When you have an interview, it is important to make a great impression in a short time. Whether you are applying for a new job, trying to get a promotion within the same workplace, or just seeking out new opportunities, there can be high stakes in any interview. This kind of pressure means that often, people forget basic things. In favor of citing your moments of expertise and unique gifts, you could make the simple mistake of forgetting to thank your interviewer for their time. In a busy schedule at an important job, interviews are a huge time consumer, and most of them do not end in a job offer.
Only the exceptional candidate gets the job offer, and you want to make sure that is you. One very simple way to ensure that you stay in the minds of the hiring department after your interview is to send a thank you note. Yes, just like your grandma said, thank you notes can be game changers for applicants who are right on the cusp of being great. Every employer wants to bring on someone with good manners, but more importantly, they want to get someone who is a respectful and diligent worker. Thanking people for their time is basic, but it is often overlooked.
How do I even start to write this email?
There are many different ways to write a thank you and impress the person making the final call. A classic template reads as follows:
Dear [Interviewer’s name here],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the [job] position at [company name]. I really enjoyed talking with you and learning more about the company and the role. I was excited to find out that [something specific you discussed in your interview]. I’m looking forward to beginning the next steps. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions for me. I hope we can meet up again soon.
In this notice, you let the person know that you are friendly, while staying professional. A few important things are to customize the note to fit your interview. Even if yours does not look exactly like this, the key points are to thank the interviewer, express your interest in the job and company, and reference something very specific. You do not want them to confuse your interview with someone else’s. This is a chance to bring up your best moment or remind them of your good qualities. Finally, set out a future path. Whether you set up a second interview already or you are hoping to visit the office at some point, make sure that you are showing enough interest in learning more about the role and continuing on the path to getting hired.
There are also key things to avoid on this path. You do not want to come across as presumptuous, or arrogant. Remain professional while being genuine and grateful. Another thing that interviewers are sensitive to is their name. Triple check that you have spelled it right! That is so easy to overlook and makes such a difference. Also, make sure not to jump to a first name basis with your interviewer before it is appropriate. If they sign their emails with just a first name, it may be ok, but it is usually safer to err on the side of caution and use M[r/s/x] Last Name. The last thing you want to do is offend the person on the other end of your job offer.
Overall, saying thank you is always a good idea. When people hold the door for you, when they tip you at work, or when they take a few minutes out of their day to interview you for a job, appreciation matters.