How to Write a Great "Thank You" Note After an Interview

I grew up in the south where it is custom to write a thank you note for the thank you note you just received. Thank you notes are in my blood and if you’ve invited me to stay in your home, sent me a trinket or mailed me a thoughtful article you knew I’d enjoy, you better believe you will be receiving a timely thank you note. But thank you notes aren’t just a southern gesture of gratitude. They are a vital part of the interview process and can be the deciding factor on whether you you receive a job offer or not.

After being in the recruiting world for close to a decade and receiving thousands of candidate thank you notes, here is a list of what makes a thank you note stand out.

  1. It's an email form. As much as I love a good hand-written note from a friend, when it comes from a candidate it is tough to respond to and to search for if I need it for reference if its not in my email.
  2. It's timely. When it comes to thank you notes, there is a 24 hour hour rule. I usually suggest sending a quick note once you get home from your interview and the context of your conversation is still fresh.
  3. It's personal. You recruiter or hiring manager isn’t just the person who sat across from you in an interview. I always try to bring my whole self to work and will make a point to try to bring up some easy topics that aren’t related to the job, like favorite workouts, college sports or pets. When a candidate throws in a "Go Noles," I know they were actually engaged in our conversation.
  4. It reiterates why a candidate is interested in the position and what they can bring to the table. Always bring a notebook and pen (preferably one that you didn’t pick up from a random hotel or bank) with you and make sure you jot down a few things you can reference in your thank you note. If possible, include any follow up solutions for a problem you discussed during your interview. For example, the last time I interviewed for a job, our CEO said there was an issue with the office always being too quite, so I included a link to one of my favorite office playlists from Spotify. You could also include a link to a relevant podcast or article that is on a subject you discussed.   
  5. It is important to thank your interviewer for their time for my time. It can be tough to make time for an interview and it is always appreciated it when a candidate recognizes that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. :)