How to Write a Post-Interview Thank You Letter (+ a Template)

How to Write a Post-Interview Thank You Letter (+ a Template)
by Laura Bauman
Photos Stephanie Yang | October 18, 2016
Fact: writing a thank you email or letter after that interview is everything.
You update your resume, search for a job, work to land an interview, and then you rock it. You leave the building and thank your lucky stars the hard part is over—the rest is in the company’s hands, right?

Wrong. You have one more step post-interview. One that you (and many of your peers and colleagues) often forget: the thank you note.
Whether you decide to hand write or email your thanks, it needs to be done—and it can be a tricky process to do it right. Good thing we’re breaking it all down for you right here.

YOUR THANK YOU: To Hand Write or To Email?

This is the first, and truthfully, the most difficult question to answer, even for managers. Some feel that handwritten notes have “gone the way of the horse and carriage” while others feel that it’s an essential way to prove you’re thoughtful and dedicated. While any thank you note is a positive gesture, a handwritten note almost always will put you one step ahead of the competition. But that’s not to say a thank you email doesn’t do the trick, too, especially in a tight hiring schedule when a mailed note may arrive too late. We recommend a hybrid method: do both.

Send an email within 24 hours (see our section on When to Send for more details). Most likely, your interviewer is quite busy and will appreciate reading a quick email. Aim to drop a formal note into the mail the same day as well. With that being said, if you have bad penmanship: Just. Send. It. In. An. Email.

What To WRITE in Your Thank-You NOte

Keep it simple. You don’t have to suck up, but you do have to be sincere. Try something like this:
Hi Bob,

I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. After talking with you and the XYZ Company team, I am even more excited about the position and think I will fit in with the team well.

Please feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions.

Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.

Laura Bauman
- Or -
Mr. Smith,

Thank you again for meeting with me today regarding the Sales Position with ABC Company. Our interview solidified my desire to work with your team and I am confident I can be an asset to the company.

I am available for any follow-up questions you or the team at ABC might have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

Laura Bauman

Who To Thank

Thank anyone who was in your interview! Ideally, send separate notes or emails to each interviewer. Just be sure you remember or jot down their names during the interview so you don’t miss one. It’s smart to double check any spelling too—simply search the company website or LinkedIn for that!

What If I Don’t Have Their Contact Information?

Their contact information may be easy enough to find by searching the company’s website or finding them on LinkedIn. Try not to send the message on LinkedIn if you can help it, though. Many people ignore their account when they’re not job hunting so your message may get lost. Plus, it looks great when they know you took extra time to find their contact information just to send a thank you. 

If you’re in a group interview, and you can’t find the whole groups’ information, send your main contact the note and say something like, “I could not locate their contact information, but please send my thanks to Person A, Person B, and Person C for their time and great questions” or “Please also send my thanks to Person A.” You could even ask the HR person or company connection who got you the interview to send you their emails so you can shoot off a thank you note.

If you’re mailing the letter, you can use this format:

            Fence Talk Digital

            Attn: Laura Bauman

            123 Street St.

            Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Want more help? We made a video for this:

When To Send Your Thank-You NOte

Um, now. If sending via snail mail, write and post the letter immediately after the interview. If you’re emailing, by the end of that day is preferred, but within 24 hours is a must. You want the note to get there while they’re still talking about you. They could be making the decision in the next few days, and if they get your thank you earlier than the other candidates’, it could put you one step ahead.

How to Follow Up After the Interview

So you’ve sent the letter. Now you can wait to hear back. But not too long. If your interviewer told you they’d follow up within five days, don’t be afraid to contact them in eight. If they didn’t give you an idea of when you would hear back, feel free to send a quick email after a week saying something such as:
Hi Bob,

I hope you’re having a great Monday. I was just following up to see if you and the team had any other questions about my resume or interview. I would love to clarify anything that may have been of concern or confusion.

This way, you’re not pushing to hear back about the job, you’re simply looking to be sure they have everything they need to make a sound decision. This will probably result in a response saying where they’re at in the interview process.

What Else?

Don’t be afraid to include a follow-up question or two—but make sure it’s not “when will I hear back?” as you don’t want to seem too pushy, and they probably did not decide in the time it took to leave the building.

Also, don’t be afraid to personalize it. For example, in my second interview for the job I currently have, we joked about changing my computer background to fall leaves since I was living in Southern California at the time. I mentioned in my thank you note that I had changed my background prior to leaving the city, per our joke. It was a simple comment that show I paid attention and enjoyed my time at the interview. In addition, the personalization might help the interviewer remember you! That sounds harsh, but who knows how many people they interviewed that week or even that day.

Don’t sweat the thank you note. It’s not a complicated piece of the job search process, but it’s definitely one of the most important ones. If you’re still feeling unsure, take a look at the more general thank you note etiquette we covered here.