The Best Way to Thank an Interviewer

woman writing note in cafe
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Taking the time to thank an interviewer after a job interview with a thank you letter, note, or email is not only good interview etiquette, it also reinforces your interest in the position. Use your thank you letter, as well, to address any issues and concerns that came up during the interview.

You can also consider your thank you letter as a follow-up sales pitch. Restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make contributions to the organization, and so on. Remind them 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. For example, you 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 comes in handy. But 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.

There may be others who came into the interview room or who joined you for a tour of the office or facility. It is good to exchange business cards with them 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 these people a 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.

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 spellcheck it. 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 it 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 mail room where pieces of mail exchange many hands.

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.

More Job Interview Tips

Are you getting ready for a job interview? Take a look at our tips for all types of interviews including phone interviews, second interviews, lunch and dinner interviews, behavioral interviews, interviewing in public, plus more advice for interview success.