How to write a thank you email after an interview

Shutterstock

Use this sample of a thank you email after an interview to land the job

Writing a thank you email after an interview is a crucial part of the interview process. Even if you know you crushed the interview for the mechanical engineering role, the first step is always to send a thank you email to follow up with your hiring manager, and you can use this sample of a thank you email after an interview to make sure you land the job, even if it was a phone interview.

Ladders spoke with Tara Cassady, the executive vice president of Americas Client Services at Cielo, to get the rundown on sending a thank you email after an interview.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Who to send a thank you email to.
  • What to say in your thank you email.
  • When to send this note.
  • Where to send your thank you note after an interview.
  • Why this note is an important part of the interview process.
  • How to craft the perfect thank you email.
  • BONUS: You can use this sample of a thank you email after an interview to impress any hiring manager.
  • Extra bonus: Use our new sample of a phone interview thank you email after your virtual discussion to make sure you move onto the next step of the hiring process.

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!


How to write a thank you email after an interview (including a phone interview)

Who?

You can send a quick email to anyone who you interacted with significantly that day. If a secretary or human resources representative helped you when you arrived at the office, shoot them a quick thank you. This will paint you in a positive light throughout the office, which is ideal during the interview process.

Anyone who spent time speaking with you to go over your resume and experience should definitely receive a thank you email because they will most likely have influence over whether or not you get hired.

You should still send an after interview thank you email even if you decide that the role or company isn’t for you, according to Cassady. “It’s a small world and you never know where people end up and where people are reconnected,” Cassady said.

What?

The after interview thank you email should contain four key elements:

  1. Subject Line: “Thank you for your time”
  2. Greeting: “Hi (hiring manager’s first name),”
  3. Email body:
    First, express appreciation for the interviewers time. The first factor to immediately hit is your appreciation for their time and effort. People are busy at work, so going out of your way to thank them for their time starts building their image of you as someone they would want to work with. For example, you could write, “Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me. I know your role as a product manager keeps you extremely busy, so I appreciate your time.”
    Then, compliment them about the company, role, or experience you had that day in the office. This paints you as a positive person, which is something a hiring manager is looking for in every employee. Make sure to mention the specific company and role in your email. For example, “I so enjoyed learning more about the account manager role and the unique, but brilliant, way that Verizon operates within the telecommunications industry.”
    Next, touch on one point that you discussed during the interview. Bringing up a specific topic that you discussed during the interview shows that you were paying attention, can expand on an idea, and contribute to a conversation. It also gives you an opportunity to show that your values align with the values of the company.
    Lastly, highlight one factor that makes you the perfect person for the job. You don’t have to go into extreme detail here, because hopefully you already did that in your meeting. Instead, this section acts as a reminder of why you’re better for this company and role than any other potential candidate.
  4. Sign off: “Thank you,” or “Best,”

While the email should be thoughtful and interesting, it shouldn’t be longer than three concise paragraphs that contain two to three sentences each. “If it’s an email, you shouldn’t have to scroll down to read it,” Cassady said.

When?

While it’s important to get a thank you email out quickly, you shouldn’t send this message while you’re waiting for the bus outside the office. Sending a thank you email 15 minutes after an interview shows that you didn’t put much thought into your message. That being said, you don’t want to wait too long to send this note and make it look like an afterthought. Cassady recommends waiting at least more than 2 hours before sending this email, but no longer than 24 hours.

“You want to be able to show that you reflected upon the meeting so that you can draw back and show thoughtfulness,” Cassady said.

Where?

According to a Robert Half study, human resource managers say that email is the most appropriate method for sending a thank you note to an interviewer.

Send the email directly to the hiring manager’s work account. If you weren’t corresponding directly with them to set up the interview, ask for a business card right before the interview comes to a close. If they don’t have one on hand, ask if it’d be okay to get their email address and write it down.

If you were frazzled during the interview and forgot to ask for a point of contact (don’t worry- it happens to all of us), you should get in touch with whomever set up your interview and ask for the interviewers contact details. Make sure to send that person a note of thanks as well for their efforts setting the interview up.

Why?

Writing a thoughtful, concise email after an interview has many benefits. Not only does it show hiring managers that you’re thoughtful and interested in the job, but it keeps your positive image fresh in his or her mind. It also is another opportunity for you to prove why they should choose you over the guy they interviewed right after you.

The Robert Half study reported that 80% of human resource managers take thank you messages into account when deciding which candidate to hire. According to the same study, the hiring managers reported receiving thank you notes from only 24% of applicants. According to this study, sending a thank you email after an interview could set you apart from other candidates, making you look more thoughtful, organized, and timely.

How?

Most offices aren’t incredibly formal these days, meaning your thank you email doesn’t need to be, either. Starting an email with “Dear Mr. Jones” seems outdated, according to Cassady.

That being said, some bosses, industries, or offices are still that formal. Cassady recommends taking note of the office culture when you are there to interview. Once you spend about an hour in an office, it should be easier to gauge the level of formality needed in your after interview thank you email.

Sample of a thank you email after an interview

Hi (Hiring manager’s first name),

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I genuinely enjoyed learning more about the (title of the role you’re applying for) position and getting to know you and (company name) a bit better. I was thinking about what you said regarding the company outlook and I wholeheartedly agree that “positive optimism” is a great way to approach each business day and venture.

I really appreciate (company name)’s emphasis on work-life balance, but more importantly, I love how the (name of your potential team) is structured. The hands-off approach is exactly the environment in which I flourish.

Learning more about the role today really excited me because it convinced me even further that this is a perfect match. The skills I have learned at (past or current company) will really allow me to aid in the growth of the (name of your potential team) and I’d love the opportunity to learn even more at (company name).

I am looking forward to the potential next steps in this process and I thank you again for your time today.

Best,

(Your First and Last name)

Sample of a phone interview thank you email

Hi (Hiring manager’s first name),

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me earlier today. I genuinely enjoyed learning more about the (title of the role you’re applying for) position and getting to know you and (company name) a bit better. I was thinking about what you said regarding the company outlook and I wholeheartedly agree that “positive optimism” is a great way to approach each business day and venture.

I really appreciate (company name)’s emphasis on work-life balance, but more importantly, I love how the (name of your potential team) is structured. The hands-off approach is exactly the environment in which I flourish.

I would love the opportunity to learn more about the company, this role and the team. I hope to get the chance to come into the office and meet some of the team in person and prove further that this is a perfect match for us both.  

I am looking forward to hearing about the potential next steps in this process and I thank you again for your time today.

Best,

(Your First and Last name)