Professional thank you for the interview letter -
Thank You Email After Interview - 2021 Guide & Examples
How-to Guide for an Interview Follow-up Email
What should you do after a job interview? First, let out a deep breath. Regardless of how it went, you can relax. The hard part is over. But don’t think you are in the clear completely.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once the interview is over, you should just wait to be contacted with a decision. This is not the case. Within an hour of being interviewed, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of being hired.
This guide will cover what you should do at various stages once an interview is complete. Specifically, we will look at:
- What to do right after a job interview
- When and how to send a thank you email after interview
- When and how to follow up after an interview
- What to do if you are invited for a second interview
- What to do when you are declined or selected for a position
The chances are good that all of these steps will apply to you at some point. Follow each of them, and hopefully, you’ll soon be thinking of how to prepare for your first day on the job.
What to Do Right After a Job Interview
Resist the urge to go straight to the pub. Of course, you should celebrate a bit, assuming all went smoothly. However, whether you feel you aced the interview or not, you should immediately look for an opportunity to write down some notes.
I know what you’re thinking, “I just spent days stressing over this interview, and now you want me to spend more time thinking about!?” Yes, that’s exactly right. But don’t worry, it will be over soon enough.
While you interview it’s a good idea to take notes on what the recruiter tells you; however, it’s also easy to miss jotting something important down if you are focused on being responsive. So, when you finish an interview, whether you go home straight away or sit down somewhere else, take a moment to reflect on any important information mentioned during the interview, compare this with your notes, and write down anything you may have missed.
The reason behind is that you will capture information that may help you prepare for a second interview or to help you make a decision should you be offered a job. Salary information, job responsibilities, requested references/portfolios/work samples, and even the names of all of your interviewers are good to capture on paper for future reference.
Writing a Thank You Email After an Interview
Wondering when is the best time to send a thank you note after an interview? The short answer is three hours. You’ll often hear of a 24-hour rule, but it doesn’t make sense to put this off so long. At the same time, you don’t want to seem pushy or desperate – sounds a lot like a first date, right?
The reasons for writing a thank you email after an interview are three-fold: first, to show courtesy and good manners; two, to leave one last reminder of why you are suited for the job; and three, to reiterate your interest.
Don’t worry, this interview thank you note should be short and sweet. Here is a sample of what an interview thank you letter should look like:
Dear (Mr./Ms. recruiter last name),
Thank you once again for meeting with me earlier today and for discussing the (Position name) role. I enjoyed learning more about the position and (Company X).
As I mentioned during our conversation, I think that my (skills/experience in a given specialty) would be particularly valuable in contributing to your work on (area or project types).
If there is anything else that I can provide in order to assist your decision, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This type of note assumes that you ARE interested in the position. Sometimes an interview will make you realize that a job isn’t in fact suited to you. If this is the case, and you are sure that you will not accept a job offer, use the interview thank you email to politely state that you are no longer interested in the position.
When and How to Follow Up After An Interview
One of the questions you should ask during a job interview is “What is the next step in your hiring process?” This gives you an idea of when you will hear back from the company.
It’s important to respect the job hiring process that recruiters go through. If the person that interviewed you told you that a decision will be made by next Wednesday, don’t contact them before this apart from your thank you note.
You may be really interested in the position, and you want to try to persuade the company that you are the right person for the job. But don’t. It runs the risk of a recruiter perceiving you as a bad listener or disrespectful of other people’s time.
However, let’s say that the recruiter said you could expect to hear back by Wednesday, and it’s now Wednesday afternoon. Well, in that case, it’s time to act. There is nothing wrong with sending a short interview follow-up note to see if the company has made a decision.
Dear (Mr./Ms. recruiter last name),
I hope all is well with you. I am just following up to see if you have come to a decision regarding the position (Position name). If not, could you please let me know when a decision might be made?
Thank you kindly, and please let me know if you require further information regarding my qualifications.
After you send this email, you should expect a reply within 24 hours. If you don’t get one, your best bet is to give the recruiter a call to inquire about where the company is in the process of making a decision.
What to Do If You Are Invited For a Second Interview
Depending on the company you are interviewing with, you may be asked to come in for a second interview. This often happens with larger companies with more elaborate recruiting systems. However, small companies also use multiple interviews to ensure you are the right fit for their team.
If you receive a phone call or email asking you to come in for a second interview, you want to collect as much information as possible about who you will be speaking with and how it may be different from the first interview.
