If you’re a job seeker, the post-interview thank you email is a powerful tool in your arsenal. It’s a fantastic opportunity to set yourself apart from competing candidates in the hiring process, and it lets you demonstrate those all-important qualities of professionalism and attention to detail. Most importantly, it gives you the chance to reiterate your sincere interest in the job and leave a positive impression on the interviewer or hiring manager.
If the number of Google search results is any indication, job seekers have a lot of questions about the post-interview thank you note. The good news is that most of these questions have easy answers.
From when to send it to what subject line you should use, we break down everything you need to know about crafting the perfect thank you email after a job interview.
Post-interview thank you email FAQs
When should you send a thank you email after an interview?
Ideally, you should send your thank you email within 24 hours after your interview is over. Waiting too long might make you seem disinterested, and your interviewer might have trouble remembering their conversation with you.
There are a few important exceptions to this rule.
First, try to delay sending your email by at least a few hours. Let the impression you’ve made sink in before reappearing in the interviewer’s inbox.
Second, avoid sending your thank you note over the weekend. Your interviewer probably isn’t checking their inbox regularly, so your message might get buried before Monday morning. Plus, it’s more professional to keep your correspondence limited to normal business hours.
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- If your interview happened towards the end of business hours on Friday, wait until Monday morning to send your thank you email.
- If your interview occurred in the morning or early afternoon on a Friday, send your thank you email before the end of the business day.
If you want to speed up the process, draft your email before your interview and save it. Once your interview is done, make the appropriate changes to your message, edit it carefully and send.
Ideally, you should send your thank you email within 24 hours after your interview is over. Avoid sending it during the weekend.
How long should a post-interview thank you email be?
Limit your message to roughly three to five paragraphs or about 100-200 words. Resist the urge to include additional information about your skills or experience that you didn’t cover in your interview. While it can be tempting to include details you forgot, this can leave the impression that you’re not great at thinking on your feet or that the info you’re sharing is an afterthought. Instead, focus on keeping your follow-up email friendly, concise and professional.
What if you interviewed with multiple hiring managers/company leaders? Can you send one email to everyone?
If possible, send individual thank you notes to each person who interviewed you. This is especially true for different stages of interviews, where you might speak with a hiring manager in one interview and a company leader in another. Make sure your follow-up emails are unique for each person by referencing specific details from your conversation with them.
If you interview with multiple people at once – like a panel or group interview, for instance – you have two options.
First, you can send individual thank you emails to each person. Avoid copying and pasting the same message for each email; make each one personal and unique.
Second, you can also send a single thank you email to all the individuals who interviewed you.
Ultimately, individual emails work best if you want to stand out as a candidate.
What can you do to make your thank you email stand out?
Make your email distinct by tailoring your message to the specific topics you discussed with the interviewer. You only have a few sentences to do this, so be succinct.
- “I enjoyed talking with you about X.”
- “I thought it was interesting that the company does X.”
- “By the way, I tried that coffee shop you recommended, and it was excellent!”
Recalling specific conversation points from your interview will help your interviewer remember you and demonstrate your interest and engagement during your conversation. Call out specific challenges or situations referenced during the interview, and mention how excited you are to step into this role. Again, it’s important to keep things concise. This is a chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm, not to cover things you forgot to mention in your interview.
8 steps to crafting a great thank you email after an interview
1. Include a subject line
Keep it simple and straightforward. “Thanks for meeting with me today” or “It was great to talk with you today” are perfect. If you’re interviewing for a highly competitive role or with a hiring manager who has multiple job openings, it can be useful to add the job title to your subject line. “Thanks for today’s conversation about the [job title] role” can help your email stand out in your interviewer’s inbox.
2. Address your interviewer by name
A simple greeting like “Hi [interviewer’s name]” is both personable and professional. Always double-check that you’ve spelled the person’s name correctly before hitting send.
Misspelling someone’s name over email, especially if the email address includes the person’s full name, not only shows a lack of attention to detail but can also be disenfranchising. Mistakes can happen though, so if you notice you misspelled someone’s first or last name after you send your email, send a very short follow-up apologizing for the typo. Something simple like, “I realized after I sent my email that I misspelled your name. This is a pet peeve of mine, so I do sincerely apologize.”
