You’ve aced the interview. You were well prepared, the discussion was lively and you even impressed them by asking a few smart and insightful questions at the end. Now, should you send a thank you note after interview? And if so, what should you include in it?

Sending a thank you note after interview is like including a cover letter in a job application. Not every single hiring manager or company expects you to send one, but sending one can make all the difference and can even be a make or break. As a recruiter, if a candidate sends a thank you note after an interview, I always make sure the hiring manager receives it. It’s because of this that I know just how important a thank you note is to some hiring managers and the potential risk your taking by not sending one.

I once had a hiring manager tell me he was relieved that a candidate had finally sent a thank you note. The note had been sent a little later than he’d expected and he said he was “getting worried”  since he saw this as a sign that they just weren’t that interested, because “if they were interested, of course, they would send a thank you note!”  So it’s safer, best practice and also just good manners to send a thank you note because you never know how important it might be.

A thank you note is also another opportunity to stand out and let the hiring manager know how keen you are and why you’re the best candidate for the job. This time with knowledge from the interview that you didn’t have before. So make sure you don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity.

What should you include in a thank-you note?

Now you know you need to send a thank-you note, what should you include in a thank-you note after interview?

The good news is, there’s no need to write a long essay for the sake of it. It’s best to keep the thank you note concise. As long as you cover the most important points, it’s always better to keep things short and to the point.

Here’s what to include in a thank-you note after interview:

  1. Suitable subject line
  2. Personalized greeting ( informal or formal depending on what’s most appropriate)
  3. Thank them for their time and for the opportunity
  4. Highlight one or two key takeaways from the interview that excite you about the role and reaffirm your interest
  5. Recap why you’d be a good fit based on what you learned in the interview and what they said they needed
  6. Let them know you’re looking forward to next steps
  7. Provide your contact info.

Here’s an interview thank you note example that you can tweak accordingly. Fill in the blanks and replace the pink with your own key points you want to highlight.

Pick a Subject line: Thank you for meeting with me / Thank you for your time / Thank you for the interview

Dear / Hi / Hello   _____

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me this morning, and for giving me the opportunity to find out more about the _______ role . I really enjoyed our discussion.

The position sounds very interesting and rewarding. In particular, I was excited to learn about the upcoming implementation of your new systems. Having worked on several similar projects before, I know first hand the types of challenges that such a change involves and would therefore be able to add real value. I think this experience, plus my background in ________ and my interest in___________ makes me a great fit for this role.

I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you further.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or for additional references.

Thank you,

Your name

Contact info: Email and phone

You can use this interview thank you note template for any type of job interview in any industry. Just be sure to pick the most appropriate salutation, whether that’s formal or informal and make sure you  remind them how great you are.

Other points you might want to consider when it comes to sending a post-interview thank you note:

When should you send an interview thank you note?

Ideally, you should send a thank you note as soon as possible after the interview or within 24 hours. However, if you go outside of this timeframe and a couple of days have passed, then it is still worth sending.

What should you do If you’ve been interviewed by more than one person?

If you have interviews with more than one person, it’s a good idea to send each of them a separate thank you note. If you only have one person’s contact information, then you can send them the note, but be sure to reference the others in your thank you.

What ff you don’t have the hiring manager’s email address, who should you send the thank you note to?

After the interview, you may be given business cards,  by the interviewers. However, if business cards aren’t offered, then be sure to ask for them.

If you’re not able to get a business card on request, you can send your thank you note to the Recruiter, or contact in HR and ask that they forward it on.

The interview went badly, should you still send a thank you note and what should it say?

You had an interview and it didn’t go as planned. In fact, it went terribly. Even if this is the case, it’s still really important to send a thank you note.

It may be that you’re being overly harsh on yourself and things didn’t go quite as badly as you think. Don’t let this prevent you from leaving a good impression. Another thing to remember is that even if you don’t get through to the next stage this time around, you never know what will happen in the future. I once had made an offer to a candidate who had applied to a company 9 times previously. He’d had plenty of interviews, but was never successful. I’ll never forget the day he finally got the job offer!

And if the interview didn’t go well, the interview thank you note template here will still be appropriate to send.

Should you send the thank you note as an attachment to the email?

It’s best to write the thank you note in the body of the email rather than sending it as an attachment. This will ensure that it’s quick and easy for the hiring manager to read.

Is it ever better to post a thank you note in the mail?

While there may be some very specific circumstances when you may want to consider sending a thank you letter by post, generally, it’s best to send a note via email.

This speeds things up and avoids any delays. What’s more, depending on the industry, sending a letter by mail might be seen in a negative light. Ultimately, unless there’s a specific reason why you must send a letter, an email will be more efficient and timely.