Post-Interview Thank-You Note

thank you note in an office

A personalized thank-you note is your final chance to stand apart from other applicants and to have additional contact with the employer before a hiring decision is made. Send a thank-you to each interviewer within 48 hours of the interview. 

Types

A thank-you note may be handwritten or emailed. When determining which is more appropriate, consider the employer’s hiring timeline and the culture of the organization. If the interviewer indicated that you would hear back within the week, email a thank you. A handwritten note is best if the organizational culture is conservative. Write the note on good-quality paper or stationery, keeping to one page, and make sure your writing is legible.

Content

The content is as important as the format. In addition to expressing your appreciation for the interviewer’s time, a thank-you note gives you another opportunity to summarize your strengths, talk about highlights of the interview, confirm your continued interest, and cover anything you did not mention during the interview. Although your thank-you note should center on professional content, you can reference a personal topic that was discussed during the interview that may help you stand out from other applicants. There is no shame in name-dropping in your correspondence with recruiters and interviewers. Whether emailed or handwritten, your note should be proofread to ensure there are no errors. 

Do not be surprised if an employer does not reply to a thank-you note. A thank-you note is a professional courtesy on your part and not a call to action for an employer.

Thank-You Note Tips

  • Ask each of your interviewers for a business card so you know their exact e-mail or mailing address to send your thank-you note
  • If the note is handwritten, make sure your writing is legible
  • Write your thank-you note on good quality paper or stationary
  • Proofread your note to ensure there are no typing or grammatical errors
  • Do not exceed one page

Example

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday for a position as a 2015 Corps member of Teach for America. I enjoyed learning more about the positive impact Teach for America is making across the country and I look forward to contributing to the movement.

After speaking with you about your personal experience as a Teach For America corps member, I am confident that Teach For America is where I want to begin my career within education. I am passionate about educational reform and I am committed to ensuring access to a strong education for all students. My leadership experiences at Northwestern have prepared me for the challenges ahead as well as the opportunity to make a real impact on the world around me. I am looking forward to utilizing my strengths as a leader to motivate and inspire my students.

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to interview for this transformative opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Locke   

For another example of a Thank You note, you can download this sample thank you.(DOC)

­­Follow-up Etiquette

  1. Do not be surprised if an employer does not follow-up to a thank you note.  A thank you note is a professional courtesy and not a call to action that requires and employer to respond  
  2. Aim to send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview and send a separate note to each person who interviewed you. 
  3. Though your thank you note should center on professional content, you can reference a personal topic that was discussed during the interview that may help you stand out from other applicants.
  4. For a search update, it is best to follow-up with the recruiter and not the person with whom you interviewed.  Recruiters manage the selection and hiring process.
  5. There is no shame in name-dropping in your correspondence with recruiters and interviewers.