Something that surprises me is how rarely folks send thank you emails after an interview. Personally, I think this is a simple way to leave a positive impression after an interview, and even if there’s no job offer, this can set the path up for networking and maintaining a connection with the interviewer.
Interviewer’s email address
First, you need the interviewer’s email address. To get this, there are a few options:
Was there a calendar invite or email with details for the interview? Generally you can find email addresses in there.
Ask for a business card during the interview.
Ask the recruiter for the interviewer’s email address. If they don’t want to give it to you, you can often send the thank you email to the recruiter and they will forward it to the interviewer.
Another option is to simply guess! Based on the structure of the email addresses you know from the company, you can try to guess the email address using the name of the interviewer. For example, if the recruiter’s email address was “First name initial” + “Last name” @ company, you can try the same thing for your interviewer.
Thank you email format
Once I have the email address, here is a structure I like to use:
Hi <first name>,
It was great to meet you and <insert detail about your conversation to show you were listening>. I really enjoyed learning about <insert detail about company to show you know something about the company.> <Insert sentence about how you would bring value to company, ideally referencing something that you said in interview.>
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
All the best,
This format is straightforward and short. Your email needs to show that you respect their time.
Example thank you email
To better illustrate, here is the thank you email I sent after I interviewed at Indeed:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. It was great to finally meet you in person. I enjoyed learning about product at Indeed, as well as going through the product exercise. After speaking with you and the team, I believe I can bring a lot of value to Indeed's product team, especially with my experience as the sole Product Manager at Badgeville.
Thank you again for your time and hospitality. It would be an honor to work with professionals of such high caliber, like you and the rest of the team. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Have a wonderful weekend!
My favorite line
One line I really like to use is some variation of “It would be an honor to work with someone of your caliber.” I learned this from a previous colleague who used it in his thank you email to me, when I interviewed him. I was flattered and it’s a line that has stuck with me ever since. You may have noticed a similar line in my example email.
When to send
I recommend sending the thank you email by the end of the following day. Interview processes can move quickly, especially in a hot job market, and you should too.
I also like to send a thank you email after a phone interview, if possible. I’ve found that few applicants do this, so it helps me stand out. It also makes it easier for the interviewing team to follow up with me, as I’ve started a conversation.
I may not move forward in the process, but I’ll be remembered as someone who was willing to follow up and did so in a timely manner.
An additional benefit: Networking
Thank you emails help you build a positive relationship with the people in the interview process. I also like to send thank you emails to the recruiters and coordinators involved. Because of this, I’ve had people reach out later, even if I didn’t get the role at the time. Also, I’ve connected with people on LinkedIn, after I followed up via a thank you email.
Hiring on both sides (employer and job seeker) is stressful. A short, positive thank you email is a way to make the whole process slightly more pleasant.