Thank You for the Interview

You nailed the interview, now seal the deal with the perfect thank you note.

Your well-crafted resume landed you an interview for your dream job. You nailed the interview and feel like you have a strong chance of being offered the position. Now all you have to do is wait for that call—but first, you need to write a thank you note.

The thank you note is an oft-overlooked step in the interview process, but a crucial one. A thank you note says a whole lot more than thank you—it says you really want the job and you care enough to take the time to follow up; it says that you have impeccable manners; it says that you are detail-oriented. And that simple thank you note might be the deciding factor for an employer.

Why Say Thank You

A thank you note is a simple token of appreciation that can pay off in dividends. Employers may be interviewing several worthy candidates for one position—a thank you note is your opportunity to leave your mark. A thank you note serves several purposes:

  • I appreciate you. A thank you note allows you to show the employer sincere gratitude for taking an interest in you.
  • I’m interested in this job. The thank you note provides an opportunity for you to reiterate your interest in the job.
  • Let’s review. You can use a thank you note to summarize a few key points from the interview, if appropriate.
  • Wait, there’s more. If you think of something forgot to say during the interview or something you’d like to add, you can include it in the thank you note.
  • I’m memorable. Face it, in a sea of candidates, you want your name in front of prospective employers as much as possible—a thank you note provides one more opportunity to connect. And if you’re the only candidate who followed up with a note, that’s going to leave an impression.

How to Thank You

There is no standard format for thank you notes, but there are a few general rules of thumb:

  • Be prompt. Send a thank you note within 24 to 48 hours of the interview.
  • Use snail mail or email. Use your judgment. In most cases, email has become an acceptable form of communication. If your entire application process has been conducted electronically, email is probably acceptable and possibly even preferred. That said, everyone appreciates a handwritten note of thanks—and that personal touch may make an impression. Just be sure to use high-quality, professional notecards with matching envelopes.
  • Be brief. Keep your thank you note short and to the point. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the position. Your thank you note should not be more than two paragraphs.
  • Be authentic. No one wants a generic, cookie-cutter thank you. Be genuine, but professional.

In short, don’t overthink the thank you—just get it done. Keep it simple and professional and you’re bound to leave a positive impression. Everyone appreciates a genuine expression of gratitude. Even if you don’t land the position, that thank you note might have a ripple effect—simply by uplifting someone’s day or it could even result in a referral for another job.

If you’re feeling stuck, here’s a sample of a brief, professional thank you note.

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Monday regarding the position for Associate Editor. After speaking with you and learning more about your magazine and your plans for growth, I am even more enthusiastic about the possibility of working with you.

I’m particularly intrigued with your plans to expand your publishing platform—I believe my multimedia skill set would be an asset in this endeavor. And because I’m fluent in Spanish, I have no doubt I can help with the implementation of your Spanish language magazine. If I can provide you with any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jane Doe