If you think a job interview truly ends with the firm handshake and “we’ll be in touch” at the end, think again. You still have one more crucial step: the thank you note to everyone who interviewed you. Not only is it a nice touch, it can be seen as an essential one to the hiring manager you just left. They may be secretly testing your follow-up skills. And even if they’re not, it’s better to send a note right away (the same day!) so you don’t have to think about it again.
Here is a sample thank you note you can use to craft your own.
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Part 1: The Opener
This part is crucial because you don’t want to be too formal or too casual. “Dear Sir or Madam” is too formal and can feel off-putting and generic to someone you just met and (ideally) clicked with. “Dear [person]” or “Hello [person]” work well as your opening greeting.
Part 2: The Thank You
Keep it simple. There’s no need to go into lines of flowery prose about how your one-hour interview changed your life and how you will never, ever forget the interviewer as long as you live. The basic declarative statement works here as your first point: “Thank you for taking the time to interview me today.”
Part 3: The Callback
After the initial thank you, it’s good to offer some specific points from the interview itself, so your note doesn’t feel like a generic template where you just plugged in a new name at the top. “I especially enjoyed talking about the company’s perspective on clowns. I look forward to hearing more about the clown outreach program.”
Part 4: The Self Plug
Find a way to re-emphasize how you would be a good fit for the role. “As we discussed, due to my extensive experience with rodeos, I’m excited about the prospect of finding new and more effective ways to manage the clown performances.”
Part 5: The Future
Here’s where you show the interviewer that you’re looking ahead to the next part, but also that you’re willing to keep a dialogue open. Definitely include that you’re looking forward to hearing from them, but also offer any additional information they may need. “If there’s any other information I can provide to help you make your decision, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I can be reached by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) anytime.”
Part 6: The Closer
After that, you’re on to the easiest part: the closing greeting. Don’t go flowery or personal. No “Forever yours,” or “With greatest thanks.” Just a straightforward, friendly “Best wishes,” or “Thanks again” will do. And even if you found yourself in a joking kind of banter with the interviewer, resist the urge to go overly casual. You may have hit it off, but they’re not your friends (yet)—they’re the people evaluating your professional skills and behavior.
Breezy and professional are the way to go in the thank you note. It’s not the time to rehash the entire interview or go over 43 bullet points you didn’t manage to cover in person. And the most important factor of all: speed. Standard archaic dating rules don’t apply here: you don’t wait for the other person to call first, and you don’t wait three days for a reply. Write an email the same day—or even right after you leave the appointment. Again, your promptness will likely be noted, and it means you won’t have this lingering on your to-do list.
If the interview was very formal or you got a formal vibe from the interviewer, consider following up with a brief thank-you card via snail mail, as well. Manners are always a welcome part of a professional package, and your awesome communication/follow-up skills could make all the difference.
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