Recruiter’s Guide to Perfect Thank You Emails After Interviews

Published:

After Your Interview

Actionable advice from real experts:

picture of Biron Clark

Author

Biron Clark

Former Recruiter

Contributor

Dr. Kyle Elliott

Career Coach

editor

Hayley Jukes

Editor-in-Chief

Recruiter’s Guide to Perfect Thank You Emails After Interviews

Published:

After Your Interview

Actionable advice from real experts:

Biron Clark

Author

Biron Clark, Former Recruiter

Contributor

Kyle Elliott, Career Coach

Image of Hayley Jukes

editor

Hayley Jukes, Editor

Imagine leaving your interview, feeling a mix of relief and excitement after a great conversation with the hiring manager.

But there’s one more step to solidify that positive impression: the thank-you note.

Often overlooked, this simple gesture could set you apart in a crowded field of candidates. In this article, I’m going to share exactly what to do (and NOT do) when thanking the employer, based on my experience as a recruiter.

Highlights

  • Send your thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview to keep your interaction fresh in the interviewer’s mind.
  • Customize your thank you note after the interview to reflect specific aspects of the conversation to demonstrate attentiveness and interest.
  • Keep the email concise, aiming for a length of 85 to 150 words to convey professionalism and respect for the recipient’s time.
  • Follow up politely if you don’t receive a response within a week, to show persistence without appearing pushy.

Why Is It Important To Write a Thank You Email After an Interview?

The post-interview thank you email is something you should get in the habit of sending, no matter what the anticipated outcome is.

Doing so shows the interviewer that you appreciated 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 to reaffirm your interest and tell them that you’re eager to hear about the next steps.

EXPERT ADVICE

Dr. Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES
Tech & Interview Career Coach
caffeinatedkyle.com

Can a well-crafted thank-you thank you letter after the interview influence the decision-making process?

Unless two candidates are equally qualified in every aspect, an email following up after your job interview is unlikely to be the determining factor that secures you a job offer. 

However, when executed well, the thank-you note is a fantastic opportunity to further demonstrate your communication skills and follow-through abilities, as well as reinforce that you’re the right choice for the role. It’s also the perfect method for highlighting any points you may have forgotten to mention during the interview or wanted to further clarify.

When To Send a Thank You Email or Letter After an Interview

Aim to send your post-interview thank you email the day after your job interview, between 12pm and 3pm.

If your interview was on a Friday, send your email the same 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 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 post it within one or two business days of your job interview. You can read my opinion on mail vs letter below.

PRO TIP

I recommend you ask the interviewer for their business card after an in-person interview so that you have their email address and name to hand!

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 to follow up and send a thank you letter after the interview.

How to Write an Interview Thank You Email

  1. Begin with a professional or formal greeting (e.g. “Hello Susan,” or “Dear Susan,”)
  2. Thank the interviewer and tell them that you appreciate their time spent during the job interview
  3. Mention something specific you talked to them about or what you enjoyed learning about in the interview (so they know that this interview thank you email is written specifically for them)
  4. Reaffirm your interest in the position and tell the interviewer that you look forward to hearing about the next steps in the hiring process
  5. Tell the interviewer that they should feel free to contact you if they need any additional information
  6. Optional: Include something to reaffirm that you’re confident you can perform well in this role and explain why
  7. If you interviewed with multiple people in a single day and want to thank them all, send a separate thank you email to each for a more personalized feel.

Pinpoint a moment in the conversation that really spoke to you, and share how it connects with your own skills and experiences. For instance, you might say, ‘The discussion around [Company value] really hit home for me because it aligns closely with my own values, particularly [Your similar value]. With my experience in [Your experience], I see a great opportunity to bring value and contribute meaningfully to your team.

How Long Should Your Thank You Email Message Be?

In my experience as a recruiter, a short thank you email after the interview is best. On average, I recommend 85 to 150 words (a couple of sentences). 

The rule applies to emails written after a phone interview, Zoom/video interview, or a second/third in-person interview. No matter what the first interaction entailed or how it occurred, a short thank you email after the interview will make a nice impression.

