Interview Thank You Letter

Tips on what to write and when to send

Sending an interview thank you letter provides you with the opportunity to show your personality through a hand written note, demonstrating your organisation skills and of course your attention to detail.

Our correspondence etiquette is a reflection of ourselves and therefore it makes sense for this to be extended to our business lives as well. Whilst an interview thank you letter gives you a chance to reinforce why you meet the potential employer’s needs, the underlying message you are sending is that you understand and practice good business etiquette.

It shows that you value and appreciate the prospective employer’s time and consideration.

Few women are aware that by not sending a thank you letter you may lose the opportunity of being offered the job. Less than 10% of people send an interview thank you letter so it provides a perfect opportunity to stand out from the competition.

Your letter should be brief and to the point but it should also be used as an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job, your enthusiasm for the company and of course, to sell yourself. You should therefore aim to highlight a key point in your letter so that your interviewer remembers you.

It should be sent within 24 hours of the interview and you should also consider who assisted you in the interview process e.g. anyone who has referred you for the job, references and any other contacts whose help you have appreciated.

If you have decided after the first interview that the job isn’t quite right for you, do send a thank you letter anyway, politely withdrawing your application; you never know when you might cross paths with the interviewer again.

Before hand writing your letter I would recommend drafting it in a word document so that you can spell/grammar check and proof read it before putting pen to paper. Avoid using coloured stationery but do use a personalised letterhead if you have one.

Consider whether to write a letter to each person with whom you interviewed or a group letter. Did the interviewers had very much in common with one another? If there was a great deal of similarity, perhaps a "group" letter will suffice. If so, address all the people on a master letter and add a personal note to each. Otherwise, send a personalized letter to each interviewer. Use your judgment based on the personality of the company.

Use the formal salutation "Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs Smith," unless you were told during the job interview, "Call me John/Jane." Then your salutation should be the more informal "Dear John,” However always address the letter to a specific name and not to the "Sales Manager" for example.

Your Interview Thank You Letter should include:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time and state it was a pleasure to meet them. If you have been taken out for lunch or dinner then be sure to mention this and thank them for this.
  • Refer back to the interview and be specific about what skills you have to match their requirements.
  • State how you feel your personality would fit into the workplace now you have seen it.
  • State how your previous experience would assist you in the workplace and with your new colleagues.
  • Try and be specific about why you are interested in the job and how you are a good fit for the team.
  • Convey your interest in the company and how your values match those of your employer.
  • You can add anything that you forgot to mention during the interview or that you would like to reiterate/expand on.
  • Invite the employer to contact you with any further questions and state you are looking forward to hearing from them with a positive response.
  • Remember this letter is your last opportunity to make a positive impression but do remember not to oversell yourself and risk appearing desperate. You do not want to distract from the fact that this is an interview thank you letter.

Other Business Etiquette Skills to learn on this Site:

Interview Etiquette

Interview Dress Codes

Business Email Etiquette

Business Meeting Etiquette

Business Phone Etiquette

Business Negotiation Tactics

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The Author, Emma Dupont, runs various courses in London during the year.

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