The Rules of Writing a Thank-You Email After a Job Interview

Sending a thank-you email following a job interview is always a smart idea. In fact, some hiring managers think less of candidates who neglect to follow-up properly.

One big reason to embrace the thank-you email is that it’s just good manners. Another reason is a bit more self-serving: It’s another chance to make a positive impression with an employer. In the email, you can reference interview highlights to jog your reader’s memory when it comes to how your abilities and experience are a solid fit. Also, the thank-up email is a chance to address anything you forgot to mention or any minor missteps.

Of course, there are a few best practices when it comes to writing a thank-you email after a job interview. The following rules can help you compose an email that has the intended impact.

Consider the ‘When’ and the ‘Who’

You want to avoid having the hiring personnel with a potential employer thinking you’re ungrateful or overconfident. Therefore, you ought to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview.

It’s also a smart idea to email everyone you had a significant interaction with, from the HR person who set up the interview to the department manager you might be working under. If you don’t have the contact info of a potential supervisor, ask for it from your principal point of contact in the candidate selection process, such as the staffing company recruiter or HR worker. Typically, you should send a personalized email to each person, but if you participated in a panel interview, it would be acceptable to send a group email.

What to Include

As noted above, your email should reiterate your strongest selling points. It should also shore up your biggest weakness. For instance, if the hiring manager said they were concerned about your lack of experience, you should mention how a lack of experience means you are less set in your ways, and more adaptable than more experienced candidates.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Don’t feel compelled to write out a two-page essay on your interview. A thank-you email ought to be short and to the point. In the same way to don’t want to spend hours on a long essay, most hiring managers don’t have the time to read such an email. These folks typically consider multiple candidates and often have a wide range of responsibilities that keep them busy.

A thank-you email ought to be long enough to cover your main points, but short enough that it takes less than a minute to read.

Keep It Professional

With regards to tone, professionalism is always the best bet. Steer clear of slang, excessive exclamation points and emojis. That being said, you don’t want to come off as robotic. Go for succinct, conversational language that feels respectful and ‘safe for work’.

We Can Help You with Your Next Application Process

The typical application process can be pretty tricky. At Superior, we connect job seekers to great job opportunities, and we help them navigate the application process. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your next job search.


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