Michael Kerr emphasizes:

An email should be brief and to the point. Aim for 3-4 sentences thanking them for their time, reiterating your interest, and mentioning your qualifications. Keep the tone professional and positive.

Thank You Email After Interview Examples: Subject Lines That Get Noticed

Use any of the following subject lines when sending your professional thank you email:

  • Thank you for your time
  • Thanks for your time
  • Thank you for your time on <day>
  • Following up on our conversation
  • A follow-up (and brief thank you!)
  • Thank you for meeting with me!
  • I enjoyed our meeting
  • It was great meeting you in person on <day>
  • Thank you for considering me as your next <position>
  • Thank you for a great meeting, <name of recruiter>

Top 4 Thank You Email Samples from a Recruiter

I have prepared some example thank you emails for you to use as inspiration. You can use the samples as a guide when drafting your own email:

Email 1: Short and Casual Thank You Email

This is a short, casual email that’s best for modern industries like tech, e-commerce, digital marketing, etc (characterized by a more informal and direct style of communication). This type of short message also makes an ideal thank-you email to a recruiter or HR person after a phone interview or another first-round interview.

Hello <Interviewer’s Name>,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me on <day of interview>. I enjoyed our conversation about <specific topic you discussed> and it was great learning about the <Job Title> position.

It sounds like an exciting opportunity and a role I could succeed and excel at. I’m looking forward to hearing any updates you can share. 

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns in the meantime.

Best regards,

<Your First and Last Name>



John D.
Ph: +11 1111 1111
Website: johndoe.net

Email 2: Formal Thank You Interview Email

The sample uses a tone and style that’s more formal and well-suited to various industries or corporate positions. It also mentions a specific detail, making it easier for the recruiter to remember you.

Dear <Interviewer’s Name>,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on <day of interview> 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 <mention specific skills or experience> will allow me to 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.

Best regards,

<Your First and Last Name>



Jane D.
Ph: +11 1111 1111
Website: janedoe.net

Email 3: Thank You Email After a Virtual Interview

The email is specific enough to help the recruiter remember exactly who you are. It also demonstrates your ongoing interest in the position.

Hello <Interviewer’s Name>

I’m writing to thank you and express my gratitude for the time you dedicated to our video interview on <day or date>. I really enjoyed learning more about <Something you learned in the interview).

I’d like to confirm my interest in the <Job Title> position. I believe my <set of skills> make me the perfect candidate.

If you have additional questions or if we need to complete additional steps as a part of the recruitment process, please let me know. I’d be more than happy to move on to the next step.

Kind regards,

<Your Name>



John D.
Ph: +11 1111 1111
Website: johndoe.net

Email 4: Second Interview Thank You Email

In your thank-you email after a second interview, you can go slightly more in-depth to share what you’ve enjoyed hearing about the role so far, what excites you about the opportunity, and why you’d excel in this job. You can even reference relevant information that you discussed with other team members in other interviews.

Dear <Interviewer’s Name?,

Thank you for meeting with me to discuss the <Job Title>role.

I enjoyed hearing about how the position will balance internal project leadership and client meetings as the company grows.

In my previous phone interview, <Phone Interviewer’s Name> mentioned that my <Experience / Background> would serve me well in this job opportunity, and after hearing you describe the <responsibilities>, I can see where my skills would fit in and allow me to make an immediate contribution.

I’m confident this role fits my skill set and long-term goals, and I look forward to the next steps in the interview process.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any further information. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,
<Your Name>



Jane D.
Ph: +11 1111 1111
Website: janedoe.net

How and When to Follow Up After a Thank You Email

If you don’t hear back from a recruiter after five days of sending the thank you for the interview email, following up one last time makes sense. Sometimes, emails get lost. Sometimes, recruitment professionals get busy and distracted. 

Something along the following lines would be a good message to send:

Dear <Name of Recruiter>

Since I haven’t heard back from you after our interview on <date>, I’m sending a quick note to confirm my interest in the position and inquire about the recruitment process.

