Sending a thank you note can give you an edge over other candidates who may neglect to do so.
What Your Thank You Note Accomplishes
Your thank you note can be a space to address any issues or concerns that came up during the interview. As well, you can consider your thank you letter a follow-up sales pitch. In it, you can restate why you want the job, summarize your qualifications, share how you might make contributions to the organization, and so on. It's a chance to remind interviewers why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Your thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that you didn't answer as thoroughly as you would have liked during the job interview.
Keep in mind, though that your thank you note should be brief and to the point. A couple of brief paragraphs are plenty.
If you’re not sure how to write a letter thanking your interviewer, take the time to review our sample thank you letters, thank you notes, and thank you email messages.
Use Key Facts From the Interview in Your Thank You
There are a few important facts you’ll need to take away from your interview, so you can get your thank you letter right.
First and most importantly, you'll need to know who interviewed you. What was her name and how is it correctly spelled? Does she go by a more formal name on her business card? What was her title? This is where exchanging business cards is handy.
If you don’t have business cards or for some reason that exchange didn't happen, check the company directory or website to glean this information. The information may also be available from emails sent prior to the interview.
Other people may have entered the interview room briefly or joined you for a tour of the office or facility. It is good to exchange business cards with these people as well. You can mention them in your note to your main interviewer. Depending on the length of time you spent with them, you may want to send those individuals a thank you note as well.
It never hurts to be in the good graces of multiple people at the company with which you are interviewing. You never know who will lobby for you to be the top choice. Be sure they have your contact information on your card and send them a thank you letter if you feel it is appropriate.
You may also want to take a mental note of what you liked best about the workplace, and any hobbies or interests you had in common with the interviewer. These can make good additions to personalize your thank you note.
Should You Send an Email, Printed Note, or Handwritten Card to the Interviewer?
Once upon a time, only a written card or letter would do. But these days an email is acceptable as a thank you for a job interview. But remember not to be too informal – use formal titles and proper salutation and signature.
A typed and signed letter is also good and even a handwritten card might be a nice touch depending on the interviewer and the type of job you applied for.
No matter how you compose and send your note, be sure to proofread it, and check for any spelling errors or typos. A simple mistake could be a big strike against you.
The best part about using an email is speed and accuracy of delivery. While any form of communication can go astray, if you have already exchanged emails you can be sure your thank you note will be received by the interviewer. A printed note or card can be more personal in touch but might take longer to reach the interviewer, especially in a larger company with a big mailroom where pieces of mail exchange many hands.
When to Send Your Message
But while email can be sent immediately, it’s best to wait for at least half a work day before sending it. If your interview was in the afternoon, send it out the next morning. If your interview was in the morning, send your note near the end of the workday.
Always send interviewers a thank you note. It's good manners, and also an opportunity to make the case for your candidacy yet again.
Keep your note short. Don't let your message drag on. Limit yourself to one or two points in addition to expressing your appreciation to the interviewer.
Collect business cards during your interview. That way, you'll have contact information readily available.
Proofread carefully. Read your note several times to avoid spelling errors and typos.