Interview Tips

How To Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

By: Daniel Robertshaw
Mar 15, 2021 • 6 min read

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Thank You Email After an Interview

So, you finally had the big interview that you’d be studying and practicing for. Weeks of preparation and stress led up to the big moment, and you did great, but you’re not done yet! There’s still something else you can do to stand out amongst all the other candidates. A little extra something that will go a long way. As simple as it sounds, that little extra something is writing a thank you email.

This guide will detail the importance of a good thank you note and what you can include in yours to get the most out of it.

person writing on white paper

Why Is Writing a Thank You Email Important After an Interview?

You’re probably thinking, “Why should I write a thank you email?”, “What’s the point?”, “Will it really make me stand out?”, and that’s totally understandable. It seems like such a small thing to do, and that’s true, but that one small thing will really set you apart from others who don’t write them.

Sending a thank you note after an interview, above all, shows respect and gratitude. Your interviewer has taken time out of their day to speak with you, so it’s only well-mannered to send a thank you note thanking them for their time, at the minimum.

However, thank you notes don’t just have to be a simple thank you. You can take advantage of the opportunity and include more detail to stand out among the applicant pool. Including reminders of your qualifications and why you’re interested in the position can go a long way. It’s also a great time to ask if the interviewer(s) have any more questions for you!

Still not convinced? Listen to the statistics. This article by CareerBuilder details the results from a nationwide survey, which found out that more than 1 in 5 (22%) hiring managers are less likely to hire someone if they don’t follow up with a thank you note. And why are they less likely to hire someone? 86% of those managers say that it shows a lack of follow-through, and 56% say that it sends the message that they’re not serious about the opportunity.

It’s All in The Timing

As the saying goes, timing is everything, and that’s certainly true when sending out a thank you note. You want the interview to be fresh on the interviewer’s mind (s), so be sure to start typing that email up as soon as you get home. This also applies to when you send a follow-up email. You want to time the sending of these two emails so that they’re not too far apart (so they forget about you) and not too close together (so you’re smothering them).

Do: Send your thank you note as soon as possible.

Don’t: Wait too long to send it or send multiple emails in a short period of time.

Subject Lines Are Important!

The subject line of an email may be the most important aspect of it. This is what the recipient reads before even opening the email, so you want to be sure to catch their eye. The best thing to do here is to just be straightforward. List the name of the position you interviewed for, the word “interview,” your first and last name, and thank you. You can put these in any order you please, just be sure to include them all. You’ll also want to be sure to include your full name, you never know how many other candidates may share your first name!

Do: Simply describe what the email is (Ex: Position interview, First name Last name – Thank you)

Don’t: Not include your full name in the subject line or come across as clickbait.

The Recipients Matter

This seems like an easy thing to do, but when you send your thank you note, be sure to include everyone who was present during your interview. There may be times when you are questioned by a panel of interviewers, and in these cases, you’ll want to make sure to include all of them in your thank you note.

Do: Include all interviewers in your email.

Don’t: Forget to include anyone.

interview email thank you

Length of Your Interview Thank You Email

The length of your thank you note is important, too. Avoid writing them a novel, all you want to do here is send a short and sweet thank you note. Nobody wants to read through a wordy thank you email. The perfect length is probably about a paragraph, don’t go more than 2. Focus on saying thank you and reiterating your qualifications and desire for the job. There’s no need to do any more than that! If you go off on a tangent, you can come across as too pushy or needy.

Do: Keep it short and sweet.

Don’t: Write them a Lord of the Rings novel.

Thank Them For Their Time

In the first sentence, you’ll want to thank them for their time. This is the whole reason behind writing this note, so be sure to tell them straight away that you appreciate their time. The interviewer has taken time out of their day to talk to you, so this is the minimum you can do. You’ll also want to close out your email by reiterating your appreciation for their time.

Do: Thank them for their time in the first sentence and at the end.

Don’t:  Wait too late in the email to say thank you. Remember, this is the whole purpose of the email!

interview email thank you

Show Your Continued Interest

A thank you note is the perfect place to reiterate why you want the job. By doing this, you’re showing that you’re passionate about the position and reinforcing the fact that you want to work for the company. The interviewer will appreciate your desire. The only way you can go wrong here is if you come across as begging. It’s good to say you’re excited about the position but be aware of how much you’re saying. Coming across as too pushy or begging for the job does not come across well. Again, try to keep the length short and concise.

Do: Reinforce why you want this specific position and why you’re interested in the company.

Don’t: Go off on a tangent or sound too pushy.

Remind Them of Your Qualifications

This is the best time to remind them of your qualifications, what makes you stand out from the rest, and why you’re the best one for the job. You certainly told them during the interview of your qualifications but reiterating them by writing it in your thank you note is a great way to ensure they won’t forget. As with everything in interviews, don’t lie about your qualifications, this is never a good idea!

Do: Briefly go over your qualifications again.

Don’t: Lie about your skills (They will find out!).

interview email thank you

Mention Something You Said in The Interview

This is optional to include. It’s good to have in your note, but it won’t hurt you if you don’t. Calling back to something that the interviewer said during the interview demonstrates that you actually listened and paid attention to what they were saying. This is a form of active listening and, although a small detail, it can go a long way and shows your appreciation for the interviewer’s time.

Do: Callback to something that the interviewer said.

Don’t: Include a callback just to have one. You’ll want to be sure that it relates to what you’re saying.

Be Open to Additional Questions

Finally, the last thing you can do is open the floor for any additional questions that they may have. This gives the interviewer the opportunity to ask any questions they couldn’t get to in the interviewer. It also shows that you’re confident in your ability to answer anything else.

Do: Let them know you’re available for any further questions.

Don’t: Not include this in your note.

Example

Now let’s use everything we’ve learned to put together an effective thank you note.

Subject Line: Marketing Specialist Interview, Daniel Robertshaw – Thank you

To Mr. Hugill and Mrs. McNeil,

I enjoyed speaking with you today about the Marketing Specialist position at Apple. I think this job is an excellent match for my skills, and I believe Apple would be a great cultural fit for my personality.

Our discussion on your vision for the marketing department’s future confirmed my desire to work with you. It has been my dream to be part of a growing and developing team.

In addition to my passion, I bring great analytic and communicative skills that I believe can be an asset to the Marketing team.

Once again, I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and look forward to speaking with you in the future. If you have any more questions about my qualifications, feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks,

Daniel Robertshaw

interview email thank you

Why This Interview Thank You Email Example Works

This is a great example of how you should phrase your thank you note. We started with a subject line that listed the position title, our full name, and thank you, so they know exactly what this email is for and who it’s from. We then included all recipient names. In this example, we were interviewed by two people, so we have addressed both of them. From the first sentence, we use the word ‘today,’ which means that we have been timely sending this note. We then continued on by thanking them for their time and reiterated why we want the job. It’s good to make a subtle callback to the interviewer to demonstrate you were listening and paying attention. By bringing up the discussion on the vision for the Marketing team’s future, we’re showing that we listened during the interview. We then reminded them of our qualifications by briefly stating our skills again. And then finally, we set the stage for more questions.

What are your top tips for writing a thank you email after an interview? Comment down below and let us know! We would love to hear from you.

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