Are there any updates or any additional steps I need to complete? I’d love to learn a bit more and I’d be excited to find out I’m being considered for the position.

Kind regards,

<Your Name>

If you still don’t hear back from them, you should probably abandon the opportunity and move on to another employment chance.

Email vs. Note: Choosing the Best Way to Say Thank You After an Interview

I get asked this frequently: For most people, I recommend email because:

  1. You can make sure it gets delivered at the exact time you want
  2. It’s easier and takes less time
  3. It’s more modern and simpler for the company
  4. A letter could get lost while being posted, never making it to the recipient

However, in specific cases, 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 high-level position (like CFO, Head of Operations, etc.). 

A letter can add a degree of traditional elegance and personalization that emails don’t have. Still, in most industries and scenarios, a thank you email would be the way to go.

One more option to consider: You could write a personalized thank you card and then send a picture of it digitally, either in a LinkedIn message or an email. That’s a good way to stand out.

Common Mistakes I’ve Seen Candidates Make in Thank You Emails

While a thank you interview email is fairly simple to write, there’s still room for error. Some of the most common mistakes that candidates commit when contacting recruiters this way include:

Not Customizing the Email

Even the best thank you email templates or examples appear low-effort (and will NOT impress the interviewer) if you don’t customize them. So how can you customize the email? Here are some ideas.

  • First, you could mention something interesting you learned about the job or company from the recruiter. What caught your attention and sounded exciting about the position?

You could reference one or two of their interview questions and answers you gave in response. For example, you could say:

“I really enjoyed your question about ___ and the discussion 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 watching 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. 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.”

A cookie-cutter thank-you note just isn’t enough. Make sure to mention something specific from your conversation to demonstrate your attentiveness and involvement. And if you met with multiple people, take a moment to send a personalized thank-you note to each panel member!

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.

Failing to Proofread

A typo is an eyesore. It also suggests sloppiness. Not taking the time to proofread your thank you note, even if you commit a tiny mistake, will raise a red flag.

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.”

Right?

Appearing Too Pushy or Unprofessional 

Sounding too pushy or aggressive will be an immediate turnoff for a recruiter. Keep your thank you note meaningful but lighthearted. An optimistic, friendly tone will get you noticed for the right reasons.

Sending multiple follow-up emails is also a big no-no as it enters the pushy territory once again.

Finally, try to make your note genuine. Tell the person who interviewed you why you are thankful. A cookie-cutter approach towards email creation will make you sound disingenuous and shallow – two qualities that you don’t want to have attached to your persona

More Interview Resources


picture of Biron Clark

About the Author

Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions. Follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Read more articles by Biron Clark


About the Contributor

Kyle Elliott, career coach and mental health advocate, transforms his side hustle into a notable practice, aiding Silicon Valley professionals in maximizing potential. Follow Kyle on LinkedIn.


Image of Hayley Jukes

About the Editor

Hayley Jukes is the Editor-in-Chief at CareerSidekick with five years of experience creating engaging articles, books, and transcripts for diverse platforms and audiences.


45 thoughts on “Recruiter’s Guide to Perfect Thank You Emails After Interviews”

  1. Is it too late to send a letter of thank you after 4 days of interview for a job. Let me hear your opinion about this. Anyway I would go and send it.
    Thanks.

    • I would wait at this point, Stephen. I think it’s a bit late. However, if and when you circle back to ask if they’ve made a decision, you could start by thanking them and telling them that you were excited by what you learned in the interview, and that you’re eager to hear about the next steps.

  2. Thank you very much for the well explained notes,i really appreciate, it was helpful.With this information i have learnt a lot.With no doubt i am going to use this after each and every interview that am going to attend in my life.

  3. Hello! I recently had an interview with three interviewers present. Unfortunately, I only have one e-mail address and reaching out via phone to each interviewer is the only way to get the e-mail addresses. Should I send one e-mail with all three names or is there something else I should do?

