The Importance of Sending a Thank-You After a Job Interview

Posted on Scientific Staffing. 4 May, 2017

Although many candidates don’t do it, sending a thank-you after a job interview can go a long way towards helping you stand out amongst your competitors. A recent CareerBuilder survey of Hiring Managers revealed that 22% are less likely to hire a candidate if they do not send a thank-you post-interview, with 86% feeling that it showed a lack of follow-through. Some of the benefits of a well-composed thank-you include:

  • Allows you to present any important information that you forgot to mention during the interview.
  • Allows you to clarify anything that you feel you did not explain or present effectively during the interview.
  • Places you back into your interviewer’s awareness.
  • Allows you to reiterate why you are the best person for the job.
  • Communicates your enthusiasm for the position.
  • Helps you stand out from your competition.
  • Demonstrates your skills with written communication.
  • Establishes your attention to detail and follow-through.
  • Most importantly, demonstrates good manners and professional courtesy towards your interviewer.

No matter what kind of interview you have – phone, in-person, online video – thank-yous are an important follow-up. As soon as your interview is complete, with the conversation still fresh in your mind, begin composing your thank-you. Let’s explore how best to do it.

Delivery Methods for Thank-Yous

There are a variety of different mediums in which to deliver your professional thank-you: snail mail (hand-written or typed note), email, text message, phone calls and social media. Your choice of medium somewhat depends on the job you are seeking, as well as your sense of what your interviewer will prefer. If you are interviewing for a scientific or technical position, for example, a thank-you email will likely be well-received.

In the CareerBuilder survey, 89% of Hiring Managers said it was OK to send a thank-you in the form of an email. In another survey by Accountemps, in which more than 500 Hiring Managers were asked to identify the most appropriate way for job seekers to thank an employer following an interview, email came out on top:

  • Email – 87%
  • Phone calls – 81%
  • Hand-written – 38%
  • Social media – 27%
  • Text message – 10%

Although a hand-written or typed thank you delivered via snail mail offers a nice personal touch, it’s quite possible that your interviewer may not get a chance to read your letter in time for it to have any impact on his/her decision. Additionally, as this survey reveals, text messages and social media posts are probably best avoided for thank-yous. Finally, lest you worry too much about the method of delivery, the content of your thank-you is far more important than the medium.

When to Send a Thank-You

While it may be tempting to fire off that pre-composed email just a few minutes after your interview ends, it is wise to wait several hours before sending your thank-you. Instead of communicating sincerity, an immediate thank-you may be interpreted as more of an obligatory or automatic response by your interviewer. You want to give the impression instead that you took some time to digest what was discussed in your interview, and have concluded that you are still enthusiastic about the position. A follow-up thank-you that is sent somewhere between 6 and 24 hours after your interview should be effective. And yes, if you met with multiple people, be sure to send a customized note to each one of the people that you have contact information for.

Content for Your Thank-You

Here are some other important points to keep in mind when composing your thank-you:

  • Say “thank you”: Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to interview for the position.
  • Reference specific points of the interview: This helps remind the interviewer of your conversation. For example, you could note an area of discussion you found particularly interesting, or highlight what the interviewer liked about you.
  • Your fit for the position: Highlight your skills and expertise that make you the right candidate for the job.
  • Enthusiasm: Make sure you convey your enthusiasm for the position.
  • Don’t ramble. Keep your message to a paragraph or two, or just a few minutes on the phone.
  • Clarification on any outstanding questions: Address any issues you feel need resolution, or any concerns expressed by the interviewer.
  • Next steps: Close your communication with another “thank-you,” and by summarizing any next steps discussed during your interview.
  • Proofread: Double- and triple-check for grammatical and spelling errors. Preferably, have someone else proofread your note before you send it.

Examples of Thank-Yous

When writing your thank-you, make sure it is customized to the person you are sending it to. Also, while it’s important to be authentic, don’t slip into a casual or informal tone by using emoticons or acronyms like “LOL.” Below is an example of a thank-you note, in both email and snail mail format, that you can use to help guide the process of composing your own. Be sure to replace the Bold Italicized text with whatever terms are appropriate for you and your situation. While these templates are a good starting point, make sure you add in content that is highly customized and relevant to your interview, interviewer, and the company in question.


Sample Thank-You Email:

Subject Line: Your Name – Thank You

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to interview for the position of [job title] yesterday [or today, if appropriate]. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this position. I also enjoyed speaking with you and meeting other members of the staff at [company]. I am very interested in this position and the prospect to joining your team.

I feel my skills and experience are a very good match for the requirements of this job. As we discussed, you need someone with strong [whatever] skills, and I have extensive experience with [whatever technology or tool that is important to the job and that you have experience using]. In addition, my current [or former] position as [job title] with [company name] has provided the opportunity to polish my skills in [whatever] and [whatever] needed for your [job title] position.

Again, thank you for considering me for this wonderful opportunity. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or need more information. I look forward to hearing from you next week [or whenever they said they would be in touch] and hope to join your staff soon.

Best regards,

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


Sample Thank-You Letter:

Date of the letter

Name of the Recipient
Job Title of the Recipient
Name of the Employer

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to interview for the position of [job title] yesterday [or today, if appropriate]. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this position. I also enjoyed speaking with you and meeting other members of the staff at [company]. I am very interested in this position and the prospect to joining your team.

I feel my skills and experience are a very good match for the requirements of this job. As we discussed, you need someone with strong [whatever] skills, and I have extensive experience with [whatever technology or tool that is important to the job and that you have experience using]. In addition, my current [or former] position as [job title] with [company name] has provided the opportunity to polish my skills in [whatever] and [whatever] needed for your [job title] position.

Again, thank you for considering me for this wonderful opportunity. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or need more information. I look forward to hearing from you next week [or whenever they said they would be in touch] and hope to join your staff soon.

Best regards,

[your name] 

Signature

Your Name
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


About the Author

Mary Schwans is the Managing Director of Astrix Technology Group’s Staffing Division and is a recruiting expert in the Scientific field. She joined Astrix in 2006 where she has been responsible for the startup and success of the division by growing it from its infancy into an emerging leader in the scientific recruiting field. Ms. Schwans has a strong technical background. She graduated with her BS in Biology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and first began her career as a scientist in academic laboratories. Ms. Schwans is also part of several Scientific organizations and has held board positions with ALMA.

 

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