You just walked out of a job interview. You gave great answers to all the interview questions and really hit it off with the hiring manager. You nailed it!
That’s great—but you’re not done yet. In fact, fair or not, most hiring managers pay very close attention to whether you write a thank you email after the interview.
Our advice? Follow up as soon as humanly possible by writing a terrific interview thank you note. Below, we list out tips for writing the perfect thank you email—and provide a template to get you started.
Read More: The Best Thank You Email Subject Line for After Interviews
Why you should send a thank you note after a job interview
Olivia Johnson, a Muse career coach with more than 20 years of experience in the corporate world, said there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t send a thank you note after every interview—and plenty of reasons why you should. For one thing, it’s proper business etiquette: “It’s almost like if you invite someone in your home, and then they’re leaving your property and don’t say anything as they walk out the door,” Johnson said. “They selected you to move forward and have a conversation with, so it deserves a thank you.”
One major benefit of the effort, she told The Muse, is that it immediately makes you stand out from other candidates who don’t send a follow-up email. “I always ask my clients after interviews, ‘Did you remember to send a thank you note?’ And usually, 80 to 90% of the time, I hear, ‘Oh, right,’ because they forget to do it,” she said.
It also helps you build on the rapport you established in the interview by reminding the hiring manager who you are, what you talked about, and how you’re a great fit for the job and company.
Finally, a thank you note can help alleviate any concerns you had about your conversation. Maybe you forgot to ask about a specific part of the role, or maybe you flubbed an answer and want to clarify your statement—here’s your second chance. “I actually had someone who did really well on the tech interview, but they missed a question. They went home, continued to figure it out, and then sent a note sharing what they came up with,” Johnson shared. “That’s impressive. That’s somebody that you want on your team.”
Even if the interview went swimmingly, Johnson still advised sending a thank you note. “Even if the interview went so awesomely that they offered you the job on the spot, you should be sending a thank you note,” she said. Plus, you won’t regret taking that extra effort to make your appreciation and excitement known.
Interview thank you email template
Hi [Interviewer Name],
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position, and I’m very excited about the opportunity to join [Company Name] and help [bring in new clients/develop world-class content/anything else awesome you would be doing] with your team.
I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.
5 tips for sending a thank you note after an interview
Beyond following the template above, here’s what to keep in mind when crafting your professional thank you email.
1. Actually say “thank you”
In all your wordsmithing, don’t forget to thank the person for taking the time to meet or speak with you.
And Johnson emphasized that you should be thanking them for the discussion, not the interview. “Never reference it as an interview. A lot of people do that. They're like, ‘Thanks so much for interviewing me.’ It makes it seem more of a check-the-box process, especially if you had a great rapport or relationship starting to form with that person,” she said.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Brevity is key, Johnson said. No recruiter wants to read an entire page of flattery.
She recommended aiming for three 2-3 sentence paragraphs max, with the bulk of the message focusing on what stood out in your conversation and what you’re most excited about in the role.
3. Tailor it to your recipient
Each thank you note should be unique to the person you spoke with, if you want to grab their attention and leave a positive, lasting impression.
If, for example, you’re thanking an outside recruiter, you may not need to touch on the more technical aspects of the role that you talked about with someone internal. And, “if it’s an executive, you definitely don’t want to go into the day-to-day,” said Johnson. “They’re more visionary, so you want to say things about being eager to make an impact within the organization.”
4. Be your authentic (professional) self
There’s no need to try to mimic the interviewer’s tone or personality in your note. Johnson advised making it feel and sound like you (without coming off too casual—this isn’t a text to a friend). Doing so, she added, also ensures you’re the right match for the job. If you don’t mesh in writing, you’re likely not going to mesh well when you start working together.
However, it’s OK to mimic some of their internal language to show you can catch on to their processes and communications. For example, she said, “If you say ‘deadlines’ and they say ‘milestones,’ you might want to use ‘milestones.’”
5. Know it doesn’t have to be an email
Johnson noted that while email is the primary medium for sending a thank you note to a hiring manager or recruiter, it doesn’t have to be the only format you use. “It’s OK to use the platform where they found you. So if they reached out to you on LinkedIn, it is perfectly fine for you to message them back on LinkedIn to say thank you after an interview.”
Another way to go the extra mile—especially if your interviewer is more traditional or you have a feeling they’d appreciate a handwritten note—is to drop a card in the mailbox as well. To connect the two, you can simply add a line to your email like:
P.S. Just because I’m an appreciator of handwritten thank you notes myself, you should be receiving a letter in the mail/I dropped a letter off at the front desk as well!
(And yes, even if you send a snail mail note, you’ll still want to send the email thank you to cover your bases—just in case your interviewer doesn’t get the letter right away.)
Sample interview thank you emails
So, what does this template look like in practice? Here are some example thank you notes you can use to build your own perfect email.
A short-and-sweet thank you email template
This one’s concise and to the point—perfect if you’re looking to quickly follow up after a phone interview or it’s an early-round discussion.
Thank you so much for chatting with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the marketing manager role, and I’m very excited about the opportunity to join News Crew and help your team reach a new audience with your amazing content.
I look forward to hearing from you about next steps, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can provide any additional information.
All the best,
A specific thank you email template
Show you were paying attention during the interview and reiterate what a great fit you’d be for the job with an email that looks like this:
Hi Ms. Bernard,
I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to your office today. It was great to hear about 4Apps’ goals for streamlining your software and placing an emphasis on quality UX design, as well as how you see the engineering department playing a role in these initiatives.
4Apps seems like a wonderful place to work—and not just because you mentioned some great summer outings! I really admire the mission that drives your business, and look forward to the opportunity to help your team implement some of the ideas I mentioned around redesigning the homepage.
Please let me know if there’s anything else you need from me to move the process forward.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
An above-and-beyond thank you email template
While the template above is all you need, if you really want to blow a hiring manager out of the water, add in another few lines before “I look forward to...” with some ideas you have on how you could add value. Think: a quick mock-up of something you discussed in the interview if you’re in a creative role, taglines if you’re in branding, or some slides or possible partners if you’re in business development or sales.
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. I really enjoyed learning more about your career trajectory at CarRuns (and hearing what it was like to join as the fifth employee—so impressive!) and where you see the company going in the next couple years.
To follow up on our conversation about churned clients, I’ve attached a short deck I mocked up on my initial ideas for increasing renewals. Happy to discuss further if you see it being a helpful resource.
I can tell CarRuns is a special place to work, and I would be thrilled to join such an innovative, hardworking, and passionate team of individuals. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can provide to make your hiring decision easier.
How to send an additional follow-up email after an interview (after your thank you note)
In a perfect world, we’d always hear back quickly after an interview—maybe even faster than the timeline they gave you during the conversation. But, of course, that’s not always the case. Here’s some advice on how to send a follow-up email after your thank you note:
- 4 Ways to Frame Your Follow-Up After an Interview
- Why You Should Follow Up If You Don’t Hear Back
- How Long You Should Wait to Follow Up (at Every Stage in Your Job Search)
- How Long It Usually Takes to Receive a Job Offer
Your thank you note sets the tone after your interview. So whatever you do: Don’t skip it. Use the template above to remind the hiring manager what a great applicant you are, and to show how much you care.
Alex Cavoulacos contributed to an earlier version of this article.