If you’re looking for how to write a professional thank you email or note after your interview, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to share exactly what to do (and NOT do) when thanking the employer, based on my experience as a recruiter. And I’ll give you plenty of sample thank you emails that you can use for inspiration, too!
Because the truth is: sending a follow-up message to thank the interviewer is a great idea, but if you don’t send the right type of message, it can do more harm than good. So what you say matters!
Let’s get started…
It’s recommended that you send a thank you email after each job interview you attend. Doing so shows the employer that you appreciate their time, and just as importantly, that you’re still interested in the position. After attending an interview, the employer isn’t sure that you still want this job (just like you’re not sure if the interview went well and they want to hire you).
So it’s important to write a thank you message and to reaffirm your interest in the position and tell them that you’re eager to hear about the next steps. If you don’t say this, they won’t know!
Note that step #6 isn’t 100% necessary to include in a thank you note or thank you email after an interview, but is a nice touch to add.
You’ll see these steps in the interview thank you note/email examples below, so don’t worry if you’re still not sure what to write!
As one final tip before we move on, I recommend you ask each person for their business card after an in-person interview, so that you have their email address and name saved!
If you went on a video or phone interview, you can ask for their contact details at the end of the conversation. Simply explain that it’s for the purpose of following up and sending a thank you message.
Below, you’ll find four good sample thank-you emails. These can also be sent as a typed or handwritten note if you prefer.
Later in the article, I’ll cover the pros and cons of sending this via email versus a handwritten thank you letter/note. So if you’re not sure which to send, make sure to read until the end.
For now, just know that you can use these sample thank you emails in both cases.
Hello <Interviewer’s Name>,
Thank you for taking the time to interview me <yesterday/Friday/etc>. I enjoyed our conversation about <specific topic you discussed> and it was great learning about the <Job Title> position overall.
It sounds like an exciting opportunity and a role I could succeed and excel in. I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns in the meantime.
<Your First and Last Name>
This is a short, casual email that’s best for modern industries like tech, e-commerce, digital marketing, etc.
This type of short message also makes an ideal thank you email to a recruiter or HR person after a phone interview or other first-round interview. At that stage, you don’t need to be sending a lot of detail in your thank you letter; you simply want to give thanks and reaffirm your interest.
And modern companies don’t want to see a ten-paragraph, formal thank you letter that takes ten minutes to read. In fact, it might make them want to hire you less because they’ll doubt whether you’re a fit for their company culture. That’s why I recommend keeping your message short and genuine, like the sample above.
Even if it’s a second- or third-round interview, this type of very short, concise thank-you email can still be effective. Here’s an example of the type of message I’d personally send if I were job hunting right now:
Thank you for your time yesterday. I enjoyed the interview and it was interesting to hear about how the team is expanding and the new types of customers you’re trying to attract.
I’m confident that I can take what I’ve learned at <Current Employer’s Name> and step into your role and be successful, so I’m eager to hear your feedback when you have a chance.
Don’t hesitate to contact me in the meantime if you have any questions or concerns.
However, if you’re in a more traditional or formal industry, or if you want to send a thank you note in the mail rather than email, one of the next two thank you note examples will be better.
Hello <Interviewer’s Name>,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me <yesterday/Friday/etc.> about the <Job Title> position at <Company Name>. It was a pleasure talking with you, and I enjoyed learning more about the opportunity.
The information you shared about <Something specific about the job that interests you> sounded particularly interesting.
I am confident that my skills will allow me to come in and succeed in this role, and it’s a position I’d be excited to take on.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you about the next steps, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information in the meantime.
Thank you again.
<Your First and Last Name>
This example above is a little longer and more formal. You could send this as a handwritten thank you letter after the interview, or as an email.
Note that at the end of the third paragraph, you could also add details about WHY you feel confident you’d succeed in this role. Doing this will make your thank you email more convincing to hiring managers.
Try to remind them of something you shared in the interview, like a piece of past experience, or a skill you have, that will prove to them you’ll be able to come in and be successful in their role.
Dear <Interviewer’s Name>,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me <yesterday/Friday/etc>. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work at <Company Name>.
The <Job Title> role sounds exciting and is a position that I’m confident I’d excel in due to my prior experience in <experience or skill that would help you succeed in this job>.
I look forward to hearing feedback as soon as you have any updates and would love to continue discussing the opportunity with you at that point.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information in the meantime. Thank you again, <Interviewer’s Name>.
<Your First and Last Name>
This is the most formal of the three thank you notes we’ve looked at.
Even the greeting is formal… “Dear” instead of “Hello.”
Of course, you can adjust the tone/greeting in any of these sample thank you notes.
You could also take pieces from each example and combine them, or add more customization.
So if you like one, but feel it’s not formal enough, you can make adjustments. However, in most modern industries, you should be careful not to sound too stiff/formal. Your note should sound genuine.
What would you say if you were standing there, thanking them in-person? Writing out a thank you note isn’t much different! Most people write very differently than they talk, and that’s usually a mistake in your job search because you end up sounding very robotic and unnatural.
Some samples above are more formal while others are more casual. You’ll notice that they’re all relatively brief, though. In my experience as a recruiter, a short thank you email after the interview is best. On average, I recommend 85 to 150 words.
