Are you wondering if you need to send a thank you email after an interview? The answer is always yes. A hiring manager has never said, “I was considering hiring this candidate but she sent a thank you email after I interviewed her and I’m no longer interested in moving forward.” It’s never happened. However, that is not to say you will not be judged or that it could not be used against you in the hiring process, but your thank you email would have to be egregious for it to negatively impact your hiring process.
It’s very common for a thank you email to be weighed in the application process. In some cases, it’s a dealbreaker.
How to write a perfect thank you email
This blog will cover the key components of a thank you email after an interview, provide a sample thank you email, and review frequently asked questions.
Key components include in your thank you email:
- A relatable subject line
- Personalized greeting
- Thanking the interviewer
- Reiterating interest in the job and what you bring to the table
- Highlighting portions of the interview unique to you (optional but highly recommended)
- Express availability for continuing the hiring process
A relatable subject line
Before the interviewer even reads your email, all they will see in their inbox is your subject line. Given the number of emails we all receive daily, make sure you are clear and direct in the subject line.
Thank you – [job title] interview
Thank you – [job title]
Thank you – [first name, last name] interview
A personalized greeting
Depending on the organization, company culture, and how the interview went, you may greet with a formal salutation, or greet with them their first name. Either way, the greeting should be personalized. A simple “Hey” or “Hi there” is not sufficient.
When to use a formal salutation:
- If it’s a traditional organization and their company culture seems formal, for example, an established law firm or an accounting firm. For women, if you do now know whether they are married or not, default to Ms.
- Additionally, if your interview is with a doctor, make sure to greet them as such.
When to use your first name
- Using first names to greet in an email is becoming increasingly common and acceptable. Especially in younger companies or where the company culture is more laid back.
- Lastly, if you still feel confused about which greeting to use, default to a formal salutation.
Pro-tip: During your interview, address them using a formal salutation and be attentive to their reaction. Some may say, “oh please call me [first name]” in which case, you know their preference.
Thank the interviewer
Begin by thanking the interviewer for their time. This is a very simple sentence.
First, I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to speak with me today.
Thank you for interviewing me this morning.
Reiterating interest in the job and company, and what you bring to the table
After thanking the interviewer, express your excitement for learning about the role and company. Reiterate your interest in the job. An interview is a time for the company to see if you are a good fit for the role, but you should also be attentive to learning if you think the company and role is a good fit for you. Not sending a thank you email could be interpreted as a lack of interest in the role. It’s also important to align yourself with the company’s mission, values, and culture.
It was a pleasure learning more about the role and company. I love the company’s dedication to uplifting the homeless community in Los Angeles, a mission that is close to my heart as I volunteer at the homeless shelter twice a week.
Emphasize what you bring to the table. This is crucial. Now that you have interviewed and have additional context on the role and what they are seeking, you can specifically address how you are a great fit for the role. If they are struggling with sales, discuss your experience with winning sales. If the Marketing Director is struggling to keep up with her workload because of lack of support, discuss your experience with assisting high-level managers and executives.
Highlighting portions of the interview unique to you
It’s always great to create a conversation during an interview, instead of having it be more of a Q&A. Beyond your qualifications, interviewers are gauging if you are a fit for the company culture. If you are able to have an engaging conversation with them outside of interview questions, it shows you are able to get along with people on the team quickly. Whenever you engage in a conversation, it helps you stand out from the pool of candidates. This one sentence is optional but highly recommended. It’ll highlight any topic that was discussed in the interview unique to you. Maybe the two of you connected over the same hometown, college, hobby, volunteering service, etc. This is a nice thing to bring up in your follow up email to remind the interviewer of the pleasant time they had speaking with you. Lastly, this sentence could also be blended with the portion on reiterating your interest in the company.
I also enjoyed connecting over our time volunteering with the Peace Corps, it’s been a while since I met someone that also served in Ghana.
It was such a nice surprise to meet a fellow Trojan.
It’s great to meet someone that loves plants as much as I do!
Express eagerness to hear back
Wrap up your thank you email and express your eagerness to hear back.
Subject line: Thank you – Client Success Manager interview
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the position and the company.
After interviewing with you, I am certain I’m qualified for this role. My experience as a Customer Service Manager at Silver Financial Solutions closely aligns with the functions of the Client Success Manager position at Cloud Nine Technologies. As discussed, I would be excited to implement more training materials and team-building exercises with fellow employees.
In addition, I enjoyed learning about the company. I was especially intrigued by Cloud Nine Technology’s commitment to giving back. As a volunteer at my local Boys and Girls Club, I know how influential mentoring can be for at-risk children.
Again, thank you for your time. It was so nice meeting someone that loves plants as much as I do! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.
What if you forgot the interviewer’s name?
First, this should never happen and to be sure it does not please review the following steps. When completing an in-person interview, ask for each interviewer’s business card. If you completed a panel interview and cannot put a face to a name, you will at least have their business cards to find online and refresh your memory.
Now, if you already had your interview and can’t remember your interviewer’s name, use the internet to your advantage. Start off with checking everything you already have, was this person CC’d on an email with you, or were they included on a calendar invite? You may already have the email in which case you could probably copy and paste into Google to search for first name and last name. The email itself may jog your memory to remember their name. If it contains the last name, you can greet the interviewer in the thank you email with a formal greeting. Scroll through the company’s Meet the Team webpage and hopefully, your memory will be triggered by reading names and sifting through headshots. Another strategy is to visit the company’s LinkedIn page and review their employees. If it’s a large company with hundreds of employees, try filtering the employees by title. If you do not remember the interviewer’s job title, search for human resources, recruiter, and manager. Lastly, call the office and kindly ask their receptionist.
What if you didn’t get their email?
If you do not have their email address in the calendar invite, a previous email, or didn’t request it during the interview, you can try calling their front desk receptionist. If they have a front desk receptionist or an administrative assistant, call and ask them very kindly for the email of the person you interviewed with. Explain that you had an interview with them and would like to thank them for their time.
What if I interviewed with multiple interviewers?
If you had an in-person interview with multiple people, send a follow-up email to each interviewer, separately. Do not send one email and CC all of the interviewers. These are short and simple. No more than 200 words. Do your best to include details specific to your interview, a detail that would allow each of them to remember who you are.
When do I send the thank you email?
ASAP. After your interview, review your notes, sort through your memory, and draft an email. It’s best to send the thank you email immediately since the experience is fresh on your mind and theirs. Send the thank you email within 1-2 business days of having your interview. Preferably the same day. Lastly, if your interview is on a Friday, send a thank you email by Monday at the latest.
It’s been more than 48-hours since I interviewed with them, is it too late?
It depends. If it’s only been a few days, go ahead and send a thank you email anyway. If it’s been a week or more, at this point, it’s best for you to follow up on your application status and include a thank you message.