How to Write a Thank You Email After Your Phone Interview (+ Samples)

By Mike Simpson

Ah, the thank you email. It seems like such a simple thing. But, did you know that it can be a make or break point for you as a candidate? It’s true.

Some hiring managers will discard candidates who fail to send one. Others will make hiring decisions based on the content of the thank you email.

No pressure, right?

What’s surprising is that, even though a thank you note can help a candidate land a job, only 24 percent of job seekers actually write one. Shocking, particularly since 94 percent of hiring managers think that an emailed thank you note is fine. They aren’t asking for a handwritten one that requires actual postage.

Since you’re here, you probably figure thank you emails are important, and you want to get them right. That’s awesome. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

What Is a Thank You Email?

Alright, before we dig into how to write a thank you email after a phone interview, let’s talk about what one actually is. Generally speaking, a thank you note is a way to demonstrate your appreciation to the hiring manager. After all, they took time out of their day to consider you for a position, and that’s worthy of your gratitude.

When you send a phone interview thank you email, you’re making a positive impression. You’re shining a light on the hiring manager’s efforts, letting them know that you understand that they didn’t have to take the time to speak with you. Hiring managers are busy professionals, so even a short phone interview can have a dramatic impact on their day.

Additionally, you’re demonstrating your interest in moving forward in the process. Without a thank you email, the hiring manager might assume you aren’t as engaged in the process or didn’t find the opportunity intriguing. That means not sending one is a horrible risk to take.

Now, it’s important to note that a thank you email after a phone interview is a little bit different than what you’d send after an in-person meeting. In the vast majority of cases, a phone interview is an early screening step. Hiring managers don’t choose a candidate for the job based on the phone interview; they use it to identify the top contenders.

As a result, you don’t want to get too pushy about hearing whether you’ve landed the job or even discussing more about your capabilities. This is a mid-point. More steps are coming, so you need to hold your horses a bit.

Instead, focus on being gracious, polite, and professional. Be brief, adding in just a little tidbit about how you’re excited about the next step. Then, wrap it up.

Details of a Thank You Email for a Phone Interview

Alright, let’s dig into the details a bit. The structure of your follow up email after a phone interview is pretty straightforward. As mentioned above, brevity is your friend. That means you won’t be dealing with a whole lot of sections.

Generally, a thank you letter after a phone interview is going to have the following:

    • Greeting
    • Appreciation Paragraph
    • Specific Challenge Paragraph
    • Looking Forward to Next Steps Paragraph
    • Closing

Yep, that’s all you need to cover in the vast majority of cases.

The greeting is simply a traditional opening, featuring the hiring manager’s name. Follow that up with gratitude, letting them know you appreciate them taking the time to speak with you.

Now, the specific challenge paragraph may be new to you. The purpose of this is to reference a moment from your phone interview, preferably a challenge or high-priority duty associated with the position. Not only does this show the hiring manager that you were engaged, but it also helps them remember who you are. After all, they may have interviewed someone else right after you, so jogging their memory isn’t a bad idea.

Additionally, your specific challenge allows you to highlight the value you can provide subtly. That way, you create an opportunity to continue the discussion without strong-arming it into the conversation.

Once you have that covered, let the hiring manager know you look forward to what comes next. If they mentioned next steps at the end of your phone interview, you can discuss the specifics. If not, leave it general.

In the third paragraph, you can also mention that you’re willing to answer any additional questions the hiring manager may have. It’s a simple courtesy, but also highlights your interest in remaining in contention.

Finally, say thank you again. Then, sign off, including your contact information below your name.

Thank You Email Etiquette

When it comes to thank you email etiquette, the most important thing is to be brief. The hiring manager isn’t going to read through a massive message; they just won’t. Be respectful of their time, get to the point quickly, and then finish it up.

Additionally, make sure the email is about them above all else. It’s a “thank you” email, not a “look at me” email. Your gratitude needs to take center stage.

You also want to time your email properly. Usually, you want to send one within 24 hours. If you wait longer than that, the hiring manager may think you actually forgot.

Finally, before you send your thank you email, create a clear subject line letting the hiring manager know what to expect. For example, “Thank you for [job title] interview” works. It’s clear and concise.

How to Write a Thank You Email

If you’re looking for a step-by-step process for writing a follow-up email after a phone interview, you’re in luck. That’s exactly what we’re going to give you. Without further ado, here’s how to write a phone interview thank you email.

