When Should You Send a Thank-You Letter after Your Interview?

Job interviews are all about making a good impression – and if you’re really interested in a position, you want this positive impact to continue after you leave. Interviewers are typically very busy people who meet lots and lots of candidates, so you want to stay at the top of their minds. For these reasons, sending a thank-you email or letter promptly can be a critical step in your job-hunting strategy.

  • Nearly three-quarters of job applicants don’t bother to send thank-you notes. Yet, in a recent survey, 80 percent of HR managers said these notes were helpful. This is especially true when a final hiring choice comes down to two seemingly equally qualified candidates. Then, a well-crafted note can be the deciding factor.

Timing matters.

Whether you send a follow-up email or a handwritten note, you should do so within 24 hours – or one business day – of your interview.

  • In most cases, an email thank-you note is completely appropriate. Email has the advantage of being the quickest way to put your name back in front of your interviewers. It’s more modern and simpler for the company. And, it gives you the ability to attach hyperlinks or other materials that may help advance your candidacy to the next round.
  • If you’re interviewing at a company that is more traditional or formal, use snail mail. This may also be the better option if you’re vying for a very high-level position or if you have a hunch your interviewer may prefer it. In one study, 86 percent of HR managers said they liked handwritten notes, yet they received them from only slightly more than 20 percent of candidates.
  • Handwritten notes also come in handy to send to others at a company who helped you out during your interview visit. This may include receptionists, office managers or administrative assistants. It’s a nice, thoughtful gesture and leaves a lasting good impression on people who could be very important allies should you be hired.

Customize every thank-you note.

There’s nothing wrong with referring to templates, but be sure to tailor each thank-you note to its recipient. In addition to expressing your gratitude for a person’s time spent interviewing you:

  • Mention specific things that the two of you talked about.
  • Express your continued interest in the job and the company.
  • Proofread your note – including emails – before sending it.
  • Keep it brief – no more than two or three paragraphs.

Make a personalized impact and in doing so, send a signal that you know proper business etiquette and are interested enough in an opportunity to go the extra mile and reach out afterwards.

As you perfect your job hunt process – everything from finding current opportunities to resume and interview prep and follow up, consider partnering with an experienced search consultant from TRC Professional Solutions. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.