Write a Thank You Note after an Interview

Within a day (no more than two) after you've interviewed for a job, spend a few minutes writing a quick thank you letter to the people who interviewed you. This step is more critical than you might think. Although your thank you note might not guarantee you the job, most interviewers consider it unprofessional (or just rude) if you don't. They might also assume that you've decided you're not interested in the job.

Regardless of how poorly you might think you did in an interview, don't leave out this step. A good thank you note can accomplish several tasks. It reinforces your interest in the job and shows that you are professional and courteous. It can demonstrate your communication skills and gives you the chance to remind the recruiters of your strong points. A thank you note will also give you the opportunity to say something important you forgot to talk about during your interview.

Fax, mail, or e-mail are acceptable modes for sending a thank you note. E-mail is the quickest and most direct way to get your note in front of interviewers. Sometimes, beating your competition to the punch really does pay off.

If you e-mail, keep the message brief, to about one paragraph. A written letter need not be long, either — three or four paragraphs should do it. Consider the following format for your letter:

  • Paragraph One: Thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk with you. Mention the day of the interview and job title.

  • Paragraph Two: Express your interest in the company (or come right out and say that you want the job). Find a way, preferably using different words than you used in the interview, to explain why you think you're qualified for the job. Mention something important, if you forgot to say it during the interview (just don't use the word, "forgot").

  • Paragraph Three: Stress how you'll fit into the company environment. If you and the interviewer realize that you share a common work ethic, mention it here. If you had a laugh during the interview, mention how you appreciated the levity. Just keep these sentences professional and succinct, so it doesn't appear that you're brown-nosing.

  • Paragraph Four: Close the letter with another thanks for the interview. Offer to speak to the interviewer again, in person or by phone. Say that you look forward to hearing from the interviewer again.