According to career advice experts, a thank-you note following a job interview can help employers determine the right applicant for the job. If an employer has spoken with three very competitive applicants and is looking for one tie-breaking factor, a stand-out email can cement the decision to hire the applicant who made the effort. While it’s not “required,” taking this extra step is highly recommended to help reinforce your interest in the opportunity, highlight your strengths, and follow up on what was discussed.
Benefits of sending a follow-up
Writing a thank-you note after a job interview is often overlooked or neglected by many applicants because of fear that they might be perceived as being too pushy. But remember, sending a follow-up has several benefits:
Makes applicants stand out
As mentioned, most applicants neglect or forget to send a follow-up, which means that sending one can help you rise above the crowd.
Shows respect and gratitude
Employers who interview applicants have to take time out of their ordinary schedules in order to conduct the interviews. Sending a thank-you note makes them feel appreciated and respected.
Gives you a chance to say more
If you forgot to say something really important during the interview, you can address it in your note. Just remember to keep it brief.
Shows off your writing skills
A thank-you note provides the opportunity to show that you have the writing skills required to put a myriad of ideas into one brief note. The ability to write and communicate clearly is vital for nearly any position, so you should take every chance you get to show off this skill.
How to write an interview follow-up email
If you plan to write your thank-you note from scratch, follow these steps to ensure you’re reinforcing the good impression you’ve left with the employer:
Ask for a business card or contact information from every person who interviews you and send a “thank you” email to each one of them. Customize the email for each person, as they may forward the emails to each other, and you want to make sure you don’t get caught sending boilerplate emails where the only difference is the name of the recipient.
Confirm the name, title, and email address of the person you’re addressing.
Write an opening sentence thanking them for their time and saying that you enjoyed meeting them.
Refer to any notes you took in the interview and highlight the things you really liked about the opportunity.
Go to the company’s website and review their mission, vision, values, and/or purpose in an “about us” section, then note in your email a couple of things you particularly like about their culture and mission.
Recap your most relevant skills and attributes.
Write a closing sentence thanking them again and offering to answer any follow-up questions they may have.
Additional items to include (if appropriate)
There are instances where it may be appropriate to include additional items in your email. Taking this extra step to engage the interviewer further can go a long way toward making yourself stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Hyperlinks to things that were discussed in the interview (portfolio, examples of published articles, etc.)
Attachments, such as work you’ve completed in the past (Excel files you created or PowerPoint presentations you built. Note: Be sure you are not sharing confidential information)
You can work from the example below to create your own message. Be sure to edit, customize, and proofread your message before sending it.
Subject: Thank You – Interview Follow-Up
Thank you for taking the time to interview me today for the Financial Analyst position at CFI Education Inc. I really enjoyed discussing the opportunity with you and think it would be a great fit for both of us.
One of the main things that stood out to me was the great culture at CFI. I can easily see myself fitting in with the team and thriving in that kind of work environment.
Additionally, the company’s mission of helping anyone become a world-class financial analyst really resonates with me, and I’d be excited to help support that mission.
Once again, thanks for your time and consideration. If there’s any additional information I can provide you with to help with your decision, please let me know.
Interview follow-up best practices
Don’t forget these general best practices in writing your interview thank-you message:
Send the email within a few hours of the interview, as hiring managers often need to make decisions quickly.
Reiterate your skills and strengths that best match the job opportunity, emphasizing anything new that you learned during the interview about the company’s needs.
Don’t appear overconfident by sounding as if you already assume you’ve gotten the job.
Be sure to actually include a “thank you”!
Offer to answer any additional or follow-up questions the interviewer may have.
CFI is the official global provider of the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)®certification, designed to transform anyone into a world-class financial analyst. To continue advancing your career, these additional resources may be helpful: