The Art of the Thank-You Note

Published: Sep 04, 2012


The days following an interview can be full of stress. You replay each part of the conversation in your head, second-guess your choice of outfit and constantly check your phone for missed calls. (Wait, are we talking about a first date or an interview here?)

While the three-day rule of asking for a second date doesn’t apply, it’s important to follow up appropriately with your interviewer. A handwritten thank-you note isn’t necessary—and might even arrive too late. Instead, within one business day, send a short email thanking your interviewer for his or her time. Here, some ideas for crafting the perfect thank-you email:

  • Spell your interviewer’s name correctly. Yes, it sounds obvious. But misspelling a name or title is more common than you would think. To avoid this, make sure to ask for a business card before you leave your interview. As a backup method, look up your interviewer’s contact information on the company’s website or LinkedIn.
  • Mention something you discussed. Demonstrate that you were actively listening during the interview by referring to something interesting you learned about the company or position. For example, note that you enjoyed hearing about the impressive training opportunities available through the company. You can also cite a personal connection that you shared with your interviewer. If you discussed your passion for French films, reminding the interviewer of this will help to reinforce your rapport.
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm. Reiterate how excited you are about the opportunity. Stating that the interview increased your interest in the role is always a good idea.
  • Provide references or a writing sample if requested. If your interviewer requested any follow up information from you, include it as part of your thank you note.
  • Proofread your email. Asking a friend to take a look is not going too far! Just one typo could negatively affect your interviewer’s opinion of you.

Have other thank-you note tips? Let us know in the comments!