Sending a Thank You Email or Note After an Interview

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Sending a thank you letter after an interview is important for a couple of reasons. It is a courteous way to thank an interviewer for his or her time. It makes you look professional and thoughtful. A thank you letter also gives you another chance to make a strong impression. You can use it to remind the interviewer of who you are, and emphasize your strong interest in the position.

People are often unsure of when to send a thank you letter, how to send it, and what to include.

Read below for answers to these common questions.

When Should I Send an Interview Thank You Letter or Email?

After you have a job interview, it's important to follow-up right away. You want to send the letter when the interviewer’s impression of you is still sharp in his or her mind. You also want the interviewer to read the letter before making a hiring decision.

This means that you should send the letter within 24 hours of your interview.

How Should I Send a Thank You Letter?

Should you send a thank you handwritten letter or email? That depends. If time permits, send a handwritten thank you note. Surveys report that more than half of hiring managers prefer a handwritten note to an email.

However, if the interviewer mentions that they will be making a decision fast, send a thank you email.

If timing isn't discussed, you could do both – send a quick email and follow up with a thank you card.

To Whom Should I Send a Thank You Letter?

Send a personalized letter to every interviewer you met with.

If you were interviewed by a panel, send a letter to each person on the panel. This kind of consideration will help you make a strong impression.

If you met many different employees throughout the company, you do not need to send a letter to each and every one. Just send letters to people you interviewed with, and people you spent a long time talking to.

Be sure to ask the interviewer (or interviewers) for a business card so you have his or her email address and mailing address.

What Should I Include in the Letter?

Keep your thank you letter short. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you, and reiterate your interest in the position.

You might mention something particular that was discussed in your interview to remind the employer of who you are. For example, you might write, “It was great meeting a fellow ABC University graduate,” or some other comment that reminds him or her of a positive interaction between the two of you.

You can also include a piece of information that you forgot to mention in the interview, if you think it will help sell you as a strong candidate. For example, you might write, “I forgot to mention that, during my tenure at XYZ Company, I also managed over a dozen projects, which gave me invaluable leadership experience.”

Sometimes people also use thank you letters to try and remedy a bad interview. You can include information you forgot to mention in the interview, or even address the fact that your interview did not go well, and tell them why you are, in fact, a good fit for the position. A thank you letter will usually not change an employer’s mind, but it is worth a shot.

Be sure to thoroughly edit your thank you note. Read through the letter before sending it, and ask a friend or family member to read it over too. Even if you write a handwritten note, you still want it to be professional and polished. Also make sure your handwriting is easy to read. After all, you are still trying to make a strong first impression.

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