After a Great Job Interview, Write a Killer Thank You Note [Template]

You worked hard to shine in your job interview — and now it’s time to shine after the interview is over, by sending a thoughtful thank you note. Below are two thank you note examples to use after a job interview. The first is a more friendly version and the second is a more business-like version.

Yes, thank you notes are back in style! In a world where many people have great resumes and solid experience, there’s nothing like a well-written, gracious thank you note to remind your interviewer of why he or she wants to hire you!

The best thank you notes are short, sincere, and specific to each interview. So:

1. Be Prepared for Thank You Note Success

  • Before going to your interview, buy an attractive blank note card from a card shop. No humor, and nothing fancy or with writing on the inside. This needs to reflect you, so keep the card simple and write your note in your own words.
  • Take the card and a stamp with you to your interview.
  • Be sure to ask your interviewer for their business card, so that you know where to send your thank you.
  • After your interview, go sit quietly (if you’re an introvert, or want to take some notes) or call a friend (if you’re an extrovert, or want to talk things out) and think through what went well.

Now use this simple approach to craft your note:

2. Start By Thinking About Your Audience

In this case, your “audience” is the person, or people, who interviewed you. To put them solidly in mind, ask yourself:

  • Did they enjoy our conversation?
  • Where, in particular, did we connect?
  • Was their interviewing style more on the “warm and friendly” or more on the “strictly business” end of the scale?

OK, got it? Now you’re ready to write.

For tips on how to think about your audience BEFORE the interview, check out my book INTERVIEW LIKE YOURSELF… NO, REALLY!

3. Use “The Rule of 3” to Write Your Note

Three sentences, plus a date, a greeting, and a close, are all you need to get this job done.

At the top of the note, in the right-hand corner, write today’s date.

Then, on the left, write, “Dear [Their Name].” If the person was super friendly, a first name will do; it they were super formal, use their title. In between “Mr.” or “Ms.” and their last name is correct.

Then write:

Sentence: #1 Thank the person for meeting with you.

  • If you liked them, or if they were particularly friendly, you can say something like “Thank you for making my interview today so pleasant.”
  • If they were more businesslike, just say something like, “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.”

Sentence #2: Mention something that you liked about the interview.

  • If they were personal or friendly, say something personal, such as, “I particularly enjoyed our talk about [whatever you—and they—particularly enjoyed talking about].”
  • If they were more businesslike, say something businesslike, such as, “I was glad to learn more about [name of organization].”

Sentence #3: Repeat your interest in the job (but don’t repeat your qualifications or act as if the interview is still going on!).

  • Friendly version: “I would be thrilled to work for [name of organization], and hope to meet you again as a colleague.”
  • Business version: “I am now even more interested in working with [name of organization], and appreciate your help with the process.”

The Rule of 3 can also help you PREPARE and ACE your answers to interview questions.To learn how, check out my book INTERVIEW LIKE YOURSELF… NO, REALLY!

Here’s what those two notes look like when you put it all together

Friendlier Version:

Thank you for making my interview today so pleasant. I particularly enjoyed our talk about [whatever you—and they—particularly enjoyed talking about]. I would be thrilled to work for [name of organization], and hope to meet you again as a colleague.

More Businesslike Version:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I was glad to learn more about [name of organization]. I am now even more interested in working with [name of organization], and appreciate your help with the process.

Sign it “Sincerely,” then print your name so that you’re sure they can read it. If you have a business card, include it.

Should I Also Send an eMail Thank You Note?

There’s nothing wrong with saying “thank you” twice — unless you bore or annoy the person you’re thanking.

So if you’d like to send an email while your meeting is still fresh in your interviewer’s mind, do the thinking that’s described above first. Then write 1 or 2 brief, positive comments that aren’t worded in the same way as your written note, and click “send.”

And Last But Not Least…

Go home, put your feet up, and have a glass of wine or hot tea.

The hardest job in the world is looking for a job. [tweet that]

So congratulate yourself on a job well done today, and be kind to yourself while you’re waiting for the results.

If you’ve read this post, you’re probably in the middle of the job search process! For more about successful job interviews, see my book Interview Like Yourself…  No, Really!

Inc. contributing editor Jeff Haden says,

Interviewing well is partly art but mostly skill and Jezra Kaye provides all the tools you need to ace the interview.


View Comments (39)

  • After three months of looking...I had my my first interview yesterday. Thanks for your help saying "Thank you"!

