8 Best Thank You Emails After an Interview (+ Free Templates, Writing Guide) [2020]

A thank you email is a note sent on behalf of a job candidate or interviewee after an interview. The hiring manager, team member, or recruiter should receive the thank-you note post-interview. The thank-you note should be sent to show appreciation for the time spent interviewing the interviewee on behalf of the job candidate.

Thank you notes are often sent in email format, rather than creating a handwritten thank you note and mailing it through U.S. parcel mail (or “snail mail”) to the hiring manager or interviewer. An adequate time to send a thank you email is anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours post-interview (or when the job interview is complete).

thank you email after an interview

Showing appreciation to a potential employer, HR manager, hiring manager, or recruiter is a great way to leave an excellent lasting impression once the interview is complete. For job seekers, this can help hiring managers feel more comfortable knowing their candidate is enthusiastic about the company, job title, and job opportunity. The thank-you email encourages the job interview process to move forward, often leading to a second interview or job offer.

Tip: As a job seeker, if you interviewed with multiple interviewers (like in a group interview or panel interview), be sure to write a customized and personal thank you note to each interviewer. Never send a group email to all interviewers using the same thank-you email. Collect business cards to remember who was part of the panel interview or group interview. Send separate emails or a thank you letter to each participant in the interview.

What to Include in a Thank You Email

Writing a sufficient thank you email (sometimes referred to as a "post-interview thank you email") as a job seeker means recollecting and putting effort into:

  • Recalling positive parts of the conversation shared during the job interview.
  • Showing enthusiasm and excitement for the opportunity to be employed at the company.
  • Including relevant information, like work achievements that may help the hiring manager or recruiter in the hiring process or show a good fit for the position on behalf of the candidate.
  • Thanking the interviewer for their time and wanting to stay in touch as professional contacts regardless of the outcome.
  • Showing proper business etiquette, having a "good manner," and reciprocating the good impression felt after the interview.
  • (Optional) A question at the end of the email. Use a question about the company, culture, interview questions, or questions regarding the open position requirements.

Tip: As a job seeker, attaching a resume, cover letter, and relevant recommendation letters may be a helpful way to encourage the hiring manager to review these job application assets once more and move forward with the next steps in the interview process.

The thank-you email should be written in a formal writing style, using proper grammar and punctuation. Write the letter in active voice style writing. Catherine Traffis of Grammarly.com defines "active voice" as having “a strong, direct, and clear tone.” Communication with the hiring manager should not be forceful or pressuring a hiring decision. Job seekers should be aiming to assist the hiring manager with their decision-making process versus forcing it.

Tip: Job seekers should consider performing an informational interview with a professional who is already employed with the prospective employer. An informational interview can give job seekers keen insights into what the hiring manager is looking for in an ideal candidate. This career advice session between an employed person and a job seeker can provide details that give job seekers a “leg up” in the job search process.

Writing a Thank You Email After an Interview

According to a study performed in 2019 by Career Builder, 57% of job seekers don't send thank-you emails after an interview is completed. And a study performed by PayScale in 2017 reported that 1-in-5 recruiters or hiring managers will dismiss a candidate if they haven't sent a thank-you email after the interview. Writing a thank-you email is worth the effort.

Writing a good thank you email is simple. Keep the email short, impactful, and helpful for the interviewer to recall the interview session. Consider the interviewer’s point of view. The interviewer may have performed more than a few interviews that day or week and received an interview email from each candidate thanking them. Writing a great thank you letter means the job seeker must remember critical parts of the interview where the hiring manager felt compelled or engaged in the conversation. It is the writer’s responsibility to assist the hiring manager in remembering those parts of the conversation.

Tip: The ideal length of an interview thank-you email is one body paragraph, a shorter closing paragraph, and a closing phrase (showing appreciation to the interviewer). This turns into the ideal length of somewhere between 250 and 300 characters. Or anywhere from 75 to 180 words. The shorter the email and more impactful it is—the greater chance the hiring manager is going to be impressed with the job candidate.

The desired outcome is for the interviewer to feel a positive impression upon the candidate. The thank-you email provides ample opportunity to show professionalism and the ability to communicate effectively (which presents active-listening skills and general business etiquette or communication skills).

Tip: Job seekers shouldn’t disregard the impact an email can have over a handwritten note or post-interview letter. By sending an email, the job seeker can provide useful links to helpful resources on behalf of the candidate. For example, providing a link to a professional social media presence like LinkedIn, or a professional website. It can be beneficial for the hiring manager.

Thank You Email Subject Lines

Picking the right subject line can be an effective way to grab the interviewer's attention. Here are a few examples of effective subject lines for thank you emails after an interview:

  • Thanks again for the interview!
  • Thank you for the interview
  • Thanks for your time
  • Thanks for your time (day) (today, yesterday, Friday, etc.)
  • Great talking with you
  • Great talking with you (day)
  • Really enjoyed our conversation (day)
  • Great speaking with you!
  • Are there any updates on my application?
  • Do you need anything else from me?
  • This is my dream job, thank you!

