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6 Steps to Write a Great Thank You Email After the Interview

Christa Reed

Content Creator


So you’ve applied to a job and got the opportunity to interview, which means that now is the time to sit back, relax, and wait for the verdict…. or not.

The final step when you are going through the interview process is to write a thank you email after the interview. If you are interviewing for a position, then surely there are at least 4 or 5 other candidates who are fighting for that same position. So now you have to figure out a way to give yourself a little more of an edge. How do you do that?

By writing a thank you email after the interview.

Why Should I Write A Thank You Email After the Interview?

The hiring process seems to be getting longer and longer for candidates. You have everything from tailoring your resumes, cover letters, and sending in applications to video interviews, presentations, and building digital portfolios. However, adding a slight personal touch after your interview could make a world of difference.

Whether your interview was successful or a terrible train wreck (or maybe it was somewhere in the middle), you can benefit from writing a thank you email after the interview. Not only does it give you a potential edge over your competition, but it also:

Reminds the employer that you are still interested in the position.

I think we forget that employers and hiring managers are still people too. Sometimes they are just as nervous as you are during the interview. They also take verbal and non-verbal cues to make inferences about how you feel about the role. Sometimes those inferences can be wrong, and they will walk away thinking that you aren’t as enthusiastic as they thought you might be. So sending a thank you note will help reassure them that you are still interested.

It is an opportunity to BRIEFLY remind them of your qualifications and how you can make an impact.

With hiring managers doing multiple interviews per day for the role you’ve applied for, it can be easy for them to miss or forget details. Often they take notes, but you never know if there is something important that they forgot to write down. Sending a thank you email after the interview can help remind them of all the awesome skills and experience you bring to the table.

A thank you email after the interview may help persuade undecided hiring managers.

Making a quality hire can be so difficult that a company’s hiring process can be slowed down just because the hiring manager is undecided. Make the decision easy for them.

By writing a high-quality thank you email after the interview, you are putting yourself in a position to stand out and be remembered. Just think… if you are staying on the tip of the hiring manager’s mind, then that can make the hiring decision easier by giving the hiring manager an easy choice – YOU.

6 Steps to Write Your Thank You Email After the Interview

Thank you email after the interview breakdown
Thank you email after the interview breakdown

One of the most important things to remember when writing your thank you email after the interview is that for the email to be effective, it has to be high-quality. A high-quality thank you email usually:

  • Stands out – it won’t get buried in the hiring manager’s emails
  • Is formatted so that it is easy to read
  • Prompts the hiring manager to respond to you
  • Leaves a lasting impression

So here are six steps to help you achieve writing a high-quality thank you email after the interview.

Step 1: Include a Subject in Your Email

This may seem like a very minute detail, but it is extremely important. We mentioned that we don’t want our thank you emails to get buried in the hiring manager’s email, right? Well if you don’t include a subject in your email, then that is exactly what is going to happen. Hiring managers are more prone to open emails that have subject lines, so make sure you don’t leave yours blank.

Examples to use in your subject line are:

  • Thank you – [Job Title] Interview
  • I Enjoyed Learning More About Your Company – [Job Title] Interview
  • Really Enjoyed Our Conversation – [Job Title] Interview
  • Thanks for Meeting with me About [Job Title] on [Day]

Step 2: Give Dates and Times

It is always best to send a thank you note within the first 24 hours of your interview, but it is okay if you wait a day or two. No matter when you send your thank you email, it is crucial that you take the time to re-introduce yourself. As you re-introduce yourself, you’ll not only need to mention your name, but also mention your interview place, time, and the position you interviewed for.

Step 3: Thank Them

Even though you may have thanked the interviewer in your subject line, that is not enough. Make sure you take the time to thank them in one or two sentences at the beginning of your email.

Step 4: Remind Them of Your Qualifications

In your email, it is okay to go back over a couple more of your most relevant qualifications and how they can impact the company. Also reiterate, in a sentence or two, why you want to work for the company.

Step 5: Ask What the Next Steps Are

Here is where you prompt a response from the hiring manager. Putting a question towards the end of your email, and still having the hiring manager respond to you typically means that they have read through your email. Not only does it show a bit of interest, but prompting a response prevents hiring managers from skimming through an email and not retaining anything. It is also a good way to find out when you should be expecting an answer.

