you for making me feel welcome and comfortable during the interview.”
Use professional language. Stay away from slang and profanity.
Be concise. Don't rewrite your resume in the thank-you note.
Include any specific discussion or reference that helps the hiring manager remember you.
Close by thanking the person again and offer to provide any additional information.
Keep your closing professional with words such as “Sincerely” or “Best.”
Sample Thank-You Email
Here is a sample thank-you email you can use after your interview:
Good morning/afternoon [first name] (or Hello [first name]),
Thank you again for speaking with me today. I really enjoyed learning more about [Company Name] and how you're working toward [event/goal/product launch].
I'm really excited about your [product/service/company] and I believe my [describe experience and/or skills] show that I'm a great fit for the role of [job title].
Please contact me if you have any further questions or need additional information.
Again, thanks for your time, and I look forward to talking more in the future.
P.S. Enjoy your [upcoming vacation/theater performance/ another personal discussion subject, if any]!
Most likely, you've spent weeks or months doing your research and otherwise preparing for your interview. You know you're qualified and can handle anything they ask you. After all that preparation and a solid interview, it's worth the extra effort to make yourself stand out from the crowd by taking the time to write and send a great job interview follow-up email.
It really could get you the job over someone equally hirable who didn't bother to say thank you — just like your mother taught you.
Before you can write your follow-up thank-you email, you need to sit down for the interview. Are you prepared? One of our TopInterview coaches can help!