For example, you will want to ask questions like:
- “Will I be meeting with the same team members as the other day?”
- “Is there anything specific that I should be ready to discuss?”
- “Should I expect to be tested on any particular skills?” (E.g. computer programming, writing)
Make a note of all of this information and then prepare accordingly.
What to Do When You Are Declined a Position
You will not always get the job you want. It’s hard to fit perfectly into a company’s needs. So don’t take it personally if you are contacted following a job interview and told you didn’t get the job. Instead, treat this as a learning opportunity.
When a recruiter contacts you with the bad news, thank him/her again for the consideration but also ask a couple of questions. First, explain that you would like to improve your interviewing skills and ask for suggestions on how you can interview better in the future. Second, ask if there any qualifications or experiences that would make you a more appealing candidate.
You may or may not get specific feedback, but there’s a chance you will learn something valuable for future interviews.
Update Your Resume
What to Do When You Are Offered a Job Position
This depends a great deal on your situation. The recruiter goes through a tough process deciding to offer you a job, but you have a lot to consider as well.
You should realize that when you are offered a job, either by phone or by email, this initiates a process of negotiation. One of the basics of negotiation is that you never want to be taken by surprise since it can lead to an irrational decision. Therefore, when you receive the good news that a company wants to hire you, follow this process:
- Let the recruiter do the talking – Have him/her share as much information as possible regarding salary, benefits, starting date, etc.
- Ask clarification questions – If there is anything that you are unsure about, try to get some clarity.
- Don’t act too fast – The emotion of getting offered a job may push you to want to accept right away. However, recruiters often don’t expect an immediate decision. Therefore, ask when they need you to make a decision. Chances are you will have a day or two to think it over. But if the recruiter wants your decision sooner, try to negotiate at least a couple of hours.
Again, it’s important not to overlook the importance of all the post-interview steps discussed above. And frankly, each of these steps is far less cumbersome than the amount of effort you put into building your resume, writing your cover letter and preparing for an interview. So stay focused and see the process through to the end.
Pro tip: end your thank you email with professional email signature. You can check examples here!
After Interview Thank You Letters
Writing interview thank you letters after a job interview is a must! Everyone knows this should be done but the reality is that very few job candidates actually take the time to send a post interview thank you note.
Make sure you put yourself ahead of the competition by sending a professionally written and enthusiastic thank you letter following your interview. It takes a short amount of time but makes a lasting impression.
How to write an after interview thank you letter
Follow these guidelines on writing an effective interview follow up letter, adapt the sample thank you letters for your own purposes and increase your chances of job success.
- Get the correct names, titles and contact details of the person or people who interviewed you.
- Write individual letters to each person who interviewed you, keeping the essentials the same but briefly personalizing each one. You can also include anyone who helped you with setting up the interview.
- Send the letter within 24 hours of the job interview. Find out the best way to reach the recipient - by e-mail, post or hand delivery. You can get this information from the receptionist or human resources.
- The faster the letter gets to its destination the greater the chance of creating a positive impression. You can use an express postal service rather than regular mail to ensure speedy delivery.
Sample After Interview Thank You Letters
- If you are concerned about the time the post may take you can email a thank-you message and follow up with a more formal letter in the post. Emailing your thanks is usually not as impressive as a formal, posted letter.
- However, if the company tends to do business by e-mail and if most of your contact has been through e-mail, then it is probably an acceptable form of communication.
After Interview Thank You Email
- Typing and signing the thank you letter is usually a better option than handwriting it. Use good quality paper and envelopes. Avoid colored stationery - it looks unprofessional. If you have letterhead stationery use it.
- Spell check and proof-read all your correspondence. You can also ask someone else to proof it for you. That way you will be sure it's all correct. Spelling and grammatical errors are the easiest way to make a bad impression.
What do you say in a thank you letter following an interview?
- be short and to the point
- express your appreciation for the interviewer's time and interest
- state briefly why you enjoyed the interview, the company and the job
- show enthusiasm for the job opportunity and highlight your desire to take the next step
- reiterate briefly your suitability by touching on specific job-related strengths. However don't oversell yourself, this distracts from the fact that it is a thank you letter and can make you look desperate
- mention anything pertinent that you forgot to discuss in the interview, but the focus should be on thanking the interviewer
Interview thank you letters template
How should I address the interviewer in my thank you letter?
- How you address the interviewer in your thank you letter will be based on the tone set during the job interview.