1. Write Your Subject Line

Your subject line needs to be focused and short. In many cases, you want to keep it below 30 characters, if possible, as many mobile devices won’t display ones longer than that.

Make sure to say “Thank you,” and get the job title in there if you can. That ensures the hiring manager will know precisely what to expect when they open the message.

2. Create the Greeting

The greeting part is fairly straightforward. Usually, “Dear [interviewer’s name]” or “[interviewer’s name]” is enough.

MIKE'S TIP: Whenever possible, use the appropriate Mr./Ms./Mrs./Dr. title as well. If you aren’t sure which applies, research it. You may be able to find out which one is a match by looking up the hiring manager on LinkedIn or the company’s leadership team or employee profile pages. Why not just guess? Well, because there’s a chance a hiring manager won’t appreciate it if you’re wrong, to put it mildly. If you do some research and can’t figure it out, then don’t guess; just leave the title part off.”

3. Say Thank You

Next is the most important part; say, “thank you.” Use those exact words in your opening first sentence. Nothing else will do.

Now, you can incorporate “thank you” into a longer sentence. “Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the [job title] position,” for example, is an easy way to go. It gets to the point.

You can also follow that up with a supporting sentence, saying it was a pleasure to speak with them. But, after that, move on.

4. Mention a Specific Challenge

Here is where you want to create an opportunity. Mention the challenge you learned about or the particular duty the hiring manager mentioned.

5. Discuss Your Capabilities

At this point, add a sentence or two discussing how your skills can help the hiring manager or company solve the problem, or that would let you excel in that particular duty area.

Keep this segment brief. You don’t want to transition into something other than a thank you email, so don’t get carried away.

6. Tap on Next Steps

For the next paragraph, let the hiring manager know you are looking forward to the next steps. If you know the details about what comes next, such as when the interview will occur or when you’ll be notified, mention it specifically. If not, keep it general.

At this point, you can also let the hiring manager know you’d be happy to answer more questions or provide additional information in the interim. Again, keep it short.

7. Sign Off

Next, say thank you again before signing off. Include your name and contact information, ensuring the hiring manager knows how they can reach you.

Thank You Email After Your Phone Interview Samples

Sometimes, the easiest way to figure out how to write a thank you email after your phone interview is to see examples. That’s why we gathered a few together, ensuring you can review them and figure out how you can create put the steps above to work to create a great thank you note.

Thank You Email Sample 1

Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the administrative assistant position. I enjoyed speaking with you about the role and how my capabilities align with the job.

I was reflecting on the file organization challenge you discussed. In my last role, where I worked as an office assistant, I was able to create a filing system and corresponding database, allowing people to quickly lookup where documents were stored. I believe that is a strategy that could work well in your situation, allowing you to overcome the obstacle and expedite the locating of critical documents.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the administrative assistant job opportunity. If you have any questions at this time or require additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Name and contact information

Thank You Email Sample 2

Dr. Jane Doe,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in a phone interview for the physical therapist position.

I understand the value of having a great physical therapist on your team can provide, ensuring your patients have access to high-quality care on-site. After working as a physical therapist for seven years in a leading practice in my last city, I feel that I can provide patients with the exceptional experience they deserve.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next round of interviews. If you have any questions for me at this time, please reach out by phone or email. I would be happy to discuss any details you’d like.

Thank you again for meeting with me about this exciting position.

Kind Regards,

Name and contact information

Thank You Email Sample 3

John Doe,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Wednesday afternoon about the software developer position.

During the interview, you mentioned that strong Python skills were essential. In my last position, which I held for four years, writing code in Python was one of my core responsibilities, allowing me to create robust applications for my employer. Additionally, I am a certified Python professional with the Python Institute, demonstrating my capabilities in that area.

I believe my skills and abilities are a great match for the software developer position you’re looking to fill. I look forward to hearing from you next week about the technical interview you’d like to conduct.

Thank you again for your time. Please feel free to reach out if there’s any additional information I can provide.

Best,

Name and contact information

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, writing a great thank you email after your phone interview can help you stand out from the crowd. Use the tips and samples above to make sure yours is on point. That way, your odds of moving forward in the hiring process can go up, bringing you one step closer to your perfect position.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.