Step 6: Include ALL Interviewers

Currently, many interviews are conducted by more than one hiring manager. If you do happen to have a one-on-one interview, there are likely still other people who have been involved in the hiring process. If you know the names and emails of these people, be sure to include them in the thank you email.

Many hiring processes are collaborative, and making a good impression with one can help boost other people’s perception of you. So don’t forget to thank everyone involved.

Questions that Need Answers

While knowing what to put in a thank you email after the interview is helpful, you may still have some lingering questions that haven’t been answered yet. So here are a list of potential questions you may have and the answers to them.

When Should I Send the Thank You Email After the Interview?

The very best time to send a thank you email after the interview is within 24 hours. I am not saying that as soon as your interview is over, send it. That seems a little pushy. Give it a couple of hours and send it over. You just want to make sure the hiring manager sees it before the end of the 24 hours.

Keep in mind that if you interviewed on a Friday, you might need to send it as early as possible on that Friday because the hiring manager likely won’t check his/her emails over the weekend.

If you find yourself super busy, and you can’t get the thank you email sent within 24 hours, that is okay. However, it is highly recommended to send it within 48 hours at the latest, especially if the hiring manager is making a quick decision.

Do I Still Need to Send a Thank You Email After the Interview if There Are Multiple Rounds of Interviews?

In an article written by CNBC, hiring manager Jessica Liebman says she went by a simple rule when she first started hiring: “We shouldn’t move a candidate to the next stage in the interview process unless they send a thank-you email”.

Though there has been some backlash with this statement, there has also been some agreement as well. This shows us, as job searchers, that we never know which side of the fence our hiring manger is on. Even though the statement seems extreme, it is clear that there are hiring managers that use thank you cards as a means to weed out candidates. They associate sending thank you cards with skills you have likely put on your resume – “organized, eager, resourceful”.

So to answer this question, yes. You should send a thank you card at the end of every interview round. It does not have to be lengthy or extremely detailed. When you get to rounds other than the first, it moreso needs to be personal instead of an effort to sell yourself.

Can I Send A Digital Thank You Card Instead?

We are living in modern times where so many things have been made quicker and easier, but that does not mean that it is always beneficial. Sending a digital thank you card can be a very thoughtful gesture or it could have no impact.

When sending a digital thank you card, it is important to make sure that it does not take away from the personal aspect that a thank you email is supposed to bring. Some digital thank you cards look nice, but don’t allow you to write a personalized message. Often to get thank you cards like that, you’ll have to pay for them.

Another downside of digital thank you cards is whether or not the hiring manager and others will be able to open it. Technology is valuable, but functionality is paramount, especially if you are trying to leave a good lasting impression.

Should I Have Any Attachments In My Thank You Email?

There is usually no reason to include attachments or links in your thank you email after the interview. However, if a topic came up during interview that may require further explanation or could supplement a conversation, then feel free to add an attachment or link.

For example, if during your interview, you and the hiring manager have a great conversation about industry news, it may be beneficial to include one of the latest stories relevant to the conversation.

Another reason you would include an attachment or link in your thank you email is if the hiring manager needs further information and asks you to send it over to them after the interview.

Thank You Email After the Interview (Templates and Examples)

Here are a couple of templates to help you write a high-quality thank you email after the interview.

Subject line: 

Hello [Name of Interviewers],

My name is [Insert Name]. I am emailing just to thank you for taking the time to interview me [insert time and position]. I enjoyed our conversation about [insert a key conversation topic relevant to the role] .

The [insert position] is something I have been passionate about since I entered the workforce, and I am grateful for being given an opportunity to interview for a role that would help advance my career. I think [insert how your achievements/skills can help you be valuable at this role and at this company]. I am also excited because [insert something you like about the company that relates your personal life].

I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you more. I have inserted my contact information below. Can you please tell me more about when I can expect to hear back about the next steps? Hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Email]
[Your Phone Number]

Sample #2: Three Templates for A Perfect Thank You Email After the Interview

Sample #3: Fresno State Thank You Email After the Interview Template

Conclusion

Your work during the hiring process does not end when you finish your interview. It ends once you have sent a thank you email after the interview. Sending a thank you email after the interview shows the hiring manager you are enthusiastic about the position and could ultimately help the hiring manager make a decision. This one extra step could help put you in a position to land your dream job.

Happy Job Searching!

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