Strictly speaking, writing an interview thank you email is not something you strictly have to do. However, it’s a very good idea, as an after-interview thank you email can set you apart from other applicants: it marks you as polite, grateful, and conscientious, all of which are good things to leave as part of your impression.
But what to say in an email after an interview? Should you email after an interview in every scenario? It can be a confusing landscape to navigate, so today we’re going to talk about how you should write a “Thank You” email after an interview.
Should I Email After an Interview?
Nine times out of ten, you should write a “Thank You” email after an interview. Even if you don’t think you’ll get the job, and even if you didn’t particularly like the person interviewing you. Even if you are interviewing for multiple jobs and get a different one, you should still write a “Thank You” email. There are many reasons why you should do this:
- It separates you from other applicants, including those who are equally qualified
- An employer is more likely to remember you, because you did something many do not
- An employer is more likely to refer someone if they have a positive opinion of them
Basically, there’s no actual downside to writing a “Thank You” email after an interview. Even if you don’t get the job, the employer may be willing to refer you to someone else if they have a positive opinion of you. They may also remember you if another position opens up in the future.
Writing a “Thank You” letter after an interview is also only a challenge the first time. Once you have the template nailed down, you can send it to as many people as you want with just a few modifications. So, you can potentially get a lot of gain for very little work. It’s worth it!
What Should an After Interview Thank You Email Include?
Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about the general checkboxes you’ll want to tick when writing an interview ‘Thank you’ email. How you word these things may vary, but such emails should include some form of the following:
- Thank the interviewer for the time they spent on you.
- Reiterate your interest in the job and why you’re a good fit for it
- Offer to answer any follow-up questions from the interviewer
- Close the email by restating your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and consideration, and ask if there are any further steps for you to take
Those are the practically mandatory things you need to include. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add anything else. You may want to personalize the letter by including something that was discussed during the interview, or by adding relevant work examples you possess if that’s appropriate. However, doing such things is up to your discretion.
Sample Interview Thank You Letter
As mentioned previously, you can word your letter in many ways as long as you hit the key points that such a letter requires. But overall, your best bet is to be formal. You don’t want to come across as too detached, as that might signal that you are not as invested in the job. But you don’t want to come off as too casual either. You often want to hit a nice middle-ground: respectfully cordial, as it were.
Below is an example interview thank you letter that displays the kind of tone you should go for.
Important Considerations for Your Email
The above template is a generic one that you can edit to your liking as far as exact word usage and tone is concerned. However, there are a few particular considerations you really need to keep in mind when it comes to your interview thank you email, regardless of how you write it. These points of concern are as follows:
- The subject line should be clear: the recipient should be able to tell what the email is before they actually open it. So, the subject line should mention that it is a follow-up interview letter
- Write an email to each interviewer if there were multiple: if you had multiple interviewers, you should write a letter to all of them. Just make sure you don’t copy and paste your “Thank You” letter, alter them enough that it feels personal
- Make sure the email is free of errors: you want to leave a good impression with an interview ‘Thank you’ letter, but having errors in it will do just the opposite. Even a simple typo can paint you as a careless person without an eye for detail. Carefully review your email before you send it.
- Send the email quickly: you want to send your “Thank You” email within 24 hours of the interview itself. This quick follow-up reinforces your interest in the position and ensures that you are on the interviewer’s mind for a longer period of time, since they will likely interview other people after you
Finally, there’s something slightly bigger we need to talk about, and that’s email templates. It can be very tempting to just paste the relevant information into a template and call it a day. You definitely shouldn’t do this, as almost everyone can recognize a generic template. If an interviewer recognizes that you just pasted info into a template, you will leave a bad impression instead of a good one.
The email needs to feel somewhat personal. A template is just a guideline you use to get a rough idea of what you should do. Make sure you avoid sending something that sounds fake, which will harm your impression more than help it.
Writing an interview thank you letter is very important, but you need to go about it the right way. If you don’t, you’ll just end up making a poor impression. Remember to be formal, polite, and free of errors!