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Is It Appropriate to Make a Thank You Call After an Interview?

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When the interview ends, new anticipation can set in. People often want to know if they aced the interview, almost as badly as they want the job itself. If this is you, channel some of that energy into going the extra mile to keep yourself in the game. Thanking the interviewer, with a phone call or card, is a personal touch most employers will appreciate.

Set the Stage

Pay attention to the timeline the employer provides for making a hiring decision. Leave the interview knowing this information; ask at the end of the interview if the timeline was not volunteered. Ask when the employer expects to make a decision, when you should expect to hear something and how you will be contacted. Try to remember the full names of the people who interviewed you so you can personalize any follow ups or ask for their business cards.

Time It Right

Calling to thank the interviewer should not come off as annoying or pushy. Consider whether a phone call is appropriate or if a thank-you card is better. If you were asked not to call for at least a week or were told that the interviewer will be on vacation for a few days, opt for a thank-you card. Otherwise, call the employer within two to three days. Be considerate of the time of day you call, avoiding busy times or off hours.

What to Say

A thank-you call should be short and sweet. Be professional and use your manners. Thank the interviewer and personalize the call in a way that helps the employer remember you in a good way. For example, share something that you know the employer will be interested in or simply tell the employer how much you enjoyed the interview. Use the opportunity to ask if a decision has been made yet and to set the stage for another follow-up call in a few days if there is no news.

Stay Positive

Keep a positive relationship with the employer even if this job didn't work out. No matter how disappointed you feel to learn that you didn't get the job, keep your cool. Thank the employer sincerely, stress how much you enjoyed meeting her and ask that you be considered if another opportunity comes up with the company. While you weren't hired, you might have been number two in a tough decision-making process.


Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.

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