INTERVIEWS / APR. 23, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Write a Thank-You Note Post-Interview

It may sound silly to write a thank-you note after walking out of an interview--particularly if the interview didn't go well--but the truth is that it's a practice that every professional should adopt. Surprisingly few people do it, so those that do tend to stand out from the rest.

Why write thank-you notes?

  1. It shows that you valued the interviewer's time.
  2. It proves you care about the job.
  3. It demonstrates confidence.

8 Steps to Writing a Professional Thank-You Note

Step 1: Start with the details. You need to add things like:

  • The name of the interviewer
  • The position/title
  • The company where you interviewed

Make sure that you have all of those details right before you start writing the note.

Step 2: Open with a professional, friendly greeting. "Hey Dude" is never a good way to open a professional letter. You can start it out with "Dear Mr. (name)", as that will show you remembered his name. ALWAYS avoid opening with "Dear Hiring Manager for (Company)". It makes it look like a stock letter--big NO-NO!

Step 3: Thank them for the time. "I appreciate the time you took today to speak with me regarding the (position/opening)." If it was a face-to-face meeting, a phone interview, or a Skype call, make sure to add that to the thank-you paragraph.

Step 4: Add some important detail that shows you paid attention during the interview.  Did the interviewer mention he's a Dodgers fan, has traveled to France, or collects coins as a hobby? Mention it positively in your letter. "I was fascinated by your description of (hobby)…"

Step 5: Show how they added value to your day. "Our discussion on ethics in the workplace gave me an appreciation for the responsibility we all have to our company." Show that they taught you something, and it endears you to them just a little bit more.

Step 6: Remind them of your interest/eligibility. "The topics we discussed reinforced my interest in the position/opening at your company, and I look forward to putting my (specific expertise) to work in (specific situation)." It's just a little "Remember Me!" to remind them that you're the man/woman for the job.

Step 7: Don't push it. Remember that you're just one of the candidates that they have interviewed for the position. You may be the best, but don't remind them of that. "I look forward to hearing from you once you have completed the interviews with the other candidates."

Step 8: Thank once again and close. "Thank you once again for the opportunity to interview for (position). If you have any further questions or wish to contact me, feel free to do so at (phone number, email, etc.). Sincerely, (name)."

As simple as that, your professional thank-you note is complete. You don't need to add too much, but make sure it is personalised and sincere.

Important: Try to write it out by hand as much as possible. An email is good, but a handwritten note sent via the post or delivered in person is always best.

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