Write A Post-Interview Thank You To Improve Your Chances Of Getting The Job

Write A Post-Interview Thank You To Improve Your Chances Of Getting The Job

We’ve discussed the best way to follow up after an interview, but what should you include in a follow-up to note make sure the hiring manager or recruiter really notices? According to career strategist Hannah Morgan, it’s a short, sweet, three line message that reaffirms your interest in the position and thanks the interviewer for their time. Here’s what it looks like.

Photo by Pavel Ignatov (Shutterstock)

The follow-up letter, she explains, should be easily digestible by the reader. After all, hiring managers are busy, and it’s a short walk from “appreciative that you sent a thank you note” to “annoyed you’re wasting my time”. Here’s what she suggests:

Paragraph 1: This two- or three-sentence paragraph explains why you are writing…thank you.

Paragraph 2: This paragraph reminds the interviewer why your specific skills are a match for the job and how you will add value to their organisation.

This might also be an opportunity to address any of your areas of weakness during the interview or to improve upon an answer you gave during the interview.

Paragraph 3: In this paragraph, emphasise your gratitude for the opportunity and state when YOU will be following up.

You can probably trim this down even more, but the format looks solid. She explains that the best time to send the note is 24-48 hours after your interview, and to send it directly to the hiring manager or recruiter that you worked with. A follow-up won’t make up for a poor fit to the position or a bad interview, but it can show character and tip the scales in your favour.

Write A Thank You Letter That Stands Out [Lipsticking]


  • I’ve hired quite a few people over the years. I can’t speak for all hirers, but let me say this… DO NOT DO THIS WITH ME!!!!!!!!!! If anything, this would hurt your chances with me. I would see this as pushy and being a brown noser, not enthusiastic. It is also something else that I would have to deal with.

    • I nodded so much in agreement with you that my head almost fell off. Grovelling is certainly no way to win employment – or at least no way to win employment for an organisation that I would want to work for.

    • This isn’t directed solely at you, Dan. It’s just a general question/observation, but if you or anyone else could give some insight that would be great. Anyway, many people recommend sending a thank you letter, while others apparently don’t like it. What, then, is a job seeker supposed to do? Do it anyway and hope all goes well? I can’t speak for everyone else, but when I send a thank you letter it’s because I want the job and I want the employer to remember me, not because I’m brown nosing. It can be quite cut throat out there when it comes to looking for work. If a thank you letter isn’t the way to go in order to stand out, then what should I do instead? What should anyone do?

      • Hi Leonie: Speaking from my own experience in recruiting (I’m not an HR specialist), I would say that these decisions are made based on the quality of the application (for shortlisting) and then how the person presents at the interview and performs in any practical tests.

        If the person has been outstanding in their application, interview and work tests then I’m certainly going to remember them and have them top of my mind! No need for follow up notes unless providing requested information or material.

        The final decision is rarely so close that I’d offer the job to one person over another simply on the basis that he or she sent a thank you note. If it were really close then I’d be calling the two finalists in for further meetings or tests as a way of establishing who has the superior skills or might be the best fit.

        As you’ve observed already, feelings about thank you notes are polarised. And despite all the research in the world, you probably won’t be able to establish whether the decision-maker in any given job hunt is a lover or hater of the things. In my case, I’m neutral: I won’t rule you out if you thank me, but it won’t help you either. That’s because I’m making the decision based on other factors.

        Finally, I would say that any unsolicited follow-up note just gives the recruiter something else on which to “judge” you. So if your note is misdirected, poorly judged, comes across as naive or desperate, or contains a spelling/grammar/factual error then it could be worse than if you hadn’t sent anything at all.

  • This is the key part: “A follow-up won’t make up for a poor fit to the position or a bad interview…”

    And basically, if you are a good fit and have given a good interview, then this kind of followup message will be superfluous, with one exception:
    If, during your interview, you have promised or been asked for some kind of additional information or sample of your work, then absolutely use the sending of this as an opportunity to also graciously say thank you and very briefly affirm your interest. (This is not brown-nosing or grovelling, but simple good manners.)

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