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A Simple Recipe for a Post-Interview Thank-You Letter

How to say thank you even if the job isn’t the one for you

Megan Hageman
Contributor

Thank you gif

It’s a good idea to follow-up with a quick thank you after your in-person interview—even if the interview didn’t go do well, even if you’ve decided you don’t want the job after all. 

Not following up could jeopardize your chances of getting the job and convey a lack of professionalism—important if you do want the job.

Also, chances are you will be closely matched with other candidates, so use your letter as one more opportunity to stand out and show the company what makes you unique.

When and how to send a thank-you note

No need to send a handwritten letter—in 2019 emails are expected and preferred. 

Send your email within 24 hours of your in-person interview. You can increase your chances of getting the recipient’s undivided attention by sending early in the morning or later in the evening

If you interviewed with more than one person, send a separate note to each person you spoke with. 

If you don’t have everyone’s contact information, it’s okay to send a single email to your primary contact and ask that they pass along your thanks. If you do this, be sure to mention your interviewers by name in your message.

Read more: The Kinds of Questions You Should Ask in a Second Interview

The dos and don’ts of sending a post-interview thank-you letter

Do mention any points you forgot 

Ever kicked yourself after an interview for forgetting to talk about something important? This is your chance to do it.

Do be appreciative 

Even if you decide you don’t want the job or the company picks another candidate, the hiring manager still took time out of their day to meet with you, so show your gratitude. It is a thank-you letter, after all. 

Do suggest solutions

The company is hiring for a reason. Mention ideas you had to solve a problem discussed in the interview to remind them of the value you could bring to the position. 

Do make it clear whether you’re still interested in the position

Show your enthusiasm for continuing the conversation or politely duck out of the race. 

Don’t sound like you’re using a template

Mention specifics things that excite you about the job or company or reference something discussed in your interview. 

Don’t drone on and on

You’ve already done the interview, so keep it short and sweet. 

Don’t be too casual

Even if you and the hiring manager really hit it off, avoid smiley faces, casual language, memes, or grammar and spelling errors. 

Don’t send it on your phone

You are more likely to make mistakes typing on your phone, and the words ‘Sent from my iPhone’ don’t exactly scream professional.

Read more: Questions to Ask an Interviewer That Make You Sound Like a Genius

Post-interview thank-you email examples

Example 1: I forgot to mention...

Hi Toni,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk to me yesterday about the industrial designer role. Our conversation was a great reminder of why we do what we do—and it got me excited about the possibility of working with ACME Corp.

When we discussed the upcoming work you’re doing in Birmingham, I forgot to mention a similar project I worked on while I was in grad school—I’ve attached my paper  in case you’re interested. 

I’m very interested in continuing the interview process. Please let me know if there’s any other information I can provide about my experience. 

Sincerely,

Flannery O’Connor

Example 2: I have a great idea...

Dear Eudora,

I wanted to quickly follow up and thank you for discussing the logistics coordinator position with me yesterday.

I thought about your issue with delayed deliveries, I believe a more advanced supply chain software would eliminate those hiccups. I have some ideas for implementation and would love to discuss them with you.

Thank you again and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Best, 

Maya Angelou

Example 3: I don’t think this role is for me...

Good Morning Louisa, 

Thank you very much for the time you took to speak with me about the data scientist position at Levels Marketing. 

After further consideration, I have decided the position is not a good fit for me at this time and would like to withdraw my application. I love what Levels is doing and will certainly be on the lookout for other opportunities down the road.

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity and wish you all the best in your search.  

Sincerely, 

Zora Hurston

Read More: How to Write the Second Follow-Up Email After an Interview

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