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

By Mike Simpson

Alright. You’ve met with the hiring manager, answered a slew of questions, asked a few of your own, and made your way out of the door. There’s nothing left to do but wait, right?

Wrong.

Now, it’s time for one of the most critical steps: the thank you email after your interview.

Why is a short thank you email after an interview crucial? Well, there are a few reasons. It lets you express your appreciation, showcase your enthusiasm, and make a standout final impression.

In some cases, you can even use this brief message to fix an interview mistake after the fact. To put it simply, that’s an opportunity you don’t often get, so you don’t want to waste it.

Plus, not sending one is a major faux pas. In fact, around one-in-five hiring managers discard a candidate because they didn’t send a thank you note. And, since about 31 percent of job seekers don’t always send one (and 7 percent never do), you’re increasing your odds of landing the role dramatically just by writing an email.

But a thank you email can only do those things if yours is amazing. You really have to nail that handful of paragraphs if you want to separate yourself from the competition. So, do you want to make sure yours are some of the most impressive the hiring manager’s ever seen?

Great!

Let’s take a look at what you have to do to shine like the fantastic candidate you know you are.

What Is a Thank You Email?

A thank you email is exactly what it sounds like it is, a message showcasing your gratitude. In that regard, it’s a basic form of follow-up after what is usually a lengthy, but introductory, conversation.

But it’s also more.

This email is a chance to reiterate your interest in the role, highlight a relevant achievement. You can use it to refresh the hiring manager’s memory or demonstrate that you were paying attention when information was shared with you.

Now, at the core, a thank you email is about appreciation. That has to be the focus, now and always. Leveraging it into something else requires skill and care.

So, let’s take a look not just at what a thank you email after an interview is, but what it can potentially be.

Details of a Thank You Email

Every thank you email features specific components, a particular structure that makes it what it is. While that sounds complicated, it isn’t. Here’s an overview of what you need to include:

      • Subject line
      • Personal greeting
      • Expression of appreciation
      • Affirming your interest in the job
      • Referencing a specific while highlighting capabilities
      • Offering access to new information
      • Tapping on next steps
      • Professional sign-off

While that seems like a lot, you can usually cover it in a handful of paragraphs. Each one of those doesn’t have to be its own paragraph; those are just the points you want to touch on. When you write thank you emails, you want to embrace brevity. By doing so, you can keep your email succinct while covering all of the bases.

Thank You Email Etiquette

Not long ago, the idea of sending a thank you note via email was unheard of. Luckily, today, about 87 percent of hiring managers are fine with digital appreciation. That means, no emergency trip to the post office to find a stamp (and an envelope, and maybe a thank you card) to get your note out.

However, don’t think you can take it further and say “thx for intrvw!” over text instead. Sure, it would be super convenient – suggesting you have the hiring manager’s cell number – but it’s in no way appropriate. The same goes for a message over social media, so don’t go sliding into anyone’s DMs either.

Alright, while important, that technically was post-interview etiquette, not thank you email etiquette. So, let’s get back on track, shall we?

First, understand that a thank you email needs to be professional. This is still part of the hiring process, so you want to maintain the right tone.

Second, get to the point quickly. You want to cover all of the critical bases while also being concise. Don’t ramble about anything, especially if it isn’t relevant to the interview, position, or your career.

Third, don’t send a group email to every interviewer. You need to send a separate email to each one, personalizing the content slightly. That way, your gratitude for each person’s participation is clear.

Finally, be sincere. Your appreciation needs to be genuine. If it sounds canned, it won’t come across as authentic, and that will work against you.

How to Write a Thank You Email

We’ve already tapped on the basic structure of a thank you email. Now, let’s take a closer look at each part.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Thank You Emails

1. Subject Line

Your subject line determines whether the hiring manager even opens your email, making it surprisingly important. Think about it, how many messages do you delete without even reading just because the subject line is sketchy, salesy, or something similar. Probably quite a few.

Keep it reasonably short and straightforward. For example, “Thank you for the chance to interview for [position title]” is a no-fail approach. It lets the hiring manager know exactly what to expect if they click your message, increasing the odds that they’ll actually open it.

2. Personal Greeting

Don’t just jump into the core of your message. And don’t use something generic, like “hiring manager.” Instead, address the hiring manager by name.

3. Expression of Appreciation

You’re writing a thank you note, so expressing your gratitude is step one once you hit the body of the email. Let the hiring manager know you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you, to discuss the role, or to consider you for the opportunity. That way, you’re setting the right tone immediately.

4. Affirming Your Interest in the Job

After you shower the hiring manager with appreciation, reaffirm your interest in the role. Showcase your eagerness for the opportunity, removing any doubt in their mind as to whether you’re legitimately interested.

Okay, but what should you do if you don’t want the job? Do you still need to say you do? Well, to answer your questions, no, you don’t have to pretend to want it. Instead of saying you want the position, let them know you’d like to remove yourself from contention. You don’t have to give too many details, so feel free to keep it brief and professional.

5. Referencing a Specific While Highlighting Capabilities

Once you restate your interest, you want to showcase yourself as a strong contender. However, you want to be subtle. Start by identifying something you learned from the hiring manager about the position or company that captured your attention, such as a challenge the role would help the organization overcome. Then, briefly reference a skill or trait that you could use to help the company achieve its goals in relation to that tidbit.

