How to Write an Interview Thank You Letter

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Writing a thank you letter, or thank you email, after an employment interview is a must. In fact, some employers even think less of those interviewees who fail to follow-up promptly. Plan to send out your thank you letters or thank you notes as soon as possible (preferably within twenty-four hours) after your interview.

What is an Interview Thank You Note?

What is an interview thank you note, and why should you send one?

An interview thank you letter is sent to the people who interview you for a job. Your thank you letter (or thank you email message) lets the employer know that you appreciate being considered for the job.

It also reiterates your interest in the position and can be used to provide additional information on your qualifications.

Why Send an Interview Thank You Note

In part, sending a thank you note is simply a traditional post-interview courtesy. But more importantly, a thank you note is your opportunity to reiterate why you're suitable for the position. Think of this as one of your final pitches for why you should be hired. In your note, emphasize your relevant skills and experience, based on the conversation you had during the interview.

A thank you note is also an opportunity to clear up any moments in the interview that didn't go perfectly. You can clarify an answer to a question that you feel you botched in person, or you can add more details about relevant experience or abilities that weren't mentioned during the conversation.

When to Write and Send Your Thank You Note

Immediately after the interview, jot down some notes and impressions. Think about the questions that were asked, and which skills and responsibilities seemed most important to the interviewer. These impressions are easily forgotten, so get them down on paper quickly.

Use these details to help personalize your thank you note. Send your note soon after the interview; ideally, you will email a thank you note the same day as the interview, or on the following day. You can also send a hand-written or typed thank you note via snail mail. 

Like any piece of writing, it is best to keep your audience in mind. Address their issues and concerns. In general, typed (paper or email) thank you letters are recommended.

However, some surveys suggest that hiring managers like handwritten thank notes, too. So, consider the "personality" of the organization and the rapport you felt during your interviews. If your interview was a fairly informal process and/or you achieved an immediate rapport with your interviewer, a handwritten note is fine. 

If you're not sure what to write in your note, check out these examples of thank you notes for inspiration. Here are ten things — such as grammatical errors or apologies and excuses — that you should not include in your thank you note, and here are more tips for writing a thank you note

Note: Even if you do not want the job, write a thank you letter respectfully withdrawing your application, because you never know what the future holds so why burn your bridges?

View Your Thank You Letters as Sales Letters

You may also view your thank you letters as follow-up "sales" letters. In other words, you can restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on. This thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer as thoroughly, or as well, as you would have liked.

When to Send an Influence Letter Instead

In certain circumstances, you may want to send a more detailed influence letter which includes additional information on your skills and qualifications for the job.

Here's when to write an influence letter, plus what to include and samples.

What To Do When You Interviewed With a Group

What if you spent an entire day being interviewed (and taken to lunch) with several people? Are individual thank you notes appropriate or should you write a "group" letter? Choose your approach based on what you think will be most in keeping with the "personality" of the organization.

Also, consider whether the interviews had very much in common with one another. If there was a great deal of similarity (i.e., shared concerns mutually voiced by your interviewers), perhaps a "group" letter will suffice. My preference though, would be to take the extra time and send an individual thank you letter to everyone you met with.

Lunch or Dinner Interview Thank Yous

When dining and interviewing be sure to thank everyone you spend time with, both for the meal and for taking the time to discuss the position and the company with you.

Don't Wait to Send Your Note or Email

Time takes precedence - get a simple, appreciative thank you note in the mail or send a thank you by email without delay; save your creative efforts for another time. 

Remember to Proofread

Check spelling, grammar, typos, etc. If in doubt about the correct names, spellings or titles of your interviewers, call the office to double-check. Your efforts will be worth it!

More Thank You Letter Samples
Thank you for job interview, internship thank you letter, thanks for the informational interview, thanks for help, and a variety of additional interview thank you letter samples.

Writing Thank You Letters
How to write a thank you letter including who to thank, what to write, and when to write an employment-related thank you letter.

Job Interview Thank You Letter Tips
Group interview letters, timing, proofing, and more employment thank you letter suggestions.

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