Alright, you’re finished with the job interview.
You might think the offer is out of your hands at this point. But there is one crucial step left: the thank you email.
In this article, I’ll show you how to write the perfect thank you email after your interview, as well as handle common thank you email questions that pop-up.
Why thank you emails work after interviews (and why they’re crucial)
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. You just finished interviewing dozens of candidates.
Most people you immediately nixed because they did nothing to stand out. Now you’re left with two potential candidates. Each one is qualified so you’re not sure who to go with.
Before the day ends you get an email from one of the candidates. He thanks you for your time and reaffirms his interest in the position. The other candidate hasn’t said a thing.
Who suddenly has the edge… with a single, short thank you email?
Sending a thank you email to the person who interviewed you isn’t just a nice gesture. It shows you’re a professional and helps them feel more confident about hiring you. This one email can make you the clear favorite over those who don’t take this extra step.
Why sending a thank you email after an interview is crucial
If you DON’T send a thank you email after your interview, the hiring manager:
- May assume you don’t want the job
- May think you’re disorganized and forgot to follow up
- May just forget about you
Sending a thank you email is a no-brainer.
If you’re not sure exactly what to say, below are templates and word-for-word scripts you can use for sending a thank you email after the interview. You’ll also see scripts for what to say if you don’t hear back, along with advice on when to send these emails out.
Sending a personalized thank you email (with word-for-word scripts you can use)
If you didn’t have the hiring manager’s contact information before the interview, they’ll most likely give it to you before you leave. Use that and send your thank you email directly to the person who interviewed you.
Here’s exactly what to say in your thank you email:
Want to copy and paste? Go ahead. Don’t forget to fill in the correct details though…
Thanks for taking the time to chat today. I especially enjoyed talking about [XYZ].
I really think this is a great fit for both of us. Hope to hear from you soon.
Three important things to note about this thank you email:
- There’s nothing fancy about this. A long follow-up email will make the hiring manager’s eyes glaze over. And may even make you look desperate.
- You want to be very specific. When you say “I especially enjoyed talking about [XYZ]” be sure to go into specific details of what you talked about. Details will help make you memorable and help you make a strong, lasting impression.
- Send the thank you email as quickly as possible. I recommend sending the thank you email within 2 hours of the interview if you can. Not only does this show you’re excited about the job, it’ll be easier to write the email with the details fresh in your mind.
Advanced tip: Really advanced people have these emails ready to go (using the cut and paste template from above) before they even go to the interview. That way they can go to their drafts folder, fill in some information, and hit send the moment they get home.
What if you don’t know who to send the thank you email to?
Sometimes you’ll leave the job interview without any contact information. In that case, you can send an email to the main contact (this could be a secretary, HR rep, or whoever helped you set the interview up) and say:
I had a great time chatting with Mary, Beth and John [or whoever you interviewed with] today.
Would you mind sending me their email addresses? I’d like to send them a thank you note.
You should have no trouble getting their contact info this way. Some people might think this is a little weird or strange to do. But employers LOVE it. This shows you’re proactive and excited about the job.
What to do when you don’t hear back after an interview
If you don’t hear back from your interviewer immediately, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, that’s expected.
It takes time to hire someone. There’s more going on behind the scenes than most people realize. So wait a few days and if you still haven’t heard back, send a gentle follow-up to nudge them along.
Here’s the exact script you’ll want to use:
I wanted to follow up on the [XYZ] position we chatted about last [DAY OF WEEK].
You mentioned getting in touch about potential next steps. Is there anything I can do to help speed the process along?
Notice how this follow-up email is short and gets right to the point. It uses a light touch but lets them know you’re still interested.
(NOTE: Do not try to make the person feel guilty for not getting back to you. Not only does that not work, it can do more harm than good. Follow the script above and keep the communication positive.)
If you still don’t hear anything you can send a final follow-up email one week later. To do this, reply to the previous thank you email you sent and say:
Hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to float this email to the top of your inbox — in case you missed it.
At this point, if they’re interested, they’ll get back to you — guaranteed.
If you don’t hear back it’s safe to assume they’ve gone with someone else. Which is a sign that your interview did not go as well as it could have.
But don’t worry, I have plenty of material and proven techniques you can use to make sure you crush your next interview.
In fact, the free video below will help you interview better than 99% of the people out there.
In this free video you’ll learn:
- How to instantly signal to the hiring manager that you deserve the job
- What to say if you get a tough interview question (including word-for-word scripts)
- How to be seen as a top candidate — even if you don’t have tons of experience