Searching for a job – and making a great lasting impression – is no small feat. You’ve got the initial application period where you’re sending out well-designed resumes and cover letters left and right. Then you have to deal with the waiting period before you get called up for interviews. Rinse and repeat. It might seem like you’re not making progress when job offers don’t come to you, but don’t lose hope just yet. Think about what you can do – like being a super memorable candidate. How, you might ask? Try following up with a thank you email after an interview.
Quick tips on acing the interview stage
But before we hop into the thank you email after an interview, we need to talk about the interview itself, first.
Coming prepared with knowledge of the company you’re applying to is one thing. Knowing how best to interact and ask the right questions are different matters altogether. Here are a few essential things to remember when you’re hustling hard in the job search:
- Arrive early for interviews and dress appropriately, even for video interviews.
- Come prepared with useful, thoughtful questions for your interviewer.
- Anticipate the most common interview questions you’ll face.
- Be authentic and professional.
Now that we’re all set, let’s dive into what comes after your grueling, nerve-wracking interviews.
The art of following up with a thank you email after an interview
You might think that your fate is in the hands of the employment gods after you get through that half-hour interview. But nothing’s stopping you from reaching out to follow up and say a quick thank you to your interviewers – regardless of how well you think you did.
It’s important to stay humble and show gratitude freely, especially early on in your career. No one ever climbed to the top of the ladder by burning bridges and ruining relationships – so it’s best to get a headstart and into the habit of being a pleasant person to work with.
Here are some great benefits of following up and simply saying thank you:
- You remember that every opportunity should be treasured. It’s good to cultivate a healthy appreciation for anything that comes your way, even if it ends negatively (or not as well as you had hoped). With every fudged attempt comes a chance to better cherish the next gig or interview, and this is a valuable character trait you’ll want for the rest of your life.
- Prospective employers or hiring managers will retain a good impression of you. Even if you stumbled over most of their questions in the interview room, saying a simple thank you might show employers the best of you. What might that be? A pleasant personality, enough humility to say thank you even if the experience doesn’t tangibly benefit you… these might be the factors that make someone say yes to you.
- You’re opening up doors to a strong network of contacts. Yes, even employers who reject you. Saying thank you isn’t quite the same as silence. Proactively taking the extra step to reach out and express your gratitude can also give you a chance to emphasise again your willingness to work with the company in the future. It could be in the form of freelance jobs or otherwise. Either way, you lose nothing by being thankful – and you’ll be taking the first step in the right direction when it comes to networking.
- It’s simply good manners. C’mon. Surely you were raised better than that.
How to write a thank you email after an interview
We’ll start you off with a quick template. Here’s what a good thank you email after an interview will look like:
SUBJECT LINE: Thank you for the opportunity to interview (Digital Marketing Specialist)
Hi <interviewer name>,
I thought of dropping you a line to thank you for the chance to speak with you and <other interviewer name>. The interview session was really eye-opening in my opinion, and I learned a great deal about professional expectations and <other stuff you discussed>. I really enjoyed speaking with you about the <job position> at <company name>.
Our discussion about <company name>’s work culture further confirmed my desire to work with your organisation. I would like to express again my enthusiasm to join the team, and hope that I’ll hear from you soon with great news.
Again, I appreciate the time you took to speak with me and answer my questions patiently.
A few things to highlight from the above template:
- Pay attention to your subject line. Make it clear right away that you’re thanking them for the interview opportunity, and remind them which position you applied for. Drop your name in the subject line if you want to.
- In your main message, bring back key parts of the interview you really liked and benefited from. Use those good experiences to emphasise again how much you want to work for them.
- In your signature, include links to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio, just in case they want to take a second glance. It helps, and it makes you look way more professional.
- Please proofread, edit, and proofread again! Typos are embarrassing – and addressing emails to the wrong person, even more so.
- Overall, your thank you email should primarily be about expressing gratitude and appreciation. Then you’re all set!
When sending out your thank you emails, bear in mind that it’s common courtesy to email each interviewer separately instead of lumping all your thanks in one email to a single point of contact. Your effort will be recognised and appreciated, so don’t slack off.
So when should I send that thank you email after an interview?
Ideally, it’s best not to wait too long before you follow up with a thank you email. Hiring managers and interviewers see many candidates in a day, and being remembered is harder than you think.
Always send out your thank you emails within 24 hours after your interview. That way, things are still fresh in the minds of your prospective employers, and they won’t have to squeeze their skulls dry trying to remember which face you were, exactly.
BTW, you can also send thank you emails or messages through other mediums like LinkedIn and even text message (if you have the interviewers’ numbers, though I’m not sure how you’d end up with them). The more personal and sincere your thank you message is, the better.
Now that you know how to follow up with a sweet thank you email after an interview, it’s time to get back to the crazy job search.