The Importance of a Post-Interview Thank You Note

A successful interview shouldn’t end with just a handshake: rather, a thank you note that ensures you make one final, positive impression on your hiring manager. “Sending a thank you note should be considered an essential part of the interview process,” says Samantha Wolf, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Temporary division. “Many job seekers don’t realize that not sending one implies a lack of follow-through and commitment, which are two major red flags that can impact an employer’s decision to hire you.”

Since following up after the interview can mean the difference between receiving a job offer and a rejection, here are 3 simple steps to help you write a stellar thank you note:

Include these main points

Think of a thank you note as your second opportunity to re-emphasize your interest in the position, reconnect with your interviewer(s), and re-sell your strengths. To help convey this, touch upon these basic points when writing your thank you note:

  • Your appreciation for the interviewer’s time
  • A reference to something that you and the interviewer talked about
  • How you see yourself fitting into the company
  • Your availability for follow-up questions/meetings

Customize it

Avoid using generic online templates when writing a thank you note and take the time to create something that speaks to the job/company as well as the individual(s) you interviewed with. “Remember, the hiring manager took time out of their day to meet with you,” notes Samantha. “The least you can do is make an effort to customize your note.”

In addition, if you’re interviewing with multiple people, it’s highly important to personalize your notes accordingly. Chances are, your interviewers will compare notes when deciding whether or not to move forward in the process with you. As a result, a copy and pasted thank you note may come across as insincere, while—personalized thank you note that is tailored to your conversation will help set you apart from others who have interviewed.”

Send it in a timely manner

Since the hiring process moves quickly, a delayed thank you can mean a missed opportunity. As a result, Samantha recommends drafting your thank you within 24 hours of the interview and sending it via e-mail. “The quicker your note is sent, the more likely it is for the interviewer to remember key moments from the interview,” she says. “For any given position, an employer can be meeting with as many as 10 candidates, so staying top of mind can be key to landing the job.”

Once you send the email, following up with a handwritten note is an extra special touch that can help you stand out. “Since everything in today’s world is so digital, a note sent through the mail can showcase your sincerity and thoughtfulness,” notes Samantha.