A job interview is not easy. A lot of prep work goes into a simple face-to-face meeting with your potential future employer, from learning the answers to the most common interview questions to dressing for the job you want — the checklist is endless. However, what many candidates tend to forget is that the interview doesn’t end with a friendly handshake and goodbye. Instead, what you do after the interview counts for a lot, too, especially if you want to stand out from the other interviewees. One of the best ways to leave a lasting impression is to send a ‘Thank You’ email after an interview.
The thing about sending a follow-up email is that it doesn’t require too much effort at all. What’s more, a follow-up email is further proof that you are enthusiastic about the role you applied for, and you want the conversation to carry on even after the actual job interview has concluded.
If writing is not your forte, let alone writing a ‘Thank You’ email after an interview, here is a quick list of things you should include.
Basic items to consider including in your post-interview ‘Thank You’ email:
Show gratitude: First, you want to be polite. Just as how you thanked the interviewer for his or her time, double down on the gratitude in the opening of the follow-up email.
Send a reminder: Emphasise once again why you are the right person for the job and why you applied in the first place. A proper interviewer should remember these points but, after a dozen meetings, names, faces and intentions can sometimes blur into one. It’s important, then, to remind them why you are the right candidate.
Follow up on queries: No matter how prepared we are for an interview, we don’t always have all the facts and figures off the top of our heads. The ‘Thank You’ email after a job interview is also a great opportunity to address some of the queries you weren’t able to answer before. At the end of this, offer to answer any further questions that they might have.
Next moves: Close your email by reiterating your appreciation for the opportunity, then ask about how the situation should proceed.
Template for your post-interview ‘Thank You’ email:
Hello [name of interviewer],
It was a pleasure to speak with you earlier today to discuss [the role you applied for] at [company you are applying to]. I appreciate the time you set aside for the conversation.
I feel like we touched on many aspects of the position that fit the career that I am looking for. I believe that my prior experience with [a skill or skills you want to emphasise] will help me thrive in the role and steer the company in the right direction. I am particularly excited about the [a specific project/initiative] that the company is working on, and I would love to be a part of that.
If there are any additional questions that I can answer, feel free to get in touch with me. Thank you once again for the meeting. Do keep me posted on how we can proceed with the next steps.
[your name here]
The above template should suffice, no matter the kind of position you are applying for. It is formal yet casual enough to feel friendly.
Additionally, if the job interview went beyond work-related topics — for example, personal travel experiences, the schools you attended, life as a parent, etc — it is not impossible to include some of those pointers here to make an impression. For example, if the interviewer asked about a special guest house you visited in Japan, it is a good idea to bring up the conversation again and drop him or her a link to the guest house. Of course, this depends highly on the tone of the interview, so you have to be the judge if this is appropriate (or not).
Here is a list of final considerations to keep in mind before you click ‘Send’:
A clear subject line: We receive tonnes of emails every day — and an interview does too. Make your subject line clear and concise to stand out in the inbox. A “Thank you for the interview” should work for the most part, but adjust the tone accordingly.
Adjust the template: Just because it is a useful template doesn’t mean you have to stick to every word of it. Your ‘Thank You’ email after an interview can remain largely the same, but details can be adjusted depending on the nature of the role. Not only do you want to stand out from other candidates, you want to stand out from other candidates sending follow-up emails, so make sure to include a thing that only the two of you talked about.
Timing is everything: The best time to send the email is anywhere within 24 hours of the chat. This demonstrates your interest in the role, and it keeps you top of mind with the interviewer as well. With that said, wait an hour or two after the job interview to send the email. You want to seem interested, but not so eager that you come across as disingenuous.
Finally, perhaps the most important part of a ‘Thank You’ email after an interview is to be true to yourself. Templates are helpful when it comes to job search, but you don’t necessarily want the email to come across as a cookie-cutter version of a ‘Thank You’ note. Write what you would normally say verbally to a person, and the email will naturally be more genuine and personal. Good luck for that second interview!