- Use the formal salutation "Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs Smith," unless you were told during the job interview, "Call me John/Jane." Then your salutation should be the more informal "Dear John,".
- However always address the letter to a specific name and not to the "Sales Manager" for example.
How should I close my after interview thank you letter?
How you close your interview thank you note is your choice. Acceptable closings include: "Sincerely," "Respectfully yours," "Kind regards," and "Yours truly,".
Use the sample interview thank you letters to develop your own personal thank you letter.
What to do after the interview
Tips for what steps to take after the interview. Make sure your follow up is conducted professionally and properly and you create the right impression with a potential employer.
Phone Interview Thank You Email
Second Interview Thank You Letters
Job Interviews > Thank You Letters
To Top of Page
4 Ways to Follow Up After a Job Interview
Much of the job application process involves waiting. You check job postings and wait for new opportunities that match your skills and interests. You put together a cover letter and a resume, send them off, and wait to hear about a possible interview. If you land an interview, you prepare, give it your best shot, and then you wait for a response.
The closer you get to an actual offer, the more anxious you get to hear more. That anxiety creates anticipation and energy. When you are energized, you want to act.
But don’t. Wait. You need to be smart about how and when you follow up at this stage.
The truth is that there is very little you can do right now that will help your cause. Being overly eager or pushy is (at best) going to seem annoying and (at worst) might actually hurt your chances of getting the job. Remember that the person who interviewed you may be handling many different positions, and if everyone they interviewed reached out to them, their inbox would be inundated with queries.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this “waiting” rule. More specifically, there are four times when it may actually be in your best interest to shoot the hiring manager a note.
1) The thank you note.
First things first: at the end of your interview ask the hiring manager when you can expect to hear back from them about next steps. This date will help you determine when it’s most appropriate to follow up down the line.
One day after your interview, you can send your first note. Send a quick email thanking the hiring manager for their time. Keep it short and sweet. Mention one specific thing about the interview or what you learned about their organization. Finally, mention how much you are looking forward to hearing from them. The thank you note isn’t an opportunity to add more content to your interview. It’s just a chance to demonstrate your excitement and appreciation.
Thank you so much for your time yesterday and for giving me the chance to share my interest and qualifications for [job]. I particularly enjoyed learning about how your company has a training program for new employees that gives them an overview of different units and career paths.
I look forward to hearing from you.
2) The follow up note.
If you don’t hear back from the hiring manager by the date they said they were going to make an offer, don’t send a note right away. It is possible that you weren’t the first choice for the job, but you’re still in the running. They may make an offer to someone else, and that person may not take the job. Give them a little time to work things out.
Put a note on your calendar to follow up one week after that date if you still haven’t heard back. When that day comes, send a quick note — no more than three paragraphs — to the hiring manager you dealt with. The content should be similar to what you wrote for the thank you note. Express your interest and excitement about the role. Say something positive about the organization and ask if there is any additional information you can provide that would be of use. Tell them you are looking forward to hearing back soon.
I wanted to follow up on my interview on [date] for [position]. I was wondering if you had news to share about the position. I enjoyed our discussion and getting to know more about [company]. Of the companies I have engaged with during my job search, I was particularly impressed at your commitment to training and development. I felt that this growth mindset was a good fit to my career aims.
Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide. I am excited about the opportunity to work with you at [company].
3) The exception.
The one time you can reach out in between the interview and the date the hiring manager gave you is if there is a significant change in your situation or portfolio. If you interview for your dream job and then get an offer from someone else before you hear back, you can write to let them know that you have another offer, but really admire the company and its mission and are hoping to hear from them before deciding. Or perhaps you have written an article or submitted a patent application relevant to the job you applied for. If the article is accepted for publication or the patent is granted, you can share that news because it might influence the discussions about your application.
I wanted to follow up with you on my interview on [date] for [position]. Since we had a chance to talk, I received a job offer from another firm. However, your role as a leader in the field of [area] along with your commitment to developing the careers of your employees is impressive, and I am excited about the prospect of working with you. If you have news about the position, I would like to know as I evaluate the offer I am considering.
4) The feedback note.
If you feel like the interview went well, but you aren’t offered the job, you can send one additional note to ask for feedback on the interview. Again, you want to be brief. Thank the interviewer once again for their time. Say that you enjoyed the interview process and would like to get some constructive feedback on what you can do better in the future to improve your chances of getting a job.
