Following up after an interview with a thank you note can help you stand out as a candidate. You can send your thank you a few ways: via email, snail mail, or LinkedIn message. Below are helpful tips and free templates for writing an interview thank you email.
When to Send Your Thank You
Timing is everything! You want your interview to be fresh in the hiring manager’s mind, and you definitely want your message to be delivered before they make their decision. Make sure to send your thank you note within 24 hours of your meeting.
What Your Note Should Say
An effective thank you message has five components:
- Directly thank everyone who was involved in the interview.
- Reference something specific that was discussed.
- Remind the interviewer(s) that your specific skills will help you succeed in the role.
- Mention your interest in the next stages of their process.
- Provide your contact information
Thank Everyone Involved
If your interview was with a single person, this step should be easy! Send them a thank you message a few hours after your interview if you have their contact info. If your meeting was set up by a recruiter, check if the interviewer’s email is on the company website, or send your thank you to the recruiter and ask them to pass the message along.
If you interviewed with more than one person, you should send a thank you email to each one. (You can use the same general template if you personalize the first few lines.) If you only have the contact information for one of the interviewers, or HR, you have a few options: Write a single email and ask for your thanks to be passed along, call the company and ask for your interviewer’s email addresses, or find their contact info via LinkedIn/the company website.
Reference Something Specific
Whether you’re thanking one person, or five, make sure to personalize your message by referencing something specific that came up in your discussion. You don’t need to have realized that you and the interviewer are second cousins in order to write a great thank you – mentioning something small can be just as effective!
Pro Tip: Asking questions can encourage your recipient to write back to you.
For example: “You mentioned you were an Alabama fan, did you catch the game on Saturday night? It was great!”
Talk About Your Skills
A thank you email isn’t just about expressing your appreciation, it’s also a great way to sell your skills again! Even if you made a great impression during your interview, but the hiring manager could be having a tough time deciding between you and another candidate.
Make sure to include a line or two in your message that covers how your skill, X, will help the company/department achieve their project/task, Z. Bonus points if you relate your abilities back to a project that was discussed during your interview!
The Next Stage
Some organizations have short interview processes, while others have lengthy ones. If you’re not sure what the next steps are after your interview, your thank you email is a great place to express your enthusiasm in moving forward to the next stage.
If the interviewer gave you a timeline for what the next steps are, let them know you’re looking forward to hearing back from them at the time that they mentioned.
Provide Your Contact Information
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to include your contact info in most correspondence. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to get in touch with you!
You can either include your contact information (email and phone number) in the body of your message or underneath your name in your email signature.
Don’t forget to proofread your email at least two times! Wait to insert your recipient’s email address until you’re sure you’re ready to press send – this will save you from accidentally sending a half-finished message.
Now that you know the basics of crafting an effective thank you email, you can try writing one of your own, or download our FREE PDF template here.