Template Toolbox | Post-Interview Thank-You Email

thank you sign

If you just wrapped up an interview, and you’re wondering if, in this day and age of impersonal communication, you really need to send a thank-you email to your interview, the answer is a resounding yes!

Now that we got that out of the way, use these helpful tips and the template below to draft the perfect thank-you email.

Some pointers for your post-interview thank-you email

  • Tip 1: Send the email on the same day as the interview. Even if your interview was later in the day, you should definitely hit send before the day is done. Feel free to send in the evening as business-hours rules need not apply to this particular situation.
  • Tip 2: Send a different message to each interviewer. Did you interview with more than one person? Do not, I repeat do not send them the same thank-you email. Use unique details from each conversation or specific common ground as fodder for each message. Make it personal.
  • Tip 3: Proofread your message. If ever there were an opportunity to improve upon a first-impression, it’s in a thank-you email. Sending a thank-you email can influence or even change an interviewer’s first impression of you, so the last thing you want to do is fire off a message that has not been thoroughly checked.
  • Tip 4: If you were, for some reason, unable to get contact information for each of your interviews, try to do a little digging online. Chances are, the email addresses for each employee at a particular organization all follow the same formula, so if you met with one person whose email address was FIRST-INITIAL-LAST-NAME@ORGANIZATION.org, it’s safe to assume that each of your interviewers’ email addresses follows that same format. If all else fails, when you do send a thank-you email to one interviewer, simply mention that you didn’t get contact information for her colleagues and ask her to please pass along your message of gratitude.

The different sections of a thank-you email

Of course, you’ll want to make this email your own, but here are the different sections and items that you should be sure to include:

  • A clear subject line
  • A greeting that matches the formality of the interview (first name versus courtesy title and last name)
  • A specific reference to what, exactly, you’re thanking your interviewer for (coffee, details about the organization, great conversation, all of her insightful questions and thoughtful answers, etc.)
  • Reiterate (without being too verbose or specific) what you like about the organization and/or the position, and why you think this role is a great fit for you

Thank-you email template

Email Subject: Thank you again

Dear [FIRST NAME, or COURTESY TITLE and LAST NAME],

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me [THIS MORNING/AFTERNOON]! It was such a pleasure to hear about the culture of the team and the organization, and to have the opportunity to share some of my story with you, as well. I’ve been following [NAME OF ORGANIZATION] for some time, and so I really enjoyed having a chance to get into the details with a member of the team.

The position sounds like a wonderful challenge and an exciting next step for me, aligning nicely with my personal and professional trajectory. As I mentioned during our interview, I have a lot of ideas on how to get this work off the ground, and I’m excited to explore new ways to address [ORGANIZATION’S ISSUE AREA] alongside such an impressive team.

Of course, if you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out, and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon!

Best,

[YOUR FULL NAME]

***

Do you have a “usual routine” when it comes to sending post-interview thank-you emails? Words of wisdom as it relates to thanking an interviewer in a timely manner? Questions? Cautionary tales? Share them here or tweet us at @idealistcareers.org.

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As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
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Comments

  1. Reply

    These are good and clear tips on sending post-interview thank you letters. Tips # 1 and 2 are useful reminders. One of the challenges is when you didn’t get all the email contacts of the interviewers especially during panel interviews. Another challenge as you have mentioned (since you have already been interviewed by the person who you are thanking in the letter) is figuring out whether the salutation should be formal or informal – whether to do ‘Dear first name’ or ‘Dear Mr./Ms. last name’.

      • Brigid Walsh
      • December 19, 2017
      Reply

      I try to get a business card from each person who interviews me for whom I don’t already have contact information. “Would it be alright to have your business card in case I think of any follow-up questions?”

    • Julie Baer
    • December 18, 2017
    Reply

    Before mentioning what working at the organization can do for YOUR “trajectory,” articulate how much YOU can contribute to the organization, program, colleagues, and clients!

    • Steve G
    • December 24, 2017
    Reply

    Great article. My suggestion, though, would be to send the “Thank you” the first thing the day after the interview. I wouldn’t want the people I’m thanking to think I don’t have other things to do and even more importantly, that I’ve taken a bit of time to reflect and write a truly personalized note; rather than simply dash-off a boilerplate note. (Even using your boiler, to truly personalize it does take time or at least you want them to think it takes time)

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