How to Write a Job Interview Thank You Note
Gratitude Goes a Long Way
Pat yourself on the back—your interview is done! But before you kick up your feet, there’s one more thing to get out of the way: the post-interview thank you notes.
While not every candidate writes thank you notes, everyone should. Why? Because it’s one more chance to leave a good impression with the hiring manager and those who interviewed you. Yet for some, the thought of writing a post-interview thank you note induces as much anxiety as the interview itself. Fear not! With these tips, you’ll be able to write a message that’s impactful and genuine.
Step 1: The Greeting
Let’s start with the easy part: the recipient’s name. Now’s the time to make sure you have the correct spelling. If you collected business cards for each of the people you interviewed with, use them to double check you’ve written each interviewer’s name correctly. If you didn’t get business cards, try LinkedIn, or double check with your recruiter if you’re still unsure.
Step 2: Express Appreciation
Interviewing can be a time intensive process for everyone. Let your interviewers know how much you appreciated the meeting. Start by expressing your gratitude first and foremost. It’s ok to lead with a “thank you”—after all, that’s the main purpose of your note.
Step 3: Reference Part of Your Conversation
Each thank you note should be personalized to the recipient, and the best way to do that is by referencing part of the conversation you had with them. For example, if the interviewer asked about your experience with irrigation and mentioned the team’s irrigation specialists have been stretched thin, this is your opening. You might say “As we discussed, I’d love the opportunity to add to the team’s irrigation capabilities and feel confident my time shadowing irrigation professionals in the field will enable me to be a great help.”
Step 4: Share Your Enthusiasm
It’s not just ok to sound excited about an opportunity; it’s encouraged! Hiring managers want to know you’d be happy to fill the role and passionate about helping the team meet its goals. Don’t be afraid to share what energized you most during the interview. Perhaps the interviewer mentioned a particular project or client account you would serve that piqued your interest. Or, maybe you just enjoyed your conversations and felt a great connection with the team. These are all good things to mention.
Step 5: Reinforce Key Points
As mentioned before, thank you notes are a great way to circle back to any parts of your conversation you’d like to revisit. Whether it’s reminding the interviewer of special experience or skills you have that would be beneficial to the team, or expounding upon a detail you wished you had more time to discuss, this is the place to do it. However, there’s one important caveat. Whatever points you want to make, make sure you’re relating them back to the hiring manager’s needs or the requirements of the position. For example, instead of saying “I have a lot of experience operating heavy machinery,” finish the thought with how that will benefit the company. Instead, try: “My extensive experience operating heavy machinery can help you keep the Main Street project on schedule.”
Step 6: The Close
Now let’s wrap up your note. Your final paragraph should indicate how the interviewer can get in touch if they have any further questions. If you are already aware of next steps, you can reference your enthusiasm to continue in the process. If you haven’t discussed next steps, let them know you look forward to hearing from them.
Don’t forget that time is off the essence when it comes to thank you notes. Aim to send them within 24 hours of your interview. Not only does it ensure your notes will be received in a timely fashion, but it will also make them easier to write since the interview will still be fresh in your mind. Write an individual message to each person you interviewed with, even if the interview was in a group setting. Handwritten on stationery is best, but email is ok too if you know the process is moving quickly. Your note doesn’t need to be long. In fact, one to two short paragraphs are sufficient.
That’s all there is to it! Congratulations on finishing your interview and thank you note. Now you can kick up your feet (but make sure to take the note to the mailbox first).