This is also the area where you could correct a misstep if you made one during the interview. For example, if you forgot to mention a relevant credential, you could tie it into this content. If you need to address a blunder, identify it briefly (without apologizing) and provide helpful information.

However, only use the latter approach with caution. You are essentially reminding the hiring manager that you messed up, and that isn’t always a smart move. Unless what you add after mentioning the error provides the hiring manager with real value, it may be best to learn from the experience and move on without discussing it.

6. Offering Access to New Information

At this point, you are in the wrap-up stage. Let the hiring manager know that you’re happy to provide more information or answer any questions if it’s needed.

7. Tapping on Next Steps

It’s smart to use a sentence to confirm any next steps. If you have a timeline for the next contact, either that you’re or they are supposed to initiate, mention it. Otherwise, let the hiring manager know you’re looking forward to the upcoming phase and hope to hear from them soon.

8. Professional Sign-Off

When you’re signing off, thank the hiring manager again. Then, go with a simple “Sincerely” before adding your name and your contact information. Once that’s in place, you’re done.

MIKE'S TIP: While it may seem unnecessary to list your email under your name when you sign off, do it anyway. All of your main contact information (usually, your email address and phone number) should be ridiculously accessible. That way, on the off-hand chance your email is printed or copied into a different folder outside of the email client, the hiring manager can find your info with ease. Want to really wow them? Consider also adding your personal website address. This is a great way for you to stand out from your competition. Read our blog series on personal branding websites here.

Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Thank You Emails

Not only is it important to figure out who to write a thank you email after an interview, but it’s also critical to know what you shouldn’t do. Small missteps can carry big consequences with them, especially since this short message serves as the last impression you might make before the hiring manager makes a decision.

No pressure, right?

So, what shouldn’t you do? Well, let’s start at the top.

When you write a thank you email after your interview, don’t get cute with your subject line. Now isn’t the time for jokes, puns, or weirdness. The hiring manager is busy, and they probably get a ton of messages, so make sure your subject line is ridiculously clear.

What’s another biggie? Getting long-winded. You need to be concise. In most cases, your entire email shouldn’t have more than a few paragraphs, and each one of them should be very short, typically around two or three sentences. If you’re going on longer than that, reread the email and edit the heck out of it.

Additionally, remember, a thank you email isn’t about you; it’s about them. You need to focus on how you can make the hiring manager’s life easier, not what they can do for you.

Finally, you might think that if you aren’t interested in the job, you can skip this whole mess. Well, you could, but that would be a mistake. Just alter the content a bit, letting the hiring manager know you appreciate their time, but don’t feel like it’s a great match. That way, you aren’t burning a bridge, and you ensure the hiring manager doesn’t waste their time moving forward with a candidate who won’t accept if they receive an offer.

Thank You Email After Your Interview Samples

If you’re looking for some thank you email after your interview samples, here are a few worth checking out.

Sample 1. Standard Approach

Subject: Thank you for the software developer interview

Email:

Hello, Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for taking the time to meet and discuss the software developer position with ABC Company. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the organization, the role, and your needs.

Our conversation left me excited about the possibility of joining your team. I was especially intrigued by your upcoming development project. As we discussed during the interview, in my current role, I oversaw a project with a similar objective that was ultimately successful, coming in on time and under budget. I believe my project management expertise could streamline the process and help your company achieve similar results.

If you require any additional information, please feel free to contact me at any time. I’m looking forward to hearing about any next steps next Wednesday, as we’ve previously discussed.

Thank you again for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

Your name & contact info

Sample 2. Adding New Information

Subject: Thank you for the interview, Mrs. Jane Doe

Email:

Mrs. Jane Doe,

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday and discussing the content marketing position at ABC Company. I enjoyed learning more about your organization and its goals, as well as how this role can spur business growth.

ABC Company’s dedication to creativity and innovation only confirmed my interest in the position. I was considering what you said regarding the customer acquisition challenge ABC Company was facing and the social media campaign that was on the horizon, and feel I can better address it now.

In my current position, I was able to leverage my content creation skills to enhance engagement across several key platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This led to a significant uptick in conversions, leading to a 20 percent improvement in the company’s growth rate. I’m sure I could leverage my experience to create similar results for ABC Company.

If you require any additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the position at your earliest convenience.

Thank you again for your time.

Sincerely

Your name & contact info

Sample 3. Removing Yourself from Contention

Subject: Thank you for the interview today

Email:

Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for interviewing me for the accounting manager position at ABC Company. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to consider me for the role.

However, after further thought, I do not believe it is an ideal fit for me at this time. As a result, I would like to withdraw my application.

It was a pleasure meeting with you and learning more about your organization. Thank you again for your consideration, and I wish you success in locating your ideal candidate for this role.

Sincerely,

Your name & contact info

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, a thank you email after your interview can be a make it or break it moment. Luckily, you have all of the tips above to get you moving in the right direction. Make the most of everything you’ve learned. Before you know it, you’ll be writing stellar thank you emails that ensure you’ll stand head and shoulders above the rest.

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.