Sending a thank-you email to a hiring manager after an interview seems like a simple, straightforward task. After all, how complicated can writing a brief letter of gratitude to a new acquaintance possibly be?
More complicated than people think.
To hit the “send” button with confidence, consider these tips and templates for how to write a solid thank-you email after an interview. They just might make you stand out among the crowd of fellow candidates.
Tips to Write a 'Thank You' Email After an Interview
- Send it within 24 hours.
- Simplify the subject line.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Summarize the interview highlights.
- Reinforce why you're the right person for the job.
- Sound appreciative and excited.
- Sign off professionally.
Should I Send a ‘Thank You’ Email After an Interview?
Yes, you should send a thank-you email after an interview.
While a post-interview thank-you email probably isn’t going to make or break your chances of getting a job, you should probably send one anyway.
As a possible upside, they help candidates stay top of mind with hiring managers, even after the interview process is over. Shwetha Shankar, vice president of customer success at Tray.io, had once passed on a candidate for a role she was hiring for, but the person’s thank-you email stuck out to her. So when a better-fitting role opened up down the road, the thank-you emailer was the first person Shankar reached out to.
As a downside, if you don’t send a thank-you email, the hiring manager may notice and subsequently doubt your enthusiasm for the position. A polite follow-up might not cinch the job for you, but it at least shows that you want to work there.
There’s even more downside if you don’t send a thank-you email after interviewing for a customer-facing role, like sales or customer success, according to Stephen Jensen, director of mid market at Motive. He said hiring managers want to see candidates in these positions demonstrate initiative and follow-through.
How to Write a ‘Thank You’ Email After an Interview
A thank-you email that is short, appreciative and sent within 24 hours of the interview is a great place to start. To go above and beyond, here’s some additional tips to keep in mind.
When to Send a ‘Thank You’ Email After an Interview
Sending a thank-you email to the person who interviewed you within 24 hours is the ideal time-frame, according to career coach Kirsten Nelson. Just make sure that it’s a thoughtful message and doesn’t feel like something you copy-and-pasted.
This shows that you’re responsive, a strong communicator with follow-through and that you’re excited about the role. If you wait much longer to send it, the hiring manager might get the impression that you’re slow to respond or not too interested in the position.
Interview ‘Thank You’ Email Subject Line Tips
Keep your email subject line concise and to the point. Resist the urge to get clever or wordy. Simple, streamlined subject lines work best for the occasion, according to career coach Wendy Saccuzzo.
Formal Subject Lines
Following an interview, especially the first one, it’s usually best to keep your email tone formal. You’ll want to present the most professional side of yourself and show you’re capable of traditional corporate communication. A few examples include:
- “Thank You for the Interview”
- “Thank You for Our Conversation”
- “Interview Follow-Up - Thank You”
Informal or Casual Subject Lines
If you have progressed further into the interview process or if the interview conversation presented itself as more casual, this can be reflected in your email and subject line. But be sure to keep in mind the context of the interview and the company’s culture. Don’t let casual slip into too casual. A few examples include:
- “Thanks for the Interview”
- “Thanks for the Conversation”
- “Appreciated Your Time Yesterday”
What to Include in a ‘Thank You’ Email After an Interview
Keep the ‘Thank You’ Email Short and to the Point
Hiring managers are busy, so keep it brief. The career coaches interviewed for this article all said a few short paragraphs is a commonly prescribed length.
That said, make sure the reader can tell you put time and effort into the email. Even though it’s short, it shouldn’t read like it was dashed off as an afterthought.
Summarize Interview Highlights
Giving a couple quick highlights demonstrates you were an active, attentive participant in the conversation. Interviewers are looking for more than just the ability to do the job.
In addition to thanking the interviewer, focus on referencing two or three high points from the interview. You could say something along the lines of:
- “I appreciated you discussing…”
- “I enjoyed learning…”
- “It was great hearing about…”
If you’re not entirely sure what to call back to, mine your conversation for highlights by reflecting on these questions first:
- Did the interviewer make an interesting point?
- Did something you discussed excite you?
- Did you learn something new about the role or company?
- Do you two have something interesting in common?
Reinforce Why You’re the Right Person for the Job
It never hurts to use the thank-you email to connect your past experience to details about the role that came up in the interview. That said, be sure to keep this part short and sweet — no more than a sentence — and to reference what you already discussed in the interview. You can add a sentence such as:
- “I believe my previous experience in xyz would make me a great fit for this role.”
- “From my experience as a xyz, I believe my skills would translate well into this role.”
