Crafting the perfect ‘Thank You’ email after an interview is one of the biggest frustrations for some people. What do you say? Who do you send it to? How long should it be? Understandably, this is a stressful letter to send as it’s your very last impression on a decision maker. I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst. With that, I’ve been able to identify five steps to writing the perfect interview Thank You email.
No, the Thank You email is NOT Dead
While the traditional written Thank You letter that arrives by mail is no longer a common practice, the expectation of receiving one by email is still prevalent. I have had hiring managers forward me a candidate’s Thank You email and praise the thoughtfulness of it. I’ve also had hiring managers spend time debating between two candidates, and then ask “did she send a Thank You?” “No, well she didn’t really seem that interested in the job so I let go with the other candidate.” It’s true, it happens, and you need to know about it. Writing a concise, thoughtful, informative Thank You email could be the missing piece of the puzzle during your job search.
— Interview & Offer (@Interview_Offer) December 7, 2018
You need to be courteous, persuasive, and to the point. We can outline each part of the Thank You letter to make sure you are hitting each note for the most effective and memorable impression. Following this 5 step process will make you leave a lasting impact in anyone’s inbox.
Part One: Say Thank You
This is a no brainer, right? You may have said it a hundred times during your interview, however you want to make sure it’s also a written statement. “Thank you for your time today” goes a long way. People like to be thought of as important, busy, and authoritative, so letting them know how you’re super appreciative to make time in their calendar to meet you will be noticed. It will also be noticed if you don’t, so you may as well chose which camp you want to be in now.
Part Two: Recall
This is where it’s helpful to take notes during your interview and jot down any key pieces of information you were able to pick up along the way. Think back to your interview and any memorable conversations that stuck with you. Perhaps the hiring manager shared his goals for the project in 6 months or mentioned something the team struggles with regularly. Reflect on that moment in the offer letter and build on it, offer an idea, make a suggestion, or extend a compliment. “I was impressed by…” “I thought more about what you said about budgets being tight. I thought I’d share an example of a time…”. Whatever it is you decide to highlight, call it out and offer a new idea or a compliment.
Part Three: Reinforce
At this point in the Thank You email, if you haven’t yet, this is where you reinforce your experience with an example of a time where you were successful in a relative situation. You want to be sure to call out specifics here as well, however it doesn’t need to be as granular as specific conversation. Saying something like “Your mission to reduce costs by 20% within the next year is going to be challenging, but not impossible. In my most recent project I implemented a cost saving measure of 10% within the first phase of the project.” Identify a situation they are facing and offer an example of how you can address it.
Part Four: Reiterate
Here, you’ll want to reiterate your excitement over the position, the company, and the team. This is a good one to remember if you have multiple interviewers. In each Thank You email, you can focus on either the company, the team or the position, or a mix of them. You’ll be able to craft personalized emails, while saving you the headache of starting from scratch for each one. “I continue to be impressed with the examples you provided of how your team brings the company mission to the forefront of every project.” “You provided me with some great insight into the organization and I continue to be excited over this opportunity.” Feel free to also attach your resume as a reminder, and also an opportunity for someone to easily forward. Keep it short, you don’t want to sound desperate. One to two thoughtful sentences will make enough of an impact.
Part Five: Whats next?
“I look forward to hearing of next steps.” It really doesn’t need to be any more or any less. It is absolutely fine to hint that you are anxiously awaiting for another interview opportunity or an offer. This also gives you a platform to follow up if you don’t get a response back right away, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve heard an update.
In all, the Thank You email should be no longer than one to two short paragraphs. Don’t be long winded. Also, don’t be so abrupt that it seems cocky and nonchalant. If you don’t get a chance to take notes during the interview, make sure you jot down as much as you can immediately after. Try to preserve the nuggets of information you’ve gathered. Keep these 5 tips for writing a Thank You letter in mind after your next interview and you’ll never have to stress over it again!