- What the best thank you notes say
- What to do if they say 'we'll call you' and they don't
- What to say if they say 'we haven't made a decision yet'
- What to do if they say 'we're moving forward with someone else'
- Who to send a note to (not just the hiring manager)
- What it should say (this must be substantial...you can really sell yourself for the job here)
- When you should send it (timing matters so much more than most people know)
- How you should send it (probably not what you have always been taught)
- What to do after you send it (I'll let you in on the secret of when it's OK to call or email again)
You better follow up the exact same way you would after a face-to-face interview: you send a well-thought-out, comprehensive, and timely thank you note.
FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions
Your thank you note should actually be a thank you email. Why an email? Because it’s faster.
It’s in your best interests to get that thank you note in their hands within 24 hours of your phone interview. Why?
How to write a job interview thank you note
Many people have heard that they should send a thank-you email to an interviewer, but a surprisingly large number of job seekers don’t bother. They’re wasting the perfect opportunity to show that they respect the interviewer's time, that they’re enthusiastic about and highly interested in the job, and that their skills are a perfect match. You stand out with your good manners AND you get one more shot at selling yourself for the job. What could be better?
As far as thank-you letter format is concerned, you can keep it simple. But don’t just send a short email that says: “Thanks for the interview. I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position.” You’ll still stand out from other candidates, even with this short note, but you’re losing a prime opportunity to boost your chance of getting a job. A longer email allows you to point out a key substantial item or two in your favor.
Always begin with the pleasantries: mention how you enjoyed talking to them, additional thoughts about how you and your skills are a great fit, and what you learned from the interview that makes you even more enthusiastic about working for the company. Be specific.
Send a thank-you note even if the job interview didn’t go so well. The thank-you note provides the perfect opportunity for damage control. Don’t write a book, but feel free to address issues like misconceptions and things you forgot.
Be sure to send a personalized note to everyone you spoke with about the job. For example, if you were interviewed by a panel, make sure you send a message to each person on the panel.
Here’s an example of an effective thank you letter format. Don’t forget: The most successful job-seekers send a thank-you letter soon after a job interview—within 24 hours. To get it there that fast, you have to send it by email.
If you can send a strong thank you note like this within a day of your interview, you will be making the smartest follow up move you can make.
If you need more help, get my podcast on Following Up After the Interview.
Always follow up your job interview with a thank you email
Writing a thank you note after an interview might be the one thing that sets you apart from the rest of the candidates and gets you the job. But, sometimes finding the words to say ‘thank you’ can be difficult; let me give you a few thank you quotes for your note to make it easier.
Since hiring managers usually make decisions fairly quickly, you’re going to want to communicate your appreciation and interest even quicker- within 24 hours, so your best option is to send a ‘thank you’ email.
Remember to keep your email businesslike. Don’t make common email mistakes like sending it from an unprofessional-sounding email address and reference the interview in your subject line.
For example: Follow-up to our July 23rd interview or July 23rd interview follow-up
Both examples leave no question as to the subject of the email.
Address a male interviewer as follows: Dear Mr. __(last name)__:
If the interviewer was a woman, use: Dear Ms. __(Last name)__
Do not use Miss or Mrs.; however, if the interviewer uses the title of Dr., then use that title, regardless of the interviewer’s gender.
Start the body of your note with some form of “thank you.”
Personalize and use one of the following quotes to begin your thank you note:
- I appreciate the time you took yesterday to talk to me about __(the job title)__.
- Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you yesterday.
- I really enjoyed our conversation today.
- Thank you for meeting with me yesterday to discuss your open position.
Develop that thought with one of the following comments:
- Everything I learned made me even more excited about working for ____company.
- I would like to reiterate my interest in working for you (or the name of the company).
- Our conversation reaffirmed my interest in working with you (or the name of the company).
Expand on something said or learned; repeat how your skills will fill the needs of the company.
Modify the following thank you note quotes to fit your specific situation:
- Our conversation reaffirmed my belief that my (list two or three specific) abilities would be an asset in dealing with your ________________ (some situation/job need).
- I can see that my past experience in (specific area) would be beneficial in solving your issues with _________(some situation/job need).
