The interview process isn’t over when you walk out of the meeting.
Showing respect for the hiring manager’s time and effort is courteous, and sending a thank you letter after a job interview can have a lasting impact and may be the difference between getting an invitation for the next round of interviews, or even a job offer itself.
Sending a thank you letter after a job interview can be an important step of the process:
- It is polite, which showcases your professionalism and understanding of good business etiquette
- It ensures you stay relevant and top-of-mind in the interview process and when the hiring managers are comparing candidates
- It shows that you are serious about the role and the company
- In today’s digital world, it is quick and easy to send a follow-up email
General tips to follow when sending a thank you letter:
- Just like you would be punctual for the interview itself, be prompt when sending a thank you letter after a job interview and in all communications thereafter. Ideally you would send it within a few hours after the interview, and no later than the following day in order to avoid looking lazy, disorganised or forgetful
- Don’t be pushy and send too many follow up communications, especially if the company says that they will contact you. You should be patient, humble and respectful
- A thank you letter after a job interview is a formal gesture and should use honorific, business language and structure
- Personalisation is important so ensure you use the names and correct spelling of those who were in your interview. It is disrespectful to get these wrong, especially when you can look them up in your meeting request or information the company has given you, or even searching for them online or on the company website
- Proof-read over and over again. Your spelling and grammar need to be perfect, so take your time to ensure everything is correct and it reads well
- Do not ask direct details or questions about the potential of another interview or when a job offer might be made. If you want to show your interest, simply state your availability and your hope to meet again
A sample thank you letter after a job interview should follow this structure:
1. If sending an email your email subject line should summarize your message and intent with one phrase.
E.g. Thank You for Your Time Today / Thank You for the Interview Today
2. Open the letter formally and address the people you wish the message to be read by.
E.g. Dear Sir/Madam/Doctor etc
3. Start your message with a greeting or other form of pleasantry.
E.g. I hope your day has continued to go well / I trust that you and your team are continuing to enjoy the success of the season
4. Then, write your actual message. Keep it succinct, polite, and simple. Having one topic or focal point (i.e. to thank them) is recommended so that your message is clear.
E.g. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the available role.
I appreciated the time that you and your colleagues took to arrange and conduct our interview. It was a great use of my time and I was honored to be there.
I was very impressed by your company and team and hope for you to see how my skills and experience can complement your vision and goals.
5. Finish your email a formal sign-off and your name
E.g. I would be honored to talk to you more about this role.
Kind regards / Thank you / Sincerely
Hopefully the response from your thank you letter after a job interview will include the next steps in the interview process, or better yet, a job offer. If you do not hear back, do not get pushy and do not send constant follow ups as it will appear rude and inconsiderate and may deter the hiring manager from a decision in your favor.