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When Should I Send a Thank You Note After a Job Interview?

Thank you notes should be sent a day or two after the interview.
Send a post-interview thank you note even if you wouldn't accept a job offer.
To standout after an interview, send a card expressing thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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Sending a thank you note after an interview is an opportunity for giving a final good impression. In general, you should send a note within a day or two of the interview. Even if you don't plan to accept any offered job, showing your appreciation can be a way of networking and forming good relationships with businesses with which you might have dealings in the future.

In general, the thank you note should not be too similar to a letter of inquiry or a letter preceding a resume. Instead, it should be a brief note expressing thanks for the company’s time. You can briefly allude to a few of the relevant issues in the interview, if you hope to work for the company. The note can be a bit more personal as well, and could include a statement like, “I really enjoyed discussing how you blend single parenting with working. It resembles my own philosophy.”

Such a statement should only be made when the interview has been intimate and comfortable, and when such a statement “feels” right. Another possible tactic is to thank individual employees who might have been present at the interview. Such a note to the company could say something like, “I really appreciated Bob and Shari taking time to give me a tour of the company.” Again, a more formal interview might mean referring to Bob and Shari as Mr. Anderson and Ms. Jones.

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It's usually OK to make a final statement in the thank you note about how you feel you might fit in with the company. “Your philosophy on employee empowerment is closely aligned with my own," for example. The note can also imply a sense of confidence in the interview, expressing how happy you will be to hear from the company again. This can potentially save you from waiting for days when a company does not contact interviewees unless they are hired.

If you definitely plan not to accept a job after an interview, the note can serve as thanks for the time spent and as an announcement that you are withdrawing your application for a job. By still thanking the company, in a thoughtful way, you can avoid any hard feelings by not accepting a job. Any reasons that you give for not accepting the position should be vague and general. An unstable job market might one day mean applying to the same company, so even a very brief relationship with a company should end on a positive note.

Sending a thank you note shortly after an interview shows that you are considerate and pleasant to work with. Not every interviewee will take this step, and in competitive job markets, a pleasant note of thanks can be the distinction between you and other job applicants. It is a way of making a good final impression that is likely to be appreciated by a company or individual interviewers.

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Discuss this Article

anon178517
Post 5

I agree that thank you note helps to leave the pleasant impression on your customer, which he would remember. Sometimes there is no time to go to the store, buy a card and mail it yourself. You can delegate this to Thank You Pen art iPhone app which sends hand-written letters and greeting cards directly from iOS devices. You type your message and the post team physically handwrites a message, addresses the envelope and mails it to the recipient.

anon84197
Post 4

Ok i interviewed on Wednesday and it's now Friday. is it too late to send a thank you letter now? What do you think?

anon80483
Post 3

I get so confused by all the information out there on this interview stuff. I read a ton of articles on how you are supposed to send a thank you letter within twenty-four hours after an interview and the first two interviews I had. I did this.

One of them directly stated that the thank you letter was not needed and made me appear desperate in their refusal letter. Another job told me I was passed by because I didn't send a thank you letter.

Then I got a job that I sent a thank you to and they still tease me about how corny it was to thank them for their time. I still don't know what to do.

I guess the moral of the story is damned if you do damned if you don't. Just like the blank sheet typed in black resume. My firm would not even give a run of the mill resume a second glance. Color makes it pop and makes you look like you care about the impression you are trying to convey. However other departments won't even accept a resume if it's on colored paper.

anon32103
Post 2

regular paper, typed, same as a business letter.

Not cards, not stationary.

breadcrumbs51
Post 1

Should an after-job interview thank you be a printed letter or a written thank you note? Should it be hand-written? On a card? What kind of card?

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