The Art of Writing a Post Interview Thank You Note

September 4th, 2017

thank you note

A Thoughtful Thank You Note Never Goes Out of Style

While etiquette may be undergoing some changes in the digital age, good manners will always be an important part of the interviewing process. It is important to remember how important courtesy, respect and gratitude are before, during and after a job interview.

Companies definitely pay attention to the art of the thank you note. Fast Company reports the findings of a CareerBuilder survey indicating that “22 percent of employers are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note after the interview.”

Sending a thoughtful thank you note after each job interview is an important way to show your good manners, as well as your enthusiasm about the available job.

Email or Handwritten (or text)?

Knowing the value of sending a thank you note is one thing, but you must also consider whether you should write out a personalized note or send an email. Texting someone you’ve just met is a bit too casual at this stage in the job hunting game.

Sending a Thank You Email After an Interview

There are many staffing industry professionals and internal hiring managers who love handwritten thank you notes, but emails are sometimes the best and most practical choice. It often comes down to the company culture.

  • The Company Is Eager to Hire. If the interviewer lets you know that they plan to hire quickly, an email is the best call. While your handwritten note may arrive in a few days, they might have already made the decision by that time.
  • The Company Culture Is Digital. If you are interviewing at a high-tech company and see few, if any, handwritten pages anywhere, it may be safe to assume that email is the preferred form of communication. One indication of a digital company culture is if the hiring manager asked for you to send your resume and cover letter via email. Additionally, they might have sent an email to set up the interview. Look for clues, and do your best to decide from there.

Once you return home from your interview, write up a brief and thoughtful message that reinforces your gratitude for their time and your interest in the position. Make sure  you proofread and correct errors before sending your email.

Tip: if your email address is ‘’ or something similarly unprofessional, create a new one, just for job hunting purposes. Use your first and last name, if possible, or a first initial and last name. Do not use nicknames or anything that may seem unprofessional or inappropriate to your potential new employer.

Sending a Thank You Letter After an Interview

Even in our quick-paced world, some hiring managers and decision-makers love receiving traditional thank you notes via old-fashioned snail mail. Your mission is to understand just who is going to go for your handwritten thank you note and why. Here are a few ideas that may help:

  • The Company Is Small, in a Small Town or Features a More Traditional Atmosphere. You may be able to pick up on this clue from the company’s website before heading out to the interview. Look for bulletin boards with handwritten notes and flyers, or check to see if there are notes on the hiring manager’s desk or the conference room table.
  • The Company Culture Is Digital Culture, Take II. It may be a tricky call to make, but sometimes sending a handwritten message on high-quality paper stock to an interviewer in a digitally-centered office can help you stand out among the crowd of candidates. You may compromise in this situation, and look for the perfect thank you card to suit the high-tech environment. Choose a glossy and shiny paper, and use your best penmanship.

The Best Times to Send Both a Handwritten and Email Thank You Message

Some hiring managers may consider it overkill to send both an email and a handwritten message, but it may be appropriate in the case when you know the organization is planning to hire quickly. In this situation, send a quick, thoughtful and error-free email, followed by a neatly handwritten thank you note on good quality paper to drop in the mail box the next day.

There are many ways that you can stand out during your interview, as well as your post-interview, and we can help you come up with additional ideas. Contact us to find out what else we can do to help you prepare for any phase of your job search.

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