If you’ve never been in an interview before, the idea of a thank you note might seem a bit silly.
After all, once the face to face interview is complete, it’s customary for both parties to thank each other for their time on the spot—so what purpose does a follow-up email serve?
Sending a follow up thank you letter will reinforce and reiterate your enthusiasm for the open position. Additionally, a thank you letter is a great way for you to remind your interviewer of your talents as well as demonstrate that you’re a professional who is willing to go the extra mile.
However, there is a right and a wrong way to write a thank you letter. In the below article, we provide best practices for writing an effective thank you letter following an interview.
How to Write a Thank You Follow Up Interview Letter
The great thing about thank you emails is that they aren’t too complicated. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t intimidating. Below is a simple outline to help you get started with writing your post job interview thank you note.
Pay Attention to the Subject Line
When creating the subject line, remember to include your name, the position you’re interviewing for, and the phrase “thank you”, as this will help the interviewer remember who you are and what you’re applying for.
Include the Name of the Interviewer in the Opening Line
Since this is a professional email, make sure to include a courtesy title (e.g., Mr., Ms., etc.,) and the last name of the interviewer.
Thank the Interviewer
Your opening paragraph should consist of a couple sentences that express your appreciation for the interviewer’s time during the interview and your interest in the position/company.
Reiterate Your Strengths in the Body
The body of your thank you note is where you will express why you feel that your unique skills and talents would be a great fit for the company and for the open position.
Thank the Interviewer Once More
Finally, end the thank you note by once again thanking the interviewer for their time and by briefly reiterating your excitement to work for the company.
Should You Write a Thank You Note?
Unless your interviewer specifically requests that you do not follow up with a thank you note (highly unlikely), it is always a good idea to send a short thank you email after the interview.
Thank You Follow Up Interview Tips
To help you perfect your thank you email, below are some Do’s and Don’ts for writing a thank you email:
Send your email within 24 hours
Sending your thank you email within 24 hours is important for two reasons: first, the company was willing to give you a shot at the open position, so showing your appreciation is a courtesy that must be extended in a timely fashion.
Second, interviewing candidates is a time-consuming process, and the hiring manager conducting the interview has tasks of their own to complete; therefore, by showing your genuine appreciation, they will be more likely to remember both you and your talents.
Remember to include all interviewers in your email
Many companies use multiple interviewers to evaluate the true fit of a candidate, so sending a thank you note to all interviewers is a good idea.
Restate why you believe you’re an excellent candidate for the position
As mentioned above, it’s critically important that you reiterate as concisely as possibly why you believe your skills and talents are a perfect match for the open position.
Remember, the interviewer reading your email should be able to quickly recognize who you are (by name) and scan your thank you note to see what specific talents you possess.
Make it easy for your hiring manager to find your work
After reiterating your qualifications, provide the hiring manager with links to your portfolio, social media accounts, or personal blog so that they can quickly find your work.
Following this information, remember to include a reliable phone number so the interviewer can reach you if they have any additional questions.
Keep it brief
Interviewers don’t have time to read a short autobiography about your life and work experience, so your thank you note should be no longer than 3-5 short paragraphs.
Harass Your Interviewers
Once your follow up email has been sent, there is no need to send a second thank you note or make a follow up phone call (at least not right away).
The interviewers will likely be busy with their day-to-day tasks and interviewing other candidates. They need time to sort through all the new information being thrown their way, so once your thank you note has been sent, it’s time to preoccupy yourself with other tasks.
After a week or so has passed, you can then consider sending another email or following up with a phone call.
Include typos and grammatical mistakes in your email
Nothing stands out more to an interviewer than a thank you note littered with typos and grammatical errors.
While no human on Earth is perfect, your thank you note absolutely needs to be perfect, so even if it takes reading it over five times before you hit send, it’s still better than sending the interviewer a note filled with glaring grammatical and spelling errors.
Be too casual
No matter how casual your interview might be, your thank you note still needs to be professional and well-thought-out.
Interviewers want candidates who are serious about landing the job, so being informal in any sense of the word is a risk not worth taking.
Come across as desperate
Finally, interviewers are quite aware of the difference between candidates who are motivated and candidates who are desperate.
Don’t be the desperate candidate.
Being desperate makes you look both unprofessional and unqualified. Instead, be cool and confident in the fact that your interview provided a good representation of you as a candidate.
Looking to Streamline Your Recruitment Process?
Are you a hiring manager or recruiter looking to streamline your hiring process? Having an applicant tracking system in place will ensure you never let another follow up email go unanswered or miss an interview due to lack of communication. Candidates are trying to make the best impression on your business, so make sure your business makes the best impression on them.
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