You’ve just walked out of an interview and you nailed it. Or, almost nailed it. But what now? Do you just sit tight and (nervously) wait until you get an email from them? Or better, a phone call?
You’ve heard some people write thank you notes to those who interviewed them. Do you have to write a thank you email? The short answer: no.
But, if done right, it’ll get you major bonus points with the hiring team. Regardless of what you actually say in the email, you’re sending the message that you care about the job you were interviewed for and you’re someone who’s thoughtful, a go-getter and someone who follows up.
In this post you’ll learn what you should and shouldn’t say in a thank you email. You’ll read email examples, and consider the pros and cons of sending a hand-written thank you.
What Should I Say in a Thank You Email?
Keep the tone of your email professional, polite and gracious. Here are a few steps to follow when you craft your email:
1. Address the interviewer.
If multiple people interviewed you, send them each separate (and different!) thank you letters. In most cases, you can address them by their first name, but if you’re not sure that’d be appropriate, error on the side of formality and address them by Mr./Ms. [Last Name]. Don’t just address them by their job title.
2. Say thank you.
Thank the interviewer for their time. You can use phrases like “thank you for taking time out of your day”, “thank you for talking/chatting with me” or “thank you for inviting me in for an interview.”
3. Reference something you talked about in the interview.
Show your interviewer that you paid attention by referencing something you talked about. It could be something you learned about them, something you learned about the company or maybe even an interview question you liked. If the hiring team was conducting a lot of interviews for the position, it’s possible that they don’t even remember who you are. Referencing your interview will help them to remember the conversation they had with you.
4. Be confident (but not too confident).
Reference how one of your skills will fit the position well or talk about a way that you would do a good job in the role. You can even supply an idea that you have that you could implement if you were hired. This is likely the most difficult part of a thank you email. You want to remind the interviewer of your strengths but not come across as cocky.
5. End the email.
Reference the next steps that the hiring team said they will take to contact you if they choose you for the role. You can use phrases like “looking forward to your call/email,” “hope to hear from you soon” or “I hope to see you again for a second interview.”
After that, you can end the email simply with a farewell such as “Best,” “Thank you”, “Thanks again” or “Sincerely”. Be sure to include your full name and contact information in your signature.
How Quickly Should I Send a Thank You Email?
After you get out of an interview, give yourself at least an hour or two to think about what you want to say. Interviews are often stressful; cool off before you start crafting the thank you email. Waiting a little bit will prevent you from saying anything dumb. However, don’t wait too long or the hiring team could forget who you are or hire someone else in the meantime.
A good rule of thumb is to send an email 1-36 hours after your interview.
What Not To Do in a Thank You Email:
- Don’t assume that you have the job in the bag.
- Don’t say anything negative about the interview, the office or anyone that works there.
- Don’t be too pushy or impatient about when you’ll hear back.
- Don’t have grammatical errors.
- Don’t send the same thank you email to more than one person.
Thank You Email Example #1
Subject: Thank You for the Interview – Social Media Specialist
Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I’m thrilled to be considered for the social media specialist position.
I enjoyed talking to you about the company culture at ZooWho. I can see myself fitting in well with the team.
I’m excited about the company’s mission to help others be better friends, and I’m sure my talents as a natural communicator would be a great asset in that.
Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank You Email Example #2
Subject: Thank You Mr. Lopez
I loved talking to you yesterday about the opportunity to work at Adobe. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to meet me for an interview. It’s an honor to be considered for the regional marketing manager position.
I thought it was so interesting to learn about how each team at Adobe has daily brainstorming meetings. That sounds like the kind of teamwork I want in an office environment.
I’m attaching some slides I drew up with some preliminary thoughts about the black-market dilemma the sales team is facing. Let me know what you think.
Is it Better to Send a Hand-Written Note?
I love sending hand-written thank you cards! It makes you instantly memorable to the hiring team. However, are hand-written notes better than emails? Here are some pros and cons:
- You stand out from the pack. Others might send emails, but you’re sending a hold-in-your-hand card.
- You can show more of your personality. The stationary you pick out and your penmanship show more about who you are. If you’re applying for a creative or artsy job, you can decorate your card to show off your skills.
- You show that you really care about the job. It takes more time to write a card, and that effort will get noticed.
- A hand-written note has a higher chance of actually getting read. Some professionals get hundreds of emails a day!
- Even if you live in the same city, a card might not get there for 2-3 business days. If the hiring team will be making decisions quickly, your card could get there after someone else is hired.
- If you have awful handwriting, this might not be the option for you.
- You might not have the right address to send it to. At one job I applied for, they were moving offices the same week that I was interviewed, and I didn’t know exactly where to send it.
If you decide to send a card, make sure that the formality of your card matches the formality of the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a banking job, your thank you card would look a lot different from if you were applying to a hip marketing firm.
If you want to send a thank you card but are worried about it taking too long, send an email too! In your email you can reference the fact that you mailed a card. Another option: drop a card off at the front desk.
The Bottom Line
Is sending some kind of thank you note after an interview worth your time? Yes! It’s time to stop reading and start writing.
Want to continue growing your career? Learn more about BYU’s student-run digital marketing agency.