Not all recruiters will take the time to give you that feedback, but often you may get a specific tip that can improve your chances on the next round — and who knows, it could lead to a different job offer down the line. In fact, my oldest son once reached out to get some feedback after being denied an offer and it turned into a job offer for another position the firm was about to post.
I was disappointed to learn that I did not get an offer following my interview on [date]. I enjoyed our conversation and am impressed with the work that [company] does. Because I am new to the job search, I was hoping you could give me some feedback on my interview. I would like to ensure that I present myself as effectively as possible in the future. Any suggestions you could give me would be appreciated.
Finally, remember that job hunting is exhausting. It takes a lot of energy. And it may take longer to get a job than you hoped or expected. It’s normal to be restless and tempted to send notes to hiring managers, even if it’s just to feel like you’re doing something. Unfortunately, those notes are not going to help you to get the job. So try your best to channel that energy into something else productive. Volunteer, sign up for networking events, apply to more jobs. Any one of those activities is a good outlet for your energy, and is likely to lead to greater opportunities down the line.
If you've completed a job interview, sending your interviewer a thank you note can set you apart as a professional and help leave a lasting impression. Read on for top items to include in your thank you note.
When to send a thank you
It's best to send a thank you note when your interview is still fresh. Aim to send a note within about 24 hours. If your interview falls on a Friday, you can send a note that day rather than waiting until Monday.
What kind of thank you notes to send
A handwritten note is always appreciated if you're local and can deliver it within the recommended 24-hour window. Because that's not always possible, an email is great. Emails are fast and easy to send, and they'll likely land in the top of someone's inbox.
Who to send a thank you note
If you're interviewed by an individual person, feel free to send a thank you just to them. But if you're interviewed by a group, make sure to send each person an individual, customized note. If you don't have email addresses for everyone, create individual notes and ask your main contact to forward each note.
What to include in your thank you note
A professional subject line. Keep your email subject short and to the point. A simple, "Thank you from <Your Name>" is a great start.
A personalized greeting. Start each note addressing the person you interviewed with by name.
An expression of appreciation. Add a line close to the beginning of your note thanking the interviewer for their time and the opportunity.
Specifics of your conversation. Tailor your message by mentioning something you specifically chatted about with that person. Did they tell you about their company culture? What to expect on a standard day? Mention it here.
A reminder of your interest. If the job feels like a fit for you, tell your interviewer that you're interested. Employers want their employees to be excited about their roles, so adding your enthusiasm is a great way to close for the job.
Your contact info. Invite your interviewer to contact you with further questions or discussion.
A professional sign-off. Best regards, Sincerely, and Thank you are all great ways to finish up your note.
Thank you note tips
Be professional and courteous
Proofread and edit your note before sending
Send a thank you to anyone you spoke with at the company, even if they're not a formal hiring manager
Thank you templates to get you started
Ready to work on your thank you note? Microsoft's Interview thank you note template is a great place to start.
Want more tips for finding the perfect job for you? See Land your dream job.
Following an interview, write your interviewer a brief thank-you letter. This common courtesy lets the interviewer know that you understand business etiquette and calls his or her attention to your application once again. When you write the letter, mention the specific job for which you interviewed because some recruiters might be conducting multiple job searches.
Many job applicants will send out a standard letter, simply thanking the interviewer and restating that they are interested in the job. If you are truly interested in a position, however, you should write a specific, tailored letter. Take a few notes fairly soon after your interview — not only on the kinds of questions you received, but also on the information that your interviewer shared with you. Later, you'll be able to write an effective thank-you letter by choosing a few specific and relevant details from your notes. These unique details can set your letter apart from the form letters submitted by your competitors. Still, keep your letter short — this is not the time to provide more information about your credentials.
You may be interviewed by several people, and you will make a good impression if you send them all a thank-you letter. If you have access to the e-mail addresses of your interviewers, and if earlier correspondence suggests that they welcome and respond readily to e-mail, that may be an acceptable way to send your letter. Whether you send a hard copy letter or an e-mail, try to send your thank-you letter within a week after the interview.To the right is a sample thank-you letter that Wei Li sent to Great Lakes Coastal Science Corporation following her interview. Note that the tone she uses here is professional and that she has selected one point from the interview for elaboration. This shows the interviewer that she has thought about the position since she interviewed — a sign she is serious about the job.
Note that this letter is quite brief — barely half a page — and does not overload Ms. Livingston with unnecessary detail or chatter. The letter serves its purpose well: It thanks the interviewer for her time and lets her know that the applicant is still interested in the position.