When (and When Not) To Send an Interview Thank-You Note
Sending a thank-you note after a job interview is a thoughtful gesture that can positively affect your candidacy. A thank-you note can help you get further consideration for a job, move you ahead in the hiring process, and cement the good impression you made during the interview.
Besides that, employers like to get them. A Robert Half survey reports that 80% of employers said they take thank-you messages into account when they are deciding who to hire.
Do you always need to follow up an interview by saying thank you? Generally, it’s a good idea and worth the extra effort. In some cases, it’s optional and may not be necessary.
Here’s when (and why) it’s a good practice to send an interview thank-you email and when you don’t need to.
Reasons To Send an Interview Thank-You Message
Here are some reasons why sending a thank-you note is a good idea:
- Shows Appreciation: Demonstrates your appreciation for the opportunity to interview and the time the interviewer(s) spent with you.
- Leaves a Lasting Impression: Reinforces your positive image, reminding the interviewer of your candidacy and reiterating your interest in the position.
- Reiterates Interest: Reaffirms your enthusiasm for the role and the company.
- Demonstrates Professionalism: Showcases your professionalism, indicating that you have strong communication skills and understand the importance of following up.
- Provides an Opportunity to Address Key Points: Addresses any questions or concerns that arose during the interview, clarifying or expanding on your responses.
- Highlights Your Fit: Emphasizes your qualifications and alignment with the employer’s needs.
- Personalizes the Experience: Mentions aspects of the conversation can make your follow-up more memorable and individualized.
- Stands Out From Other Candidates: Sets you apart from applicants who don’t follow up and demonstrates your proactive approach.
- Reinforces Networking: Provides an opportunity to connect and engage with interviewers, helping to build your professional network.
- Opens Dialogue: Sparks further conversation or engagement with the company, potentially leading to additional opportunities for discussion or consideration.
- Shows Attention to Detail: Showcases your attention to detail, which can translate to your potential role within the company.
- Positive Tone: Creates a positive vibe around your candidacy, which may influence decision-making.
- Encourages Reciprocity: Demonstrating your appreciation and respect could encourage the interviewers to reciprocate by providing feedback or insights about the interview.
- Mitigates Misunderstandings: If there were any points of confusion during the interview, a thank-you note provides an opportunity to clarify and ensure a clear understanding.
- Maintains Communication: Keeps you in the interviewers’ minds as they make decisions, which could lead to timely updates about the status of your application.
Tip: Here’s the best way to write a job interview thank-you note, with examples and writing tips.
Reasons Not To Send a Thank-You Note
While sending a thank-you note after a job interview is generally a good practice, sometimes it might not be necessary.
Here’s a list of reasons why and when you might not need to send a thank-you note:
- Extremely Short Interviews: If the interview was exceptionally brief and there was little substantive discussion, a thank-you note might seem unnecessary.
- You Don’t Want the Job: If the job doesn’t fit what you’re looking for in your next role, there’s no need to follow up unless the company has other opportunities that could be match.
- Negative Interview Experience: If the interview left you with a negative impression of the company or role and you don’t want the job, sending a thank-you note might not make sense.
- Immediate Rejection: If you receive a rejection shortly after the interview and it’s clear that the decision has been made, sending a thank-you note may not impact the outcome.
- Company Policy: Some companies have policies regarding communication after interviews. If you were advised not to follow up, respecting their guidelines is best.
- Overwhelming Number of Interviews: If you’re going through a high volume of interviews, sending a personalized thank-you note might not be feasible after each one. However, if you’re using Teal for your job search, there are templates built into the workflow that make it quick and to do.
- Strong Existing Relationship: If you already have a strong professional relationship with the interviewers or have been in close communication before the interview, a thank-you note might not be as necessary. But it doesn’t hurt to send one anyway!
- Informal or Non-Traditional Settings: In some informal or non-traditional job interview settings, sending a formal thank-you note might not align with the company culture.
- Cultural Differences: Thank-you notes might not be customary depending on cultural norms and expectations.
- Shortlisting or Final Stages: If you’re at the final stages of the interview process and the decision is imminent, sending a thank-you note might not significantly impact the outcome. On the other hand, it might so don’t hesitate to send one immediately after the interview.
Tip: If you’ve decided you’re not interested in the job, here’s how to withdraw your application.
How To Decide What To Do
It’s important to use your judgment and consider the context of the interview when deciding whether to send a thank-you note. While it’s generally a positive practice, there are situations where it might not be necessary or other forms of follow-up might be more appropriate.
If you’re unsure what to do, the best option is to say thank you because it won’t hurt the outcome. It can only help.
Who To Thank for an Interview
Be sure to address the thank-you note to the person or people who interviewed you. If you met with more than one person, send a separate note to each of them.
When To Send the Message
Send your thank-you message promptly after the interview, ideally within 24 hours, to maximize its impact on the hiring process.
Following up immediately ensures that you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind and shows you’re organized and efficient.
Example of a Job Interview Thank-You Email Message
Subject Line: Appreciation for the Interview – [Your Full Name]
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] on [Interview Date]. Learning more about the team, the company’s goals, and the exciting projects you’re working on was a pleasure.
I am truly excited about the possibility of contributing my skills and experience to [Company Name] and joining your dynamic team. Our discussion about [specific topic discussed during the interview] reinforced my belief that this role aligns perfectly with my career aspirations and strengths.
I was impressed by [specific aspect of the company or interview] that we discussed during the interview. It further solidified my interest in the position and my eagerness to potentially join your ranks.
Thank you for meeting with me and sharing insights into the [Job Title] role and the broader vision of [Company Name]. I am even more enthusiastic about the prospect of joining your team and contributing to the company’s continued success.
Please feel free to reach out if there are any additional details or materials I can share. I look forward to the possibility of speaking further.
Thank you once again for considering me for the [Job Title] position.
[Your Full Name]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]
Tip: If you need help writing a personalized thank-you message, AI tools such as ChatGPT can help.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, sending a thank-you note after a job interview can be a simple but effective way to demonstrate professionalism and create a positive impression with the interviewer.
Writing may take just a few minutes, but it could be the extra step that sets you apart from other candidates. So, make an effort and send that thank-you messsage—it could pay off in the long run!