The Value of Sending Thank You Notes After Job Interviews

Sending thank you notes after a job interview may seem like a formality, but it’s actually the crucial final step in a successful interview process. One of the most commonly dispensed pieces of interview advice is to send a timely and personal thank you to each of your interviewers Managers always appreciate an acknowledgment of their time and effort, and it’s always a good idea to show you’re respectful of your interviewer’s time.

Surprisingly, not every candidate follows up with a thank you. A respectful and personalized thank you note has the potential to make you stand out from the crowd, and may even find its way into your personnel file. Regardless if the interview is ultimately successful, you’ve set yourself up as a great option for the position or other opportunities with the organization.

Tips on Writing Thank You Notes after Interviews

  • Email vs. Handwritten Notes. Deciding on an emailed vs handwritten thank you really depends on the nature of the company, and the style of the hiring manager. If your contact expressed a preference for email, or if you’re not sure your interviewer will have access to hardcopy mail in a timely fashion, email is probably the best choice. Emails are always very appropriate for a phone interview or initial screen; however always plan on a handwritten thank you note following in-person interviews. Handwritten thank you notes are more formal, take more time and energy, and generally show more commitment to the position and the company. Another option is both an email thank you immediately following the onsite interview, followed by a more formal handwritten note in the next 24-48 hours. This is a great solution if you’re extremely excited about the opportunity, or if you’d love to make both an immediate and lasting impression.
  • Thank Everyone Involved. It’s important to thank everyone involved in your in-person interview. A common faux paus is forgetting to thank everyone you interviewed with personally. No need to worry about drafting multiple notes; just remember to address everyone by name (using the correct salutation), reference something you enjoyed speaking with them about, and finish by reiterating your interest in the position and in the company in general.
  • Double-Check for Errors. A thank you note leaves a final and lasting impression, so it’s crucial to make sure your note is well crafted and error-free. An excellent solution is to ask a trusted friend or relative to read over your email or note before sending. They’ll be able to spot typos or misspellings and save you from making any irrevocable mistakes.
  • Send on Time. Thank you notes lose their luster if left too long after your meeting or conversation. An email received three days after a phone interview or a handwritten note that arrives a week after an in-person does not indicate the sender is particularly interested in the position, or that they have much consideration for etiquette or timing. Abide by the general rule: notes and emails should be sent no more than 24 hours after a job interview.

Things to Avoid When Writing Thank You Notes

  • Don’t Write Ahead of Time. Although it may seem efficient, it is bad form to hand your contact a thank you note at the conclusion of an interview. It’s clear that the note is generic and not at all personalized, and instead of seeming enterprising, you’ll seem like you took the easy way out. Take the time to write something really thoughtful, and try to mention something specific you enjoyed talking about, or that you’re excited to work on.
  • Email or Snail Mail Only. This may go without saying, but avoid faxing or any other form of communication entirely. Thank you notes should only ever be mailed, emailed, or dropped off if it’s convenient. If sending through mail, it may be a great opportunity to include your business card.
  • Typos, Misspellings or Mistakes. Again, if at all possible, ask someone you trust to review your note or email before sending! This will nearly always ensure your work is properly spelled and error-free. Your friend or relative might even make a few suggestions you didn’t think of. Welcome their suggestions but make sure the note still sounds authentic.
  • Keep it Genuine. Don’t try to bulk up your note with lots of extra details, it’s important you avoid referencing something you didn’t actually discuss in the interview, or that you talked about with someone else. There’s no need to include information they could find on your resume. If you’re unsure what to say, keep it short and sweet, or check out our thank you letter templates below

Interview Thank You Note Samples

Handwritten Note

Keep this note short and to the point; after all, there’s not much room to write on a formal card. Make sure your handwriting is legible, and don’t forget to sign using your full name.

Dear (salutation),

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me about the [job title] position with [name of company or organization]. It was a pleasure speaking with you, and I so enjoyed learning more about the role and about the company. I’m confident I’m a great fit, and I’m very excited about the opportunity. If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you again,

Emailed Note

There’s a little more room to elaborate with an emailed thank you, but do your best to stay concise. If there’s a particular skill or aspect of your experience that you’d like to emphasize, feel free to mention it, but don’t paraphrase your resume or cover letter. Your prospective employer already has that information, and it doesn’t pay to be repetitive.

Dear [salutation],

I wanted to thank you again for meeting with me this morning to discuss the [job title] positon. I enjoyed speaking with you, and I’m very excited about the possibility of joining your team at [company name].

Our conversation confirmed my interest in the opportunity, and I really believe my [skills] make me a great fit for the position, and that I’d be an asset to the department. If you have any further questions or if I can provide any other information, please let me know.

Best regards,