Thank You Email After an Interview: 5 Must Know Tips

by Pranav Ramesh
September 17, 2019
Thank you Email Tips to send after an Interview

When was the last time you wrote a thank-you note? Most of us tend to fall into one of two camps: People who think thank you notes are unnecessary and outdated, and those sticklers for etiquette who write them for everything.

Which category do you fall into? If you’re job hunting, it may pay to fall into the latter group. Even though some recruiters and hiring managers don’t care about receiving a quick message after your interview, you never know who will consider skipping the note a disqualifier.

Writing a thank you note does more than cover your bases just in case you’ve interviewed with someone who appreciates the gesture. It also makes you stand out – amazingly, most applicants don’t bother with these messages anymore.

A 2017 survey by Robert Half revealed that only 24 percent of HR managers said they received thank you notes from candidates. That means if four people interview for a role, chances are only one of them is sending a follow-up.

Despite the lack of applicants expressing their gratitude in writing, 80 percent of managers surveyed said receiving a thank you message was very or somewhat helpful. This should be a red flag to anyone who isn’t already sending a quick note after an interview – changing your habits can only be beneficial.

Whether you need to start writing thank you notes or you’ve been doing it for years, it’s helpful to consider the following to make sure your messages are supporting your application for any tech role.

1. Make it personal and enthusiastic – But not too casual

It should seem obvious to start your thank you note off with your interviewer’s name, but given that so many people don’t write them, it’s worth a mention.

Save “To whom it may concern” for your cover letters and use each interviewer’s name. If you had a special personal connection – maybe you attended the same university or worked for the same corporation years back – it won’t hurt to mention this, provided you can work it in naturally and don’t force the subject.

Don’t be afraid to express your enthusiasm. Mention something you learned about the company or someone you particularly enjoyed meeting during the interview.

2. Reiterate your interest in the role

An interview isn’t just for a hiring manager to assess your suitability for an IT role – it’s also a chance for you to see if the company, job, and supervisor will be a good cultural fit for you. (If you aren’t sure just why this matters so much, check out Hiring For Cultural Fit: The Benefits, right here on the Report.) 

Sometimes, even if you’re the ideal candidate, you walk away from an interview knowing you wouldn’t jive with the company culture or enjoy the position. If you like what you hear and you’re interested in progressing further, mention this in your thank you note. Be specific. 

“Based on our conversation about where your company is headed and your next project, I’m still strongly interested in this opportunity,” is a much stronger statement than, “I’m still interested in the job.”

3. Highlight why you’re a strong candidate

Some hiring managers will interview a dozen candidates for a single role. This means that no matter how sharp your technical abilities are, there may be other people who are just as strong. 

Use your thank-you note to remind your recruiter or hiring manager what, specifically, makes you the best person for the job. Depending on how the conversation went and what the role calls for, you may want to take one of two tactics here. 

The first is highlighting why your past experiences make you a great applicant, while the second stresses the exact hard skills that would make you the best person for the job. Showcasing experience may call for reiterating that you’ve managed a software migration exactly like one the company you interviewed with will embark on in the next quarter. 

Addressing hard skills – for example, 10 years of Java programming experience – is another strategy you can use. Again, this depends on the conversation you had with the hiring manager, role, and what the manager identified as key for the role. It’s possible that you’ll want to use both approaches. 

Either way, remind the hiring manager of exactly what it is that makes you a standout candidate. If you’re stumped for ideas, try connecting your work experience with your skill set; get some ideas by checking out the 5 skills needed to be successful in today’s workforce.

4. Offer to provide any additional information

It’s not uncommon for hiring managers to remember something they forgot to ask after you’ve already left the interview. In your thank-you note, offer to answer any additional questions or provide additional information about your background.

5. Make it timely

Whatever you write, just don’t wait a week to send your message – by that time, it’s entirely possible the hiring manager will have already made a decision. Send a quick thank you email immediately after the interview or a day later. Any longer and you risk missing your window of opportunity for a thank you note to support your application.

Looking for your next career?

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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has partnered with some of the biggest Fortune brands to offer excellence of service and best-in-class team building for the last 25 years. 

PTP’s diverse and global team of recruiting, consulting, and project development experts specialize in a variety of IT competencies which include:  

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Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunities employer. As an industry leader in IT consulting and recruitment, specializing in diversity hiring, we aim to help our clients build equitable workplaces.

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