Thank you email after interview: Why and how to write it

June 08, 2022  •  Reading Time: 12 min.

You’re on the job search right now. Your last job interview went really well. Now you’re wondering if you should send the interviewer a thank you email? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this blog post we will talk about the key components of a thank you email after an interview, provide sample thank you notes, and explain why it is important to send one in the first place.

Should I send a thank you email after an interview?

The answer is always yes. Hiring managers meet with multiple people during the hiring process just to fill one position. Sending a thank you letter after an interview can significantly increase your chances of distinguishing yourself from other candidates.

Why is it important to write a thank you email after an interview?

The answer to the question why you should write a thank you email after an interview is simple: because thank you notes make a difference.

A short post-interview thank you email could decide whether you get the job of your dreams. After all, if you’ve made it to the interview, you’ll probably still have to compete against four or five other candidates, whom you’ll have to outperform to get the job.

A well-written thank you letter could be what it needs to make this happen.

If a hiring manager is torn between two equally qualified candidates, a thank you note that thoughtfully demonstrates and recalls the strengths of one candidate can be a big push in their favor.

✅ It shows that you have strong communication skills, attentiveness, and a genuine interest in the position that you are applying for.

✅ Plus, a thank you email is a great way to express that you value the interviewer’s time, and just as importantly, that you’re still interested in the position.

All in all, writing a thank you letter after the job interview allows you to continue to make a good impression.

That is, however, only if you send the right type of message. A poorly thought out and poorly worded letter will do more harm than good.

By the way: To learn how to make a positive impression in the first place, also check out our article on how to make a good first impression in a job interview.

Should you send a handwritten note or an email?

One might think that a handwritten note would be better to stand out against other job seekers as it offers a personal touch.

However, as the hiring process moves really quickly and it can take days for a mailed letter to arrive, it is recommended to always send a thank you letter via email. This way you can connect with the hiring manager much more quickly and influence their hiring decision before the hiring process is completed.

Graphical illustration of a thank you note

What to include in a thank you email

To make sure your thank you email is as effective as possible, you should include a few standard elements. Most thank you notes consist of the the following features:

❇️ Simple subject line

❇️ Personalized greeting

❇️ Thanking the interviewer

❇️ Specific highlight from the interview

❇️ Interest in the job opportunity and recap of your qualifications

❇️ Next steps to take the hiring process forward

❇️ Contact information

#1 Start with a simple subject line

Your subject line is the first thing the interviewer will see in their inbox before they even start reading your email.

Considering how many emails recruiters receive on a daily basis, you should always chose a very direct and clear subject line.

Here are some examples for subject lines that you can use for your next thank you emails:

  • Thank you – [job title] interview
  • Thank you – [job title] consideration
  • Thank you for your time!
  • Thank you for the interview yesterday – [job title]

#2 Use a personalized greeting

Always start your thank you emails with a salutation before you begin typing the actual message.

“Hello [interviewer name]” or “Dear [interviewer name]” works great for most thank you notes.

Depending on the company, its culture, and how the interview went, you may opt for a formal salutation or greet the person by their first name.

Smiling male job candidate writing a thank you email on a laptop while sitting on the floor

Always make sure to stay professional and address the interviewer as they introduced themselves to you during the interview. Below you will also find a few rules for guidance.

When to use a formal greeting:

  • More traditional companies with a rather formal corporate culture are likely to expect a formal greeting.
  • For jobs that require formal writing skills, formal addressing is usually appropriate as well.
  • If you are addressing a woman and you do not know whether she is married or not, you may want to go with “Ms.”.
  • Similarly, if you are speaking to a doctor (i.e., MD or Ph.D.), you should make sure to address them as such.

When to use their first name:

  • Using first names to greet someone in an email is becoming increasingly common, especially in younger companies or organizations with a more casual culture.
  • Previous emails they might have sent you, as well as how they address potential candidates in the job description, provide clues as to whether addressing them by their first names is appropriate.

#3 Thank the interviewer

The body of the message should always begin with a thank you to the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Aim to make your words of appreciation come across sincere, but simply worded.

Also, include the job title at this point, as many hiring managers may be conducting multiple interviews for different positions at once.

For example, you can state:

  • Thank you for taking the time to discuss the [job title] position with me today.
  • Thank you for meeting with me to discuss the [job title] position. 
  • Thank you for interviewing me for the [job title] position this morning.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me and talk about the position of [job title] yesterday.

#4 Highlight a specific point from the interview

Job interviews should always be a conversation rather than a Q&A session. The point of an interview is to go beyond your qualifications and get a feeling for whether or not you will fit into the company.

So, during the interview you demonstrate that you are a great fit for the team by engaging in conversations that extend beyond standard interview questions.

You should also do the same in your thank you note. Recall one or two specific moments from your conversation in your message. The more unique this moment was, the better. Perhaps you and the hiring manager connected over a hobby, a show, personal interests, the same hometown, college, etc.

Laughing business woman sitting on a desk in front of a laptop

By following up on this in your thank you email, you remind the interviewer of the connection you made.

Here are some examples:

  • It was great meeting someone that loves Volleyball as much as I do!
  • It was such a nice surprise to meet a fellow Brunonian!

