|  September 26, 2012

What to write in a thank you note after an interview

So you went in for an interview, did an awesome job, and now you’re ready to thank your interviewer.  And yes, you should always write thank you notes.  Here are some tips on what to write in a thank you note after an interview:

thank you note template for after an interview

Image courtesy of Paperless Post

Per the above sample, the template I recommend working with is this: [thank the person for their time] + [mention something about your conversation that you found interesting or helpful] + [reiterate your interest in the job and company] + [emphasize what about your experience would make you good at the job].  Now to elaborate…

Thank you note section 1 – Thank them for their time for interviewing you

After all, this is the original reason you are even sending a thank you note.  Someone has taken the time out of their day to get to know you and evaluate you for a job.  A sincere thanks is one of the most important components of the note

Thank you note section 2 – Mention something from your interview that you found interesting or helpful

This shows your interviewer that you were actually listening and absorbing information during your interview.  It’s important to connect with your interview during the interview but also show them that something resonated with you.

Thank you note section 3 – Reiterate your interest in the job + company

Hopefully you did a good job during the interview explaining why you are interested in the job and why you are interested in the company.  These are things that almost every interviewer are looking for.  It’s always a good idea to re-emphasize these two things in your thank you note, just in case there is any doubt.

Thank you note section 4 – Remind the interviewer that you are perfect for the job

Another thing that you hopefully did during the interview was to let the interviewer know why you are suitable for the job and how your skills enable you to do the job.  Definitely worth throwing one line into the thank you note to remind them of your biggest strengths and skills that will make you a great fit for the job.

A few more parting thoughts on interview thank you notes:

1. Snail mail or email, it’s the message that counts!  A lot of people get hung up on how they are going to send their thank you note but really it’s the content that is important.  Also take a cue from the company and industry.  If you are interviewing at minted.com, you’ll probably want to send a hand-written note.  If you are interviewing with paperless post, probably not!  If you are having trouble deciding, you can do both.  Send the email right after the interview and follow up with a hand-written note starting with “I just wanted to thank you again for…”

2. Don’t let too much time pass by.  There is really no excuse to wait more than 1 or 2 days to write an email.  Some people won’t care but others might hold it against you.  The polite thing to do is write your notes/emails right away so the interviewer knows that you appreciated their time and that you are really excited about the job.

3. You are sending the note to say “thank you” but also to say “remember this about me!” Write a thank you note that makes an impact.  It’s another chance to impress your interviewer and give them something to remember you by.  If there is anything you forgot to emphasize in the interview (and it makes sense in context) include it in the note.  An example might be “I know my years of experience doing X will allow me to make a meaningful impact on your team.”

Remember that part of preparing to write a great thank you note is really getting to know your interviewer and asking thoughtful questions.  Connecting your conversation to the thank you is what makes a note the most impactful as it further connects you to your interviewer.  A good thank you goes a long way, so start writing yours now!

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