It’s also true whether you’re writing to thank a recruiter, HR person, hiring manager, or anyone else who spent time interviewing you!
Your message could go up to 200 words if you’re very far along in the hiring process and have spent multiple hours interviewing with people from the company, but I’d still aim to be brief and concise, rather than sending a full page.
Use your best judgement, though. You know your industry and prospective employer, so think about what type of message they’ll appreciate. The advice above is simply what works best for the greatest amount of people, on average.
Aim to send your post-interview thank you email the day after your job interview, between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. If your interview was on a Friday, then send your email the same day, in the evening instead of waiting a day. (This is to avoid sending your email on a weekend).
Always make sure the email is sent within 24 hours of your interview so that your conversation is still fresh in the interviewer’s mind.
If you decide to send your thank you note as a letter in the mail, you should still send it within one or two business days of your job interview. They won’t receive it as soon, because the thank you letter needs to get delivered, but it’s best to send it soon after the interview so the employer receives your note relatively quickly.
Whenever sending thank you notes or emails after an interview, be sure to mention a specific topic you discussed with the interviewer, and why you enjoyed discussing it with them.
This is the best way to immediately show them that your post-interview thank you email is written especially for them, and not quickly pasted from a generic template.
Customization is key! Even the best thank you email templates or examples will appear to be low-effort (and will NOT impress the interviewer) if you don’t customize them and show that you really wrote this for them.
So what types of things can you mention? Here are some ideas…
First, you could mention something interesting you learned about the job or company from them. What caught your attention and sounded exciting about the position? If something sounds great about the role, say so!
Or, you could reference one or two of their interview questions and answers you gave in response. For example, if the interviewer asked an interesting question that you enjoyed talking about, you could say:
“I really enjoyed your question about ___ and the discussion that it led to. It was also great learning about how XYZ company does ___”.
Or you could mention something personal they discussed with you! Maybe the interviewer told you they’re going to watch their son at a big basketball tournament that evening.
You could say:
“By the way, I hope your son’s team did great at the basketball tournament. How did things turn out?”
As another example, maybe you mentioned that you love coffee, and the interviewer said, “oh, then you HAVE to try Corner House Coffee around the corner. Best coffee in town.”
You could write:
“By the way, I tried a latte from Corner House Coffee on the way home, and you were absolutely right. It was the best coffee I’ve had in a long time.”
The bottom line is: The more you customize your email after the interview, the more hiring managers will appreciate it. You’ll notice that each sample email above includes space for customization, and this is why.
I get asked this frequently: “What’s your opinion on sending a thank you email, versus mailing a thank you letter after your interview?”
For most people, I recommend email. There are three reasons why:
However, in specific cases, you may want to send a thank you letter in the mail after an interview.
A paper thank you note/letter might be better if you’re in a very traditional industry (like wedding planning). Or if you’re interviewing for a very high-level position (like CFO, Head of Operations, etc.).
But for most job seekers, I recommend sending a thank you email.
One more option to consider: You can write a personalized thank you card and then send a picture of it digitally, either in a LinkedIn message or in an email. That’s a good way to stand out and give a more personalized feel to a digital message.
Email templates are only as good as the effort you put into filling them out and proofreading them.
Go over every detail and make sure it actually makes sense for your situation. If not, sending that thank you email or letter will do more harm than good.
Example: In the third sample email earlier in this article, it says, “thank you for taking the time to meet with me.”
If you had a phone interview, you should say, “thank you for taking the time to talk on the phone with me.”
Otherwise, it’s going to sound a bit odd, and they might suspect you just cut & pasted from a template. Not good!
So be careful, take your time with these sample emails, and make sure every single word makes sense.
Now you know the basics of how to send a great thank you email after the interview. Let’s cover a few mistakes to avoid now, though.
Some of this will be review if you read everything above, but I want to make sure you don’t do anything that could cost you the job!
First mistake: waiting too long to send it. You really want to send this within 24 hours after your interview.
Next, don’t ever copy and paste the same exact email to send to multiple people. They will compare and it looks sloppy/lazy. It takes a lot away from the impact your thank you email will have.
Don’t ever put multiple people in the “To” field of the email either. You should be sending one email to one recipient at a time.
Otherwise, it looks lazy/rushed.
And another big mistake: Thinking you don’t need to send an interview thank you email because the person you met wasn’t the official hiring manager.
I’d recommend sending one any time you had a face-to-face interview with someone. (Or even a video interview.)
Everyone’s opinion can count and the hiring manager can ask everyone what they thought of you. Don’t pick and choose who “deserves” a thank you email. Send it to everyone you’ve met face to face and play it safe!
One more minor mistake: Not asking for business cards after you meet each person during a day of interviewing.
Getting business cards from each person you met with during the interview is the easiest way to keep track of names and email addresses so you can thank them later via email.
So make a habit of asking for this after each conversation!
Use any of the following subject lines when sending your professional thank you email, whether to a recruiter, hiring manager, or other company representative.
If you follow the advice above, you’ll have a great thank you email or letter to help you stand out and land the job!
And finally, if you thank the employer but don’t receive feedback after a week, read this guide on how to follow up for feedback after your interview.