Preparing for and attending interviews can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking, process. What comes afterwards, can be even more so.
So, what’s the best way to make a final, positive impression after an interview?
Extending a formal “thank you” to the company and the interviewer can be quite important. While some may argue it’s a waste of time, many hiring managers say that a genuine “thank you” can go a long way. You just need to be sure that your expression of gratitude (aka the “thank you” letter) doesn’t sound like every other candidate’s.
Writing a compelling message to each interviewer, that’s both professional and personal, can help you stand out in eyes of a hiring manager. Take advantage of that and use the following guide to learn how to write an impressive “thank you” letter after an interview.
Why you should write a “thank you” letter
The job interview often indicates to hiring managers how you will show up as an employee. So, why is writing a “thank you” letter after an interview so important? Finishing the interview process by thanking those that took the time to interview you will be appreciated – sometimes it can even be a determining factor for landing the job.
Whether you send a letter in the mail or reach out via email after an interview, you demonstrate your interpersonal and communication skills. For the hiring manager, this is quite telling.
Moreover, following up with a “thank you” letter could also reflect how you would treat customers and colleagues, if given the opportunity to join the organization.
It also proves you are interested in the job. Consider this – if the choice is between you and someone else with similar qualifications, and that person writes a “thank you” letter but you don’t, who do you think will make a better impression?
On another note, a “thank you” letter is the perfect way to ask for feedback on your interview and follow up on a few other point that may have been made during your discussion with the hiring manager.
What to include
The key objective to writing a “thank you” letter is to make it memorable. Just as you’ve tried to put your best foot forward throughout the interview process, finishing it with more than just an “It was nice meeting you.” will go a long way. Including the following elements in your letter can catch the hiring manager’s attention:
- The date you wrote the letter and the address of recipient (if this is a physical letter)
- A catchy subject line (if you’re writing an email). Personalize it, to create curiosity and compel the receiver to open it (e.g., Seems like it’s a match!)
- An opening line that addresses the interviewer – this should be as formal or informal as you feel is appropriate, but it should be professional (e.g., “Dear”, “Hello”, “Hi”)
- An opening paragraph (one to three sentences long) expressing appreciation for the opportunity
- A brief statement showing your continued interest in the open role and why you want to be the one that gets the offer
- A clear, yet concise, paragraph discussing the immediate impact you will have on the team or organization
- One more quick “thank you”, “I appreciate it”, “I’m grateful for your time” with a call-to-action that will encourage a response
- A professional sign-off (e.g., “Sincerely”, “Best”, “Thank you”, “With gratitude”)
- Your signature if it’s a physical letter that you’ll be mailing or dropping off
- Your contact information
Steps to writing an effective “thank you” letter
When writing a “thank you” letter following an interview, try to simplify the process. If you follow these five steps, you’ll end up with a top-notch message that speaks volumes about your interest in the job and your fitness within the company.
1. Personalize it
Take a moment to reflect on your interview. What did you and the interviewer have in common? Was there a topic that kept coming up during your conversation?
Your first paragraph should be a quick recap of what made you connect with them.
Starting the letter this way will help the interviewer recall your meeting and the key points that were discussed. Your goal in writing this paragraph should be to capture the reader’s interest and encourage them to keep reading.
2. Express your interest
It’s clear that you’re interested in the job, so why does it need to be broadcasted, yet again? You may think you made it clear that you want to work for the company, but the hiring manager may want more reassurance.
Remember, the interview process is a two-way street. Make it clear in your “thank you” letter that this is the job you want. This can be stated in one sentence, followed by some solid reasons that back up your claim.
Speaking of reasons, make sure the interviewer understands why this position excites you. In doing this you’re stripping any doubt from the hiring manager’s mind, making them confident you’ll accept if offered the job. You don’t need to elaborate extensively - use a simple sentence or two for your explanation.
3. Prove your impact
Hiring managers want to make sure of two things when making a hire. They need to be certain the new addition will fit in with their current team and that this person will have a positive impact to the company overall.
Hopefully, you were able to demonstrate your fitness for the role and company during your interview but reinforcing it in your “thank you” letter certainly won’t hurt. Use a few sentences to concisely summarize the contributions you are hoping to make on the team and company right out of the gate.
4. Sign off with a call-to-action
Here’s your final chance to make a good final impression. It only takes one sentence to make a statement such as “thanks again for your time”.
Use the following sentence to pose a question like “Do you have any additional questions for me?” will be able to prompt a response.
You can also use this section of the “thank you” letter to ask for feedback from the interviewer – although you can also do this after they have reached a conclusion about your application.
You may also utilize this part clear up any confusion or miscommunication that may have occurred during your meeting to ensure this won’t get in the way of landing the role. Therefore, taking this final step ensures the conversation keeps moving in the right direction and ties up loose ends.
5. Review and send
If you want the job, then don’t rush into writing and sending off your “thank you” letter without giving it a second look.
Once you’ve created the first draft of the letter, review it to make sure you covered all the boxes and requirements that we’ve mentioned above. Tweak as necessary and then perform a spell-check. You could also choose to use a tool like Grammarly, to ensure your writing is professional and free of grammatical errors.
Sending a “thank you” letter after an interview can be taxing. But if you’ve gone through the steps above you can turn those nerves into confidence knowing that you’re presenting yourself in a way that other candidates aren’t. Give it one final look and send it off!
“Thank you” letter examples
Having a step-by-step process to walk through while writing your “thank you” letter is helpful. Seeing a real example ensures it all makes sense and will give you the confidence you need to write your own. Use this example as a model for your own.
Sending a physical “thank you” letter used to be the norm. But email is now the most common method to express your gratitude after an interview. Here’s an example of a “thank you” letter sent via email:
Here is another example of an impactful “thank you” letter that you can stick in the mail to send to the organisation. Just remember that this approach might be considered a little outdated and will also take a few days to reach them.
Crafting a “thank you” letter after an interview could the kind of gesture that gets you noticed, and possibly land you the job.
Be sure to include the must-have elements that were discussed above and make the process easier on yourself by following our steps.
Creating a template will save you time in the future but ensure to modify it for each hiring manager and organisation! The more tailored it is to the discussions you had during your interview and the role, the better!
Join the discussion! Have you got any questions related to writing a “thank you” letter? Share them with us in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 7 November 2017.