Tip: It can be beneficial after the interview and after sending the thank-you note; to connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn. A job seeker who has a robust LinkedIn profile (a nice profile photo, headline, tagline, and proper work experience) can be assistive in the hiring manager deciding to move the candidate forward in the next steps of the interview process. The LinkedIn profile can act as a point of reference for the manager.

Short Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is a short sample interview thank-you email.

Hi Dean —

I really wanted to thank you for your time yesterday. It was an absolute pleasure to speak with you. It was great to go over how the position requires a superior level of critical thinking and creative thinking. That unique quantitative and qualitative mix we both appreciated Steve Jobs.

Let me know if you need anything from me to move forward.

Cheers,
Sam

Long Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is a long sample interview thank-you email.

Hi Dean —

Yesterday was really fantastic, and I want to thank you for your time. It was special to be able to discover what Apple is looking for. And how you were able to learn so much from Steve Jobs over the years. It’s especially special to me because Steve is one of my idols. I grew up with his products and services, and they had a considerable impact on me as a child. I’d love to learn more about how I can be considered for the open position.

A few details that might help you with my candidacy: Increased overall sales by 23% using automated sales platforms in 2017 at Glassdoor. Made significant improvements to customer churn rate using creative customer appreciation techniques.

If there’s anything you need from me, don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you so much for your time yesterday, once again.
James

Tip: Use a professional email signature when sending a thank-you email after an interview. According to Hubspot's Lindsay Kolowich Cox, a professional email signature contains a "first and last name, affiliation information, secondary contact information, social profile icons, a call to action, photo or logo, and pronouns."

In-Person Interview Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is a thank-you email sample after an in-person interview.

Hi Caitlin —

I want to thank you for showing me around the office on Thursday. It was great to meet the team in person and learn more about the company culture. I'm very excited about the opportunity of working with the team and taking the position of Product Designer on the iOS team.

Let me know if you need anything from me to move forward in the interview process.

Thank you so much,
Robert

Tip: An interview thank-you note or email can certainly persuade hiring managers who are "on the fence" about the job applicant. 58% of HR managers found thank-you notes helpful to the hiring process. With 94% of the HR managers desiring a thank-you email over a handwritten letter, phone call, social media direct message, or text message.

Informal Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is an informal thank-you email sample.

Hi Ryan —

It was great to speak yesterday over the phone. The opportunity to work with Apple sounds appealing. I appreciate you spending time with me to explain what the ideal candidate looks like for the team and running me through the job requirements.

Let me know if you need anything from me to move forward in the interview process.

Thank you so much,
Sarah

Formal Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is a formal thank-you email sample.

Dear Mr. Stanger—

Thank you for taking the time yesterday to speak with me regarding the Software Engineer position at Apple. I appreciate you spending time to walk me through the company culture, the objectives of the position, and the job requirements.

I believe my previous experience at Facebook and my master's degree in Computer Science make me a qualified candidate for this position. I believe my contributions on the Facebook Feed team align with the objectives of the team you'd like to place me with at Apple.

I appreciate your consideration for this position. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further details in order to move forward in the interview process.

Thank you so much,
Sarah

Zoom Interview Thank You Email Example/Letter

Below is an interview thank-you email sample after a Zoom interview.

Dear Mr. Stanger—

Thank you for taking the time yesterday to speak with me regarding the Administrative Assistant position at XYZ Company. It was great to connect over video conference and be able to meet each other in-person (or at least as close as we can to be in-person!).

I believe my previous experience in the administrative assistant function at Apple is going to be of value to XYZ Company, especially after hearing about the goals of transferring printed paperwork to digital assets.

I appreciate your consideration for this position. If there are any other questions that you have for me, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'll respond quickly as this position is the utmost of importance to me.

Thank you so much,
Sarah

Phone Interview Thank You Email Example/Letter

An interview thank you note/email after a phone interview.

Hi Marissa —

Thanks so much for spending the time to speak with me over the phone yesterday. I'm attaching my resume, cover letter, and additional accomplishments to share with the team:

  • Increased sales 23% YoY for a SaaS business in 2017.
  • Moved more than 30 feature requests through the pipeline for clients.
I had a question regarding the amount of travel for the role. Is 30% of the year a flexible figure? I look forward to the next interview and moving along in the process.

Thank you so much,
Candice

Second Interview Thank You Email Example/Letter

Sample interview thank you note after a second interview.

Dear Suzie —

I’m so honored to get to this stage in the interview process with Apple, Inc. Our time together was really special and I appreciated discussing how consumer behavior habits are changing this year as technology advances. I’ve included a few career accomplishments in prior emails, so I'll attach my resume one last time.

Regardless of the decision to make a job offer or not, I want to thank you for the opportunity to meet and to discuss the job opportunity.

Let me know how I can be of further assistance.

Thanks Suzie,
John

Thank You Note/Email Template

Use the following thank-you email template to write a thank you email after an interview.

Dear [Interviewer’s Name] —

I had a wonderful time speaking with you on [Date/Time] about [XYZ Company]. It was especially wonderful speaking with you about the work culture and [Significant Talking Point]. I’m excited to learn more about this opportunity in further interviews. If there’s something that you’d like to see more of based on my resume or previous experience, please don’t hesitate to ask.

