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A Sign of Courtesy
Writing a thank-you email after an interview helps solidify your status as a thoughtful and professional individual. It also provides an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position, as well as to reemphasize your qualifications. Most of all, as a working mother, you are probably teaching your children the importance of good manners, and writing thank-you notes shows you have exceptional manners.
Elements of a Good Email
Be Prompt: Write your thank-you email within a day of your interview. The company may be interviewing numerous candidates or might be trying to make a decision quickly and placing yourself front-and-center is sure to grab their attention.
Thank everyone: Write a thank-you email to everyone who was part of your interview. If you were interviewed by a panel, it’s OK to address everyone in the same email.
Dear Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Holt and Ms. Bellview,
Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the officer manager position this afternoon. It was delightful to meet you all, and I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the position and about the company itself.
If anyone else in the organization was helpful during your interview, it doesn’t hurt to thank them as well. Hiring managers often ask receptionists and other staffers to proffer an opinion and give their first impressions of candidates.
Thank you so much for your assistance in scheduling this interview around my daughter’s soccer schedule. I really appreciate the extra lengths you went to.
Thanks again for taking me on a tour of the corporate offices; you were a great guide, and I appreciated all of your insight.
Cover Ground You Forgot to Address
If, on your way home, you realize you forgot to mention something in your background relevant to the position, use the thank-you email to bring it up.
Thank you again for your time this afternoon. After thinking more about the scope of responsibilities for this role, I wanted to mention that I actually have several years of project management experience that I think would be helpful in the position. In particular, I have a good working knowledge of PM software, such as Workfront, that I think will be an asset.
Fix Any Missteps
We’ve all rehashed an interview in our mind during the drive home, wishing to have said one thing or to not have said another. If you feel you inadvertently said or did something that might have hurt your chances for the job, use the thank you to smooth things over. Example:
I apologize if I seemed at all critical of my previous employer. I’m very passionate about my work, and while it’s true that my former boss and I occasionally had differing opinions about marketing approach, I have nothing but respect for what she has achieved from both a sales and staff cultivation perspective.
Ask for the Job
Wrap up your thank-you email by letting the hiring manager know, in no uncertain terms, that you want the job.
After meeting everyone, I’m sincerely excited about the prospect of joining your team.
Finish by offering additional information.
If I can provide you with any additional information about myself, or if you’d be interested in chatting again, I’m happy to make myself available at your convenience.
Follow Up Your Thank You
If a week has passed and you haven’t heard anything back from the company, drop another brief note to the hiring manager to touch base and inquire as to when a hiring decision will be made.
Just touching base to see how the interviewing process is proceeding and when you’re planning to make a final hiring decision. I remain very enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the company. I look forward to hearing from you!
When You Don’t Get the Job
You’re not going to win them all, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a sore loser. Just as it’s important to be gracious in your thank-you messaging, be professional in the way you handle a thanks-but-no-thanks response.
While I can’t say I’m not disappointed, I’m sure there were many qualified people eager to join your team. It was a pleasure meeting all of you, and should a similar position come available in the future, please keep me in mind. I’d still love to be part of the organization!
As a final note, always use a signature block on your email and double-check name spelling, grammar and punctuation. Avoid using too many colors or fonts, which can be distracting.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.