Maybe you just killed your third and final interview, or you finished your initial phone screen with a recruiter with flying colors. Wherever you are in your job interview process, now it’s time to follow up with the perfect post-interview thank-you note.
When is it acceptable to ditch a thank you note? Absolutely never. Even if you’ve decided you’re moving onto other opportunities instead, you should still send a thank-you as a courtesy.
The truth is if you don’t send a thank-you after an interview, you might already be ruling yourself out of the running for your dream job. Hiring managers often see the lack of a thank-you note as a sign that the interviewee isn’t invested in the opportunity or the interview process. Many see it as just plain rude.
Don’t believe us? Just check out this recent blog from a hiring manager on why she will never hire a candidate who doesn’t follow up with a thank-you. As she explains, a thank-you email or card signals that you want the job and gives your potential employer a preview of your working style.
Ready to make a positive final impression that will last for days after your interview, all while setting you apart from other applicants?
Tips when writing your post-interview thank-you note
1. Thank them for their time – in a timely fashion
This is your moment. Seize it while you can. Make your thank-you timely—send it while the key takeaways from your interview are still top of mind. A quick thank-you note immediately shows recruiters and hiring managers that you’re seriously committed to landing their open role.
Sending your thank-you soon after your interview also shows that you know how to prioritize – which will serve you well in the role should you get an offer.
2. Remind them why you’re great
If you were successful in the interview, you did a great job conveying what makes you a great fit for the position. The thank-you note is a great chance to make sure the message didn’t go in one ear and out the other. Take this opportunity to reinforce your conviction that you’re the right person to help the team meet its goals.
In most interviews, the recruiter or hiring manager will cover the goals for the position, key characteristics they’re looking for in their ideal hire, and sometimes, added bonuses that would make a candidate the perfect fit. Your thank-you message should touch on all of those goals and traits and how your experience and skillset aligns with every one of them. The best thank-you messages sum up your timeline for achieving or supporting their goals as a new hire.
3. Reiterate your excitement
Reminding them why they should want to hire you is key – but don’t forget to also reiterate how excited you are to jump into the role and the company. After all, as important as confidence is, a degree of humility is important too. Companies and team leaders don’t want to work with an egomaniac. But they do want to work with someone hungry for the kind of opportunity they’re offering.
In your thank-you, declare your passion for the company’s mission. Marvel at how nice the office is. Tell the hiring manager how well you got along with everyone on the team that interviewed you. Striking that balance between communicating your value and your excitement is key.
4. Touch on interview highlights
Whatever your thank-you is covering, make sure it’s fun to read. A great way to do this is to refer back to something that stood out to you in the conversations you had during the interview. Was there a surprising moment in the conversation? Did you and your interviewers learn anything particularly interesting about each other? Throw it in your thank-you note. This is also a great way to show you were paying attention.
Want some examples? Maybe your potential employer has a ping pong tournament every year. Finish your message with something engaging like:
And I look forward to winning more than new business. My friends call me Zhang Yining when we play ping pong.
Or, if you want to take the strictly-business route, you could go with something like:
I was glad to learn you and the team have fully invested in a consultative sales approach rather than the age-old hard selling model, and I’m eager to start talking to prospects about their needs and goals.
5. Close with next steps
The last thing you want to do is to make your thank-you note sound final. If the interviewer wasn’t clear on next steps, or if it was a final-round interview, then something along the lines of I look forward to hearing from you. But if you have clarity around what the next steps are – and hopefully you do – get specific. Add something like I’m excited to get the mock demo scheduled or I look forward to diving into the marketing assignment.
Finally, gratitude is everything. Sending your thank-you letter shows you really want the job, while simultaneously demonstrating your respect and appreciation. It’s an important first step to building meaningful professional relationships rooted in respect and trust.
Example of a solid thank-you email
Here’s an example of a great post interview thank you note for a sales role:
Hi [insert name],
Thank you for taking the time to discuss your Account Executive position today. I’m positive I have the consultative approach necessary to build relationships and revenue as your organization moves into the cloud technology space. I’m fluent on cloud technologies and the benefits of SaaS software, and look forward to walking your customers through every step of their digital transformation.
I’m also excited for the chance to work with such a great team at such an exciting company. Your customers are doing inspiring things, and I hope I get the chance to help facilitate their efforts. And of course, I’d also love the chance to hear your band play sometime.
It might seem old-fashioned, but following up on a job interview with a great thank-you email is still crucial. It’s your chance to show you truly have a strong interest in the position, and that you’re not just going through the motions. The candidates that make themselves stand out are the ones that end up getting the job, and a solid thank-you is one of the best ways to do that. Good luck!