You can also address any faux pas from the interview or bring up an issue you forgot to mention.
- Since I did not have a copy of (some paperwork) with yesterday, I am attaching a copy to this email.
- One thing, I did not have a chance to tell you is__________ (something that pertains to the job or a skill that solves a problem).
Close with some comment about continuing your relationship:
- I am really looking forward to discussing this with you again. I'll call you on Wednesday to go over the next steps.
- If you have any further questions, I would be happy to meet with you again. Feel free to call me at 555-555-1212. If I don’t hear from you by X-day, I’ll call you.
What I DON”T want you to do is say something like, “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” That is a weak ending that leaves it too open-ended and takes away any power you have to make things happen. You can and should be more assertive than that.
The final line should be “Thank you, once again” and close with Sincerely, and your name.
Remember to personalize these thank you note quotes for your specific job interview, send the note off quickly, and you’ll improve your chance of landing that perfect job.
Want more information? See this article on Sample Thank You Notes for Job Interviews
Send a thank you email, not a note, after your interview
Having survived the interview, you would be dead wrong to think your mission is now to just sit and wait. While it can be said that good things come to those that wait, when it comes to job searches, being bold has even greater rewards.
The most common mistake job candidates make is not following up the interview with a Thank You email. This often overlooked courtesy is too great an opportunity to sell yourself for the job one more time and stand out from your competition.
Sending a thank you note to follow up after a job interview remains a fundamental necessity to a successful job search, but the delivery method has changed. While every hiring manager surely appreciates a beautiful hand-written note and may even be impressed with the fancy art museum stationary you chose, it has become necessary in the fast paced modern world to send an email rather than rely on snail mail. Hiring decisions can be made very quickly, and you have to move quickly, too.
Who should you send a note to? Go back to your interview and make a list off the people you spoke with. You should have gotten the business cards of the people you interviewed with, whether that was just the hiring manager, a panel of managers, the HR representative, your future co-workers, everyone.
Just be sure to send an individualized note to each person that addresses what you spoke about with them personally. Do NOT send the same ‘form’ letter to everyone. They will compare notes. It will give them the impression you don’t care and your conversation with them was not very memorable…not the impression you want to give.
Show some gratitude for them taking their time to speak with you. Remind them how your skills will benefit them, take the opportunity to clarify or expand on something you talked about in the interview, and say when you’ll follow up with a phone call. Tailor the content to your experience (like you did with your resume). For example, you can give them feedback on an issue discussed in the interview that you had time to think about and possibly add to a question they posed that you might not have been able to answer completely at the time. If you want to send an attachment of your updated 30-60-90 Day Plan, the simplicity of the email format allows this where a handwritten note does not.
They took the time to talk to you, now you need to take the time to thank them. Doing so will not only prove that are thoughtful, eager, and thorough, but that you are a candidate that stands out from the crowd and will probably continue to do so after being hired.
Click the link to get more tips to follow up after the interview.
Examples, ideas, and tips for your phone interview thank you emails -- plus a FREE podcast on Following Up After the Interview.
It's important to be strategic in your job interviews, and following up after your interview is especially tricky. Watch the video below to find out what to say in your interview thank you note and when to send it--for both phone interviews and face-to-face interviews.
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Thank you notes make you stand out from your competition after the interview
- Send a substantial thank you note. Don't just say thanks. This is another selling opportunity here. Another chance to point out why you'd be a great fit. Tie it in with something you spoke about in the interview conversation. So mention that you enjoyed talking with them, add some additional thoughts about how you and your skills are a great fit, and what you learned makes you even more enthusiastic about working there.
- Send your note by email, not snail mail. Thank you emails are entirely appropriate. They show you understand the speed of business and are comfortable with technology. And most importantly, they keep you in the conversation because lots of hiring decisions happen fast. You don't want them to make a decision while the post office still has your letter.
- If you didn't get their email address, here's a trick: Use Google. Do a search of the general email addresses of the company. Type in a * and then @ plus whatever the name of the company is, so it looks like this: "*@thecompanyname.com". That should lead you to the address of everyone who works there, or at least show you how their email addresses are constructed.