3. Express your gratitude
Thank the person for their time and consideration within the first few lines of your message.
4. Recall something specific from your conversation
Your interviewer has probably spoken with multiple candidates, so help jog their memory of you by recalling one or two important points from your conversation. If you shared a similar interest or had another mutual point of connection, you should highlight it – but remember to keep it brief. Over-playing a shared detail or experience can come across as overly chummy, while hitting the note just right can create a favorable stickiness to the interviewer’s memory of you.
5. Promote yourself (subtly)
Because your ultimate goal is to get the job, remind the interviewer that you would be a great asset to the organization. Mention how excited you are about the opportunity, but don’t go overboard or add too many details.
6. Point to next steps
Remind the interviewer of your communication preferences and encourage them to reach out with any additional questions or to discuss next steps.
7. Sign off
Include a simple, courteous sign-off like “Best wishes” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name on the line below. It is often helpful to include your contact information beneath your signature for ease-of-access.
Finally, you should carefully examine your subject line and email message for typos, grammatical errors and other readability issues. Keep it brief, polite and confident. A helpful tip for catching basic errors is to read the email out loud or sentence by sentence backwards. This technique forces you to slow down and review the language in smaller chunks, making mistakes easier to spot.
3 sample thank you emails for post-interview follow up
The nature of your follow-up email will vary depending on your unique circumstances. Some positions might benefit from a quick, informal thank you note, while others require a little more detail.
Here are three specific examples to use as guidance as you write your own thank you email after an interview:
The basic thank you email
If you aren’t sure which kind of thank you email is appropriate, stick to a simple layout.
The following example is concise while meeting all of the necessary criteria:
Subject: Thank you for meeting with me today!
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. I enjoyed discussing the analyst position and learning about the nuances of Vaco’s IT operations. After our conversation, I’m even more excited about the prospect of becoming a member of the team and applying my expertise to help you meet your goals.
Please feel free to contact me via email to discuss next steps. You can also reach me at 615-222-5555. I look forward to hearing from you.
The detailed thank you email
By providing more detail, you show the interviewer that you not only listened but retained important information from your conversation. Here’s a great example of this type of follow-up email:
Subject: It was a pleasure to speak with you this afternoon
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this afternoon. I greatly appreciated your explanation of the in-house workflow processes at MorganFranklin Consulting. I’m excited to apply my knowledge to help you improve your company’s unique operations. My adaptability and capacity for quick learning would serve me well in that regard, and I hope to become a member of the MorganFranklin team.
Please feel free to contact me – I’ve included my details below. I look forward to hearing from you to discuss next steps. Until then, I hope you have a great week!
The second interview thank you email
After two interviews, you’ve learned a decent amount about the role and the employer. In this case, a more comprehensive thank you note with a more confident tone is appropriate. Avoid repeating the ideas and language of your first email.
The example below is a strong thank you email after a second interview:
I want to reiterate what a pleasure it was to gain a deeper understanding of the senior management role at MorganFranklin Consulting. I’m especially attracted to the interdepartmental collaboration aspect of the job, as it would allow me to apply my project management and interpersonal skills to help your firm achieve its goals. The more I learn about MorganFranklin workflows, the more excited I am about working within them and identifying areas of opportunity and optimization.
It was also an honor to meet with other members of the management team. Speaking with Mr. Roland and Ms. Hover provided tremendous insight into the administrative responsibilities of senior managers.
After our second meeting, I see how my own capabilities and goals align with the culture and blueprint of MorganFranklin Consulting. I am excited for further discussions about how I can be an asset to the company and to your exceptional staff.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or phone with additional questions or next steps. I look forward to speaking again soon.
Whether you utilize one of these templates or write a follow-up email from scratch, the importance of crafting a professional post-interview thank you message can’t be understated. It’s a great way to demonstrate your interest in the role, as well as your attention to detail and enthusiasm. Plus, communicating effectively with hiring authorities is an essential part of the job search. With the appropriate level of confidence and the right approach, you can maximize your chances of landing the job of your dreams.