  4. Should I still send a thank you email even when the hiring manager said they’ll let me know the next day or the following day at the latest.

  5. I just did an oral examination that uses the point system. They did not have my resume or my supplemental questionnaire, nor did they want it since the meeting was to score my responses to the questions asked. Should I send a thank you email to at least let them know I appreciated their time and meeting them?

    • Sure, it can’t hurt. If you met someone face to face, I like the idea of thanking them and letting them know you appreciate their time. (Like you said, basically).

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for all of the helpful information on obtaining my dream job! I did used a lot of your tips & suggestions on interviews & they paid off! I was out of a permanent position since 2017 & totally discouraged about it. Since I’m in the “older generation” Read your helpful interview tips & information & put them to the test. They were on point! I got it on my own, instead of going through an agency like I have in the past.

  7. What if you forget to send a thank you email and miss the window of opportunity to send a thank you email, to the first person you interview with, but somehow end up getting a call for a second interview with a different hiring manager. Do I send two separate emails? A thank you email to the first hiring manager and a thank you email to the second hiring manager?

    • Just send one to the latest hiring manager you spoke with, after the second interview. It’s too late for the first one, and it doesn’t matter now since they invited you back to interview anyway

  8. If there was more than one person conducting the interview, is it ok to send one email to both of them?

    • Edit: I misread this.

      No. Do not send one email to two people. That’s going to look lazy. If you want to thank both people, send separate emails.

      Just personalize the “thank you” email and mention something specific to each person (something you enjoyed hearing about, etc.) so they know it’s not cut & paste if they compare emails or are sitting next to each other in the office.

  9. Should I send the post interview thank you letter as an attached word document, or have the email be the actual thank you letter?

    • Hi Benjamin- great question. I’d usually recommend just writing it in the actual email, and that’s what I’d do myself. Hope this helps!

  10. If I met with more than 4 people on my interview, would you send the thank you email to each individually or include them all in one email??

  11. I recently jus came from an interview that didnt really go as planned . i was entirely too nerous but the supervisor seemed to really like me. Should i send a thank you email ? and if so do i point out the bad? or try to re-sell myself?

    • I’d just send a regular “thank you” email like this article describes. Don’t try to do more than that :) Good luck.

  12. Hello, I enjoyed the examples and will be using them in future interviews. What if you interview for a panel that uses a point system for hiring. The thank you is pretty much not going to help in that instance correct? I interviewed for a state agency that uses the point system should I still send the thank you email?

    • I’m not sure, Heather. I haven’t deal with employers using a point system. I can almost guarantee they don’t always hire the person who ends up with the most points, though. A lot goes into a hiring decision.

  13. I had a phone interview with multiple interviewers. I did not ask for all their email addresses. However, when the Hiring Manager was setting up the interview, he sent a common email to all of us. Do you think it will be ok to copy email addresses from that email and send a thank you note?

    Will it consider as a negative point in the hiring process, if I send a thank you email after a good couple of days?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Luci,

      I’d use the thank you email that sounds the most like how you’d write/talk. Pick the one that feels the most natural. If you’re in a more traditional industry, like banking/finance, a longer template might be well-received.

      Best regards,
      Biron

  14. If you have an interview and then a second interview, when do you send the thank you? Or do you send a thank you after each interview?

    • Hi Jackie,

      I’d send these “thank you” emails after each interview, assuming you met with somebody new. Basically, the first time you interview with a specific person, it’s nice to thank them for their time.

  15. What if you don’t have the interviewers direct email address? Do you send it through the HR Manager who set up the email?

    • I recommend asking every person you meet with for a business card, so you do have their email address. In this case, I’d ask HR for the interviewer’s email and tell them that you’d like to briefly thank them for meeting with you. If the HR person refuses, you can send them the brief thank you email directly and ask them to pass it along for you.

  16. Thank you for the email and notes examples. I will definitely use them after my interview.

    Wish me luck!

    Best Regards,

    Rosalyn

  17. Short thank you note is always in fashion – burning bridges is only counterproductive ;)

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