#5 Reiterate interest in the job and recap your qualifications

With a thank you email you want to reinforce your interest in the role you are applying for. So now it is time to express your excitement for learning about the role and company in the interview.

Also reiterate why you think that you would be a good fit for the job and the company.

Of course we’ve got an example ready for you:

  • I enjoyed learning more about the role and [insert company name]. The information you shared about [something specific about the job that interests you] sounded particularly interesting. As I mentioned, I believe my experience in [insert relevant skill for the position] will make me a great asset to your company. 

Tip: Also read our blog post on 20 professional strengths to learn more about how you can show your potential employer what makes you uniquely qualified for the job.

#6 Ask for the next steps to take the hiring process forward

Close your thank you note by reminding the hiring manager that you can provide additional information if necessary. Tell them to feel free to contact you if they need anything or have follow-up questions. You may need to provide references or complete a second in-person or phone interview to get the job.

Also, encourage the hiring manager to take the next step in the interview process.

Here’s how you can write it down:

  • If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.
  • I look forward to hearing from you soon and am happy to answer any additional questions you might have.
  • I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns in the meantime.

#7 Include your contact information

Lastly, include your contact information. The interviewer should actually already have this information on file, but if you include it again in your email, that will make it easier to contact you for further steps. Include both your email address and phone number below your closing, as this will simplify the hiring process.

When should you send your thank you note after the job interview?

Send your thank you note as soon as possible following your interview. As a rule of thumb, send the thank you email within 1-2 business days, preferably the same day if possible.

If you write a thank you email right after the interview, the experience is still fresh on your mind and theirs.

Graphical illustration of business women receiving and reading letters

If it’s been a few days since the interview, you can still send a thank you email. But if a week or more has passed, at this point, it’s best to check on the status of your application and include a short thank you in this mail.

Tip: Always ask for a business card during the interview, so you don’t have to search or ask for emails later. This will help you send out your thank you email even faster.

3 sample thank you emails after an interview

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at all the elements of a good personalized thank you note, we’ve got some examples lined up for you of how to put one together and follow up successfully after your interview.

Email template 1 – more formal thank you note

Subject line: Thank you for your time, Mr. Smith!

Dear Mr. Smith,

I would like to thank you again for meeting with me today to discuss the position of [insert position you’re applying for] at your company. I felt very comfortable and was quite impressed by the company’s dedication to [insert company values/facts about the company culture the interviewer shared with you].

The information you shared about your future projects convinced me that this job is a perfect fit for my professional and personal interests. As I mentioned, I believe that my experience in [insert skills relevant for the job you’re applying for] will make me a great asset to your company.

I particularly enjoyed learning about [specific information about the job the interviewer shared with you] since [the reason you found it interesting].

Again, thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon and am happy to answer any additional questions as you continue your hiring process. 

Best regards,
[your name]

[phone number]
[email address]

Email template 2 – informal approach to a thank you note

Subject line: Great speaking with you!

Hi Jessica,

Thanks again for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. It was a real pleasure to get to know you and the work you’ve been doing.

I’d be really excited to join your team as [insert position you’re applying for] and help [bring more users/increase revenue/anything else you’d be doing].

I’m thrilled you liked my idea on [a specific issue that you discussed in the interview] and I would love to bring that expertise into this role.

Again, thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact me if you need any more information.

I look forward to our call next week. Thanks so much again!

Best wishes,
[your name]

[phone number]
[email address]

P.S. – I also wanted to say that you were right about the coffee around the corner. I stopped by on my way home. Delicious! [Or any other informal reference from the interview that reminds the interviewer of the connection you made.]

Email template 3 – short and simple thank you note

Subject line: Thank you Susan!

Hello Susan,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me and talk about the position of [insert position you’re applying for] yesterday. It was a pleasure to learn more about the job and your company.

Our conversation made me even more excited to join the [insert the team with the open position, e.g. marketing team]. The information you shared about [something specific about the job that interests you] sounded particularly interesting. 

If you need any additional information from me at this point, please feel free to contact me.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you,
[your name]

[phone number]
[email address]

Thank you email after interview – FAQ

Do you send a thank you note after the second interview?

Yes, you should still send a thank you email after the second interview. It doesn’t need to be as elaborate as the thank you email after the first interview, but you should still show appreciation for the interviewer’s time and stay in the interviewer’s mind with a positive impression.

How do you send a thank you email if you don’t have the interviewer’s email address?

If you don’t have the interviewer’s contact information, you can still find a way to send a thank you email. Check if the person was copied on previous emails or included on the calendar invite. Or you could check the company’s website for bios and contact information. Call the company’s office and kindly ask their receptionist or someone else from their team if they can give you the email address.

What should you do if you forgot the interviewer’s name?

Don’t let this deter you from writing a personalized greeting. There are ways you can get the right name and still make a good impression: Check if they gave you a business card or if you can find the interviewer on the company’s website, social media or via LinkedIn.

What should you do if you had your interview with multiple interviewers?

Send a thank you email to everyone that was in the room with you. Each of those thank you notes has to be at least slightly different and personalized in case they share them with one another.