Writing a thank-you letter after an interview
Topics we cover in this article:
Why should a candidate write a thank you?
How should you deliver a thank you message?
When should you send a thank you message?
Tips on how to write a thank you
Templates for post-interview thank you messages
How to decline a position after an interview
Templates for thanks but no, thanks message
Why a candidate should write a post-interview thank you
- Demonstrates to the interviewer that you are extremely interested in the role
- Stand out amongst other candidates
- Keeps you in the interviewer’s awareness
- Demonstrates skills with written communication
- Show the interviewer good mannerism and professional courtesy
How should a thank you message be sent?
- Email – most preferred
- Snail mail – provides an individualized touch. However, there is less chance that the interviewer will read the thank you message between the timeframe frame of a couple of days.
- Phone call – This should be your last resort. Although a phone conversation could be seen as more personal, this could take up the interviewer’s time or appear to be too aggressive.
- Do not send a thank you message through social media or a text message!!
What is the best time to send a thank you message?
A suitable time to send a thank you message is usually at the end of the business day or the beginning of the next. This will allow the interviewer to read the thank you message when the day is less busy. Never send a thank you email immediately after an interview- it may be interpreted as an automatic response or obligatory by your interviewer. Place some considerable thought about the role within the company in the letter.
How to write a thank you message:
Always make sure your message is customized to the person you are sending it to. Be sure to avoid informal tones such as emoticons, slang terms, and acronyms or abbreviations such as “TGIF.” Be sure to reference the position discussed and why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Mention something specific that was discussed during the interview and make an offer on the skills and experience you will utilize to show the interviewer how you are going to help the company get what they want.
- Use proper business letter etiquette:
- no puns or jokes, straight to the point!
- open with a personal greeting by addressing the hiring manager by name (if you interviewed with more than one person send personalized thank you letters to each of them).
- Express your appreciation – thank the interviewer for the opportunity to discuss the position
- Reference some key components of the interview – reminds the interviewer of the conversation
- State the fit for the position – include the attributes that make you the candidate for the job
- Keep it simple – only a paragraph or two
- Ask questions that you missed during the meeting – Any other questions you may have forgotten or run out of time to ask in the interview
- Finalize the message with another thank you
- Close with a professional sign-off
- Use a synonym for “sincerely” e.g., respectfully, thankfully, best wishes, and follow it with your full name
- Provide contact details below (phone number and email address)
- It is optional to include extra links such as LinkedIn or a personal website).
- PROOFREAD – have someone peer edit the thank you response!
Source: The Astrix Blog
Helpful templates for your next thank you message!
Hi [Interviewer Name],
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position, and I am overly excited about the opportunity to join [Company Name] and help [bring in new clients/develop world-class content/anything else awesome you would be doing] with your team.
I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.
Hi [Interviewer Name],
I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to your office today. It was great to hear about [Name of company] goals for [company’s goals]. [Name of company] seems like a wonderful place to work—and not just because you mentioned [positive things mentioned about the company/role]! I really admire the mission that drives your business and looks forward to the opportunity to work with your team to implement some of the ideas I mentioned around redesigning the homepage.
Please let me know if there is anything else you need from me to move the process forward.
Have a great rest of your week,
Hi [Interview Name],
Thank you so much for meeting with me today. I really enjoyed learning more about your business trajectory at [Name of company] [something the interviewer shared about the company] and where you see the company going in the next couple of years.
To follow up on our conversation about [challenges the company faces and how you plan to be an asset or provide solutions for the company.] I am happy to discuss it further if you see it being a helpful resource.
I can tell [Name of company] is a special place to work, and I would be thrilled to join such an innovative, hardworking, and passionate team of individuals. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to make your hiring decision easier.
Sources: Zety, The Muse
Why you should send a thank you, but no thank you message to a company if you’re not interested
If you decide not to move forward in the process, out of respect, you should respond after a couple of hours to be respectful of the hiring manager’s time, and priorities to prevent insults. It is important not to ghost an interviewer and withdraw from an opportunity on a bad note so that you can still be considered for potential future openings you might be interested in down the line. Also, keep in mind that many employers have applicant tracking systems that keep records of permanent notes in the candidate profiles.
- Always show your appreciation for being considered for the role and thank the interviewer for their time
- Be Honest: Give a brief, good reason for withdrawing from the hiring process – do not go into detail! -e.g. The pay was not enough, need for flexibility for your current needs, the commute is too arduous, not the right fit for the role
- Keep it positive! Leave the door open for other opportunities by referencing something pleasant about the company or discussed during the interview
- Wish the interviewer well and the best of luck in their search
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
I am grateful for the opportunity to interview at [Company Name for Job Title]. Since I initially put in my application for this position, I was offered—and accepted—a job at another company, so I am respectfully declining this offer.
I wish you all the best in your search for a candidate.
Thank you again for considering me for this position. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Dear [Insert the name of the interviewer or hiring manager]
I am grateful that you offered me the position of [insert job position] and trusted my suitability and experience for the role. However, after considerable thought, I have concluded that I will not be able to accept this offer.
I was very much looking forward to being a part of [insert company name] due to [insert areas you were excited about]. Unfortunately, I feel I have to say no because [insert primary reason for declining the position – this can stretch to a few sentences if needed].
It was a pleasure to talk to you and the rest of your colleagues during the interview process. I wish you the best of luck.
Once again, thank you very much for the job offer.
[Insert your name]
Sources: The Muse, WikiJob, The Balance Careers