Regardless of how it went, you can relax. The hard part is over. But you are not completely in the clear!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once the interview is over, you should just wait to be contacted with a decision. This is not the case. Within 24 hours of being interviewed, you should send a “thank you” email to the interviewer. The reasons for writing a thank you email after an interview are three-fold: (1) to show courtesy and good manners - you want to thank them for their time and consideration (2) to leave one last reminder of why you are well-suited for the job and (3) to reiterate your interest in this role + company.
As the hiring process moves toward automation and speed, taking the time to write a thank-you letter helps you stand out from the crowd and humanizes your application. A thoughtfully written thank-you note provides you with the chance to reiterate your qualifications and add a touch of personality. Those two simple words “thank you” could be the very thing that lands you the job.
There are many reasons why sending thank-you notes is important. Not only is it good business etiquette, but as mentioned, it allows you to express your interest in the position and demonstrate that you are a good listener. Thank-you notes can also accomplish the following.
They help you stand out.
A thank-you email should be sent within 24 hours of the interview, while you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Keep the content of the email brief, no more than two or three paragraphs and reference particular points from the conversation.
They showcase business etiquette.
Sending a note could show that you know other proper business etiquette, like standing when a client enters the room, not chewing gum in front of the CEO, holding doors open for others, arriving to meetings on time, etc. It’s a good indicator of business acumen.
They demonstrate your interest in the role and organization.
A thank-you note is a great way to reiterate your interest in the role and organization.
First, it is a basic appreciation of the time the interviewer spent with you. Second, it is a signal to the interviewer that you are aware of higher-level interpersonal skills. Lastly, the thank-you note expresses your ongoing interest in the organization and the job opening.
Conversely, failure to follow up could leave the impression you’re not interested enough to go the extra mile and reach out afterward.
When writing a thank-you letter, keep it clear, straightforward and shorter than three to four paragraphs.
Here are a few details that every thank-you letter should contain:
This is easy, just go straight to the point. Include the words “Thank you” in the subject line so that the receiver knows what the email is about. Just “Thank you” is sufficient. But, if you want to elaborate, you could say, “Thank you for your time yesterday.”
You should send a separate email to each person that interviewed you. That can be a challenge because you may have to contact the HR person to get the interviewer's email address and the correct spelling of their name. Then, address each interviewer individually by name: “Dear Mr. Smith” You will have to use your judgment as to whether to use just a first name and address someone with just “Dear James”, for example.
Rather than just saying thank you for your time in the body of the email, expound a little more and say, “I understand how busy you are, so I appreciate the time you took to tell me more about the data analyst position and the current projects ABC company is involved in.”
If you are still interested in the job, say so. Refer to some highlights from the conversation and explain that what you have learned has made you even more confident that you are the right fit for the job.
But what if you are no longer interested in the position after the interview? It’s fine to tell the interviewer that you are no longer interested in the new job. Nobody wants to have their time wasted. Just be polite in case you need to approach that company again.
Close by saying you can provide additional information if required, and use a professional sign-off that shows your contact information such as your phone number and your email address.
So there you have it - an explanation for why thank you notes matter in the interview process as well as an easy guide on how to draft one and when to send one. If there is anything else you’ve tried that’s worked when thanking interviewers for their time, please let us know!