Writing a thank you letter, or thank you email, after an employment interview is a must. In fact, some employers think less of those interviewees who fail to follow-up promptly. Plan to send out your thank you letters or thank you notes as soon as possible (preferably within twenty-four hours) after your interview.
Customize Your Thank You Letters
Like any piece of writing, it is best to keep your audience in mind. Address their issues and concerns. In general, typed (paper or email) thank you letters are recommended.
However, some surveys suggest that hiring managers like hand written thank notes, too. So, consider the "personality" of the organization and the rapport you felt during your interviews. If your interview was a fairly informal process and/or you achieved an immediate rapport with your interviewer, a handwritten note is fine. When you're not sure what to write, review thank you letter samples and follow up letter samples to get ideas. You can also use a thank you letter template as a guide when writing your letters.
In addition to thanking the person you talked with, the thank you letter reinforces the fact that you want the job. Note: Even if you do not want the job, write a thank you letter respectfully withdrawing your application, because you never know what the future holds so why burn your bridges?
View Your Thank You Letters as Sales Letters
You may also view your thank you letters as follow-up "sales" letters. In other words, you can restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on. This thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer as thoroughly, or as well, as you would have liked.
Group Thank You Letters
What if you spent an entire day being interviewed (and taken to lunch) with several people? Are individual thank you notes appropriate or should you write a "group" letter? Choose your approach based on what you think will be most in keeping with the "personality" of the organization. Also, consider whether the interviews had very much in common with one another. If there was a great deal of similarity (i.e., shared concerns mutually voiced by your interviewers), perhaps a "group" letter will suffice. My preference though, would be to take the extra time and send an individual thank you letter to everyone you met with.
Lunch or Dinner Interviews
When dining and interviewing be sure to thank everyone you spend time with, both for the meal and for taking the time to discuss the position and the company with you.
When You're Not Sure What to Write
Time takes precedence - get a simple, appreciative thank you note in the mail or send a thank you by email without delay; save your creative efforts for another time. If you're not sure what to write, review a few sample thank you letters or personalize our thank you letter template.
In addition, here are thank you quotes you can use to create your own personal thank you notes and letters.
Remember to Proofread
Check spelling, grammar, typos, etc. If in doubt about the correct names, spellings or titles of your interviewers, call the office to double-check. Your efforts will be worth it!
Sample Thank You Letters
Review a selection of sample thank you letters.