Sound Appreciative and Excited
The tone of every post-interview thank-you email should be appreciative and excited.
When Mike Manoske, career coach and co-author of The Job Search Manifesto, advises job seekers, he recommends they use the word “appreciate” throughout their email — to express their thankfulness for the hiring manager’s time.
A thoughtful appreciation can look like the following:
- “I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me.”
- “I appreciated our conversation today.”
- “Thank you for taking the time to discuss xyz with me.”
After expressing appreciation for the interview, a few example statements you could follow with to show appropriate excitement include:
- “I look forward to learning more about the role.”
- “I look forward to speaking further with you.”
- “I’m excited to learn more about the opportunity.”
What Not to Include in a ‘Thank You’ Email After an Interview
Don’t Use Unprofessional Language
Avoid using abbreviations, slang or sensitive language in your writing, and always check for spelling and grammatical errors before hitting “send.” Using a professional tone and language in your thank-you email shows awareness of the setting and respect to your interviewer.
Don’t Bring Up Interview Mistakes
Avoid bringing up a mistake you made or a flubbed answer you gave in your interview, as that may distract from the positives of the experience.
“Don’t remind an interviewer of negative aspects of an interview,” Jensen said. “Finish on a positive note.”
Don’t Ask About Compensation
It’s best to not ask about a role’s salary or benefits in a thank-you email, especially if a job offer hasn’t been extended. Bringing up topics like money at this point in the process can signal a lack of interest in the role beyond the pay, and may negatively impact your consideration for the job.
Sign Off Professionally
The final short paragraph of your thank-you email should cover a couple of things: Invite the interviewer to let you know if they have any further questions, and tell them you hope to stay in touch. Examples include:
- “Let me know if you have any further questions.”
- “If any additional information is required, please let me know.”
- “Feel free to reach out if anything else is needed.”
After that, it’s time for the sign-off, where it’s probably best you stick to one of several classic options:
- Best Regards
- Best Wishes
- Kind Regards
‘Thank You’ Email After Interview Examples
To help you get started, here are some samples of post-interview thank-you emails. Keep in mind that these are just starting points, though. You’ll want to add your own details and write with your own voice.
Formal and Short ‘Thank You’ Email for Interview
These samples are best for those following the first interview, and/or looking to keep it more formal and traditionally professional.
Subject: Thanks for the Interview
Thank you for your time yesterday. It was great connecting with you, and I appreciate the chance to learn more about the [job title] position.
Our conversation made me even more excited about the idea of joining your team. Especially because of what you said about A, B and C, and how that aligns with my experience doing X, Y and Z.
Let me know if you need any further information. Looking forward to hearing back from you on Thursday, as discussed.
Subject: Following up After Yesterday’s Interview
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to talk about the [job title] position yesterday. It was great hearing about how your team is working on X.
With the Y challenges you’re facing, I’m even more excited about the opportunity to bring my Z skills and experiences to the table.
I look forward to hearing back from you about next steps. In the meantime, let me know if there’s any additional information you need.
Thank you again,
Casual and Short ‘Thank You’ Email for Interview
These samples are best for those following the second or a later interview, and looking to keep it more casual and personable.
Subject: Appreciated Your Time Today
Thanks for meeting with me today. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me about the [job title] position.
I especially enjoyed hearing about how your team has been tackling X and Y problems, and how it’s planning to do more Z in the future.
Let me know if you have any further questions. And no matter the outcome, I hope we can stay in touch.
Subject: Following up
Thanks for the great conversation today. I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me and for sharing your thoughts on how your team is contributing to [larger company goals].
That made me even more excited about this role and how it fits in with my passion for A, B and C.
Let me know if there’s anything else you need from me. Looking forward to hearing about next steps.
Subject: Thanks for the Conversation
It was great talking with you yesterday. Always fun to meet a fellow General Assembly bootcamp grad!
I enjoyed learning more about the [job title] role and how you see it fitting into what [company] is trying to achieve with its larger mission of X.
Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions for me. Thanks again for your time, and I hope we can stay in touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon do you send a thank you email after an interview?
Within 24 hours is the recommended time-frame to send a thank-you email after an interview. Doing so can show that you are a responsive candidate, have strong communication skills and are enthusiastic about taking on the role.
What do you say in a thank you email after an interview?
It's best to summarize your interview highlights, reinforce why you are the right person for the role, emphasize that you are appreciative for the interview experience and sound excited about future opportunities in a thank-you email after an interview.