The interview is done; you sailed through their screening questions and had a great response when they asked if there's anything you wanted to tell them about yourself. Now it's time for the post-interview "thank you."
Following up with a quick thank-you email after a phone interview is not only polite, but can also keep you on an employer’s radar. However, done incorrectly, it can turn them off.
A phone interview or phone screening is typically a first step in the interview process, so it’s a great time to show them your interest and professionalism. If you’re still interested in the position after the call, you should send a thank-you email.
Here are a few tips (and email examples) for thanking your interviewer.
Tips for sending a post-interview thank you email
1. Wait about a day, but no more than two
There’s no need to send an email the second you get off the phone while you’re still top of mind—you want to use it as a chance to keep yourself on their radar. One to two days is a good rule of thumb when following up after a phone interview. Any longer and it’ll feel like you forgot .
2. Reference the call specifically
Your interviewer will likely have talked to other candidates the same day, so make it easy for them to identify you. Reference the date of the call and something they said that stood out to you as being particularly helpful or interesting.
3. Use the same email you’ve been using for all communications
This should be the one that’s on your resume. Keep things consistent; make it easy for them to find you in an email inbox. Use a professional email address that has your name it in—thematic email addresses like californiamarketer@gmail will make it harder and more confusing for them to find you.
4. Reiterate why you’re interested
As we’ll see in some examples, you’ll want to give them a specific indication of why you’re interested in the position. For example, I’m glad we got to discuss the new products the team is developing—that kind of customer-focused attention to detail gets me excited about the position.
5. Write a descriptive subject line that references the title you’re interviewing for
Consider ways they may search in their inbox to find applicants. You should include the position in the subject line —something like Re: Accounting lead position or Re: Data analyst position candidate.
6. Keep it short
Recruiters and hiring managers are short on time. A thank-you email after a phone interview should be no more than 100 words.
7. Make good use of your email signature
Your email signature should include your name, area of expertise (and relevant certifications or titles, like CPA), phone number, and a link to your online portfolio, if you have one.
Writer and editor
Here are three thank-you email examples
Thank-you Email Example #1
Dear [Interviewer Name],
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me on Monday afternoon.
I’m glad we got the chance to discuss the team’s goals for the upcoming year. I’m looking for a company that’s as data-driven as yours, and my background in statistics would serve you well.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank-you Email Example #2
Thank you again for chatting with me about the [job title] position at [Company Name] on Wednesday morning.
I was so impressed by what the company has accomplished in the last six months. I’d love the chance to continue discussing the position with you.
I look forward to hearing back from you next week.
Thank-you Email Example #3
Hi [Interviewer Name],
Following up to say thank you after our call on Tuesday afternoon. I so enjoyed hearing more about the [job title] position, and I’m very interested in continuing the discussion.
I believe my four years of experience in marketing software as a service would serve [Company Name] well—I come with a ready rolodex of contacts to expand your reach.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank-you Email Example #4
Hi [Interviewer Name],
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to me about the X position yesterday. I have been thinking about the XYZ problem you mentioned, and I wonder if the root of the problem might actually be XXX. What do you think?
I'd love to keep talking to you about the job and the company. I think there's so much I could do on the team.
How long should it take to hear back after your thank-you email? And how often can you follow up after your interview?
There's no hard-and-fast rule for how long it will take for a potential employer to get back to you. Some will follow up immediately and others will take a week or two. You have control over neither, but what you do have control over is how often you reach out.
For example, if they tell you you will get a response within a week, be respectful and don't follow up again before that. If they don't give you a timeline, you can follow the 3x3 rule: Follow up no more than three times, three days apart.