I'm excited about moving forward in the interview process and meeting with the rest of the hiring team and my potential colleagues in the future.

Thank you so much for your time,
[Your Name]

The above template is applicable for thank you emails for all job positions, including popular job titles like:

  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Internships
  • And any other job title

How to Write a Thank You Note or Email After an Interview

Follow these steps to write a thank you email after a job interview.

  • Step 1: Pick a subject line that's relevant to the job interview.
  • Step 2: Use a personal salutation. For example, "Hi John" or "Hey John." Address the email recipient by their given name (first name) or surname (last name). A formal way to address the recipient is "Dear Mr. Johnson."
  • Step 3: Begin the email by thanking the interviewer for their time and effort.
  • Step 4: Then, proceed to mention something positive and specific about the interview.
  • Step 5: Confirm the passion, interest, and desire to move forward in the interview process. If necessary, ask questions about the hiring process and when the second interview will take place.
  • Step 6: Include relevant letters of recommendation or accomplishments that can help the hiring manager with their hiring decision.
  • Step 7: Close the email with gratitude and thank the interviewer for their time once more.

If a response isn't received after five days of sending a thank-you email, a job seeker should follow-up with the interviewer or hiring manager and ask for an update on the hiring process. It's best to follow-up on the same email thread with the follow-up message, rather than sending a new email with a new subject line, following up on the hiring process.

Avoid these common thank-you email follow-up mistakes:

  • Sending a follow-up email daily.
  • Sending a long follow-up email that sounds forceful.
  • Stalking the interviewer on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram asking about the next steps in the hiring process.
  • Using the follow-up email to pressure the hiring manager in making a hiring decision.
  • Moving on with a job search too quickly, instead of providing the hiring manager adequate time to coordinate with the team and decide on the next steps.

Tip: There is no such thing as a "perfect thank you email," only a polite and cordial post interview thank you note that leaves the hiring manager feeling appreciated. Focus on helping the hiring manager make a hiring decision, rather than trying to influence the manager.

It's not uncommon for a job seeker to receive a job rejection email. The job seeker should send a thank-you email to the recruiter, hiring manager, or HR personnel sending the email. Learn how to write that email here.

Thank You Email Resources

FAQ's

Common thank-you email questions from job seekers.

Do employers respond to thank-you emails?

It's common for employers and hiring managers not to respond to thank-you emails. Rather, respond to the candidate about the next steps in the hiring process. If an interviewer provides enthusiastic feedback about the interview, this can be considered a sign of a "good interview."

Can a thank-you email save a "bad interview?"

It's best to apologize for the performance of the interview. If the interview performance was poor, apologize to the interviewer and explain the reason for the performance. Most of all, the candidate should express an apologetic nature for poor performance, bad behavior, and attempt to recover.

How important is it to send a thank-you email after an interview?

It is critical. 57% of job seekers don't send thank-you emails. But they absolutely should. It's critical to send a thank-you email after all types of job interviews: informational interviews, group interviews, panel interviews, face-to-face interviews, and more.

What shouldn't be said in a thank-you email?

Any language that sounds arrogant or rude. For example, "Even though I already informed you that I was very excited about this position, I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that I'm excited, once more." This type of language can be misinterpreted. Consider sending a professional email, using a professional start to the email. The perfect interview thank you email leaves a positive impression upon the hiring manager and makes the hiring manager feel the candidate is a "great fit" for the work environment and work culture.

What's the best salutation to use for a thank-you email?

The best salutation to use is a professional salutation, followed by a comma rather than a colon. Use the surname or the last name of the professional that is receiving the thank-you email. For example, "Dear Mr. Johnson" or "Dear Mrs. Johnson."

Can I provide better interview answers in the thank-you email?

It's not advised to write long interview answers and correct any poor performance of a job interview question response. Instead, be honest with the interviewer and mention some of the interview answers could have been answered with more clarity. Offer to perform a third interview if they're on the fence about making a hiring decision (making a job offer). Lastly, offer to answer any other questions they might have.

How do I send a thank-you email after the interview?

To send a thank-you email, pick an appropriate subject line to the email that conveys a strong message, address the interviewer by name in the salutation or greeting of the email, use a thank-you email template and replace key parts of the interview in the body paragraph (like qualifications, achievements, or prompting the interviewer to take the next step), and show gratitude to the interviewer in the end paragraph. Send the thank-you email anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours post interview.

How late is "too late" to send an interview thank-you email?

There is no "too late." Sending a thank-you email after the interview is always valuable. But the recipient might not remember the interview very well. In order to send a late or overdue thank-you email, apologize for the tardiness with sending the thank-you email, write a more robust body paragraph that reminds the interviewer of the interview session, and ask about moving forward in the interview process.

Can I send a thank-you email at night?

While it's best to send the email during times when the hiring manager might be more active on their email, which is between 9 am and 11 am during a workday; if you must send a thank-you email at night, it's better to send one than not send one at all. The hiring manager can choose to open the email at their convenience.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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