    • Craig, I'm looking forward to hearing about how things go in your job search. Thanks so much for reading, and for your comment. 

      • I just had my first interview out of three, not sure if I will get the second one. So should I write a thank you note after each interview? ( All fingers crossed that I get that far)
        Also , I dont have an email address for the manager that interviewed me, should I go back there and drop it off to her?

        • Lisa, I wouldn't go back in person; that could be construed as trying too hard (or worse, as quasi-stalking). But do call the office and ask the receptionist or admin for the interviewer's email address (explain that you just interviewed with that person and would like to send a thank you, and you'll probably get the address).

          And yes, I would thank each person you interview with (once). Be sure to get their biz cards before the interview begins, because as you've seen, it's so easy to forget afterwards.

          Good luck! I hope you get the job.

  • 10 years ago I interviewed for a secretarial job, I knew there were many applicants so I decided to send thank you notes to everyong I came in contact with on the day of my interview, including the receptionist.  It took time to do it, but the effort was worth it - I got the job and 10 years and 2 promotions later, I'm still happily employed at the same place!  The note doesn't have to be long, just be sincere and keep it simple.

    • Terri, congratulations! I've never heard of anyone sending a thank you to the receptionist before, and wouldn't have thought of doing it myself (though I would have thought to get her or his name and establish a connection). Sounds like you're with a great company; I'd love to know what position you currently hold. I was a secretary for many years myself, so it's great to hear about you moving up from that springboard.

        • I have done this for all of the few interviews that I have had. People like to feel appreciated and valued. Telling a receptionist that her smile put you at ease, or a custodian that the pristine condition of the reception area gave you a favorable impression, or an engineer that you appreciate his magnanimous attitude (if you interrupted him in his lab), can make you stand out as a person who truly cares about others, has perception and attention to detail, and is respecter of person without bias.

          • Kay, thanks so much for this comment. Your specific examples of noticing and complimenting everyone's contributions are informative and inspiring. If everyone was this polite and perceptive, our workplaces would be totally transformed.

  • Hello  - I just wanted to thank you for this great advice - I actually interviewed for (2) positions with the same person at the same time. 

    • Marie, thanks so much for letting me know. I hope you get the job you want, and look forward to hearing about your success!

  • This is great interview advice , Jezra, so thanks!

    I love the way your examples show the actual words someone might use, and you give both a friendly and a business version.

    • Craig, I hope I thanked YOU for this wonderful note at the time you posted it. I appreciate your support!

  • oh, my god, I have been interviewed for one month, but there is still no message, and i also did not write a thank you note, should I write now??? really need some suggestions , please help me

    • John, even though it's a month since your interview, I don't think it hurts to send a note — but the note should reflect that time has passed. You could say something like, "Over the last month, I've been thinking about our interview, and I really appreciate how friendly and helpful you were." (Or whatever is true.) You could also try to get through to someone at the company, or a recruiter, and say, "I'm calling to find out if a decision has been made yet, and if not, when do you expect to make one?" Unfortunately, companies don't always contact the applicants who didn't get the job, and you have every right to follow up and ask what's happening, as long as you don't do it in a rude or harassing way. (Which you totally wouldn't anyway :-)

  • thank you thank you thank you for helping with a more casual approach. I am interviewing internally at my company and the hiring manager I have known for a few years, so I wanted to get the thank you note right! This is a winner!

  • i have wrote this thank you letter to the managers who had interviewed me for a sales eng. position. On a scale from 0(bad) to 10(excellent) what do you think about the below letter? and does it need any modifications maybe for next time? your suggestions please.
    "Dear Mr. xxxxx, Mr. yyyyy;

    I appreciate that you have spent your time interviewing me yesterday 8 July 2013 for the Sales Engineer position with hhhhhhh company, and it was my pleasure meeting and knowing both you.

    Just to recall back the depth of my experience as a site manager and as a senior Sales engineer, by combining the management skills (when i was a site manager) and my current sales skills, i'm definitely an added advantage to hhhhhhh company team. Unlike other candidates, i can directly grab my duties and start working on them without any delays because i dont need any training in the diesel generator rental domain.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Best Regards;"

  • and that what i sent also to another company, your suggestions please, does it need any modification or is it OK like that?
    "Dear Mr. xxx, Mr. yyyy;

    Thank you for your time yesterday 8 July 2013, it was a pleasure meeting with you.

    As agreed, please find attached the e-copy of the work course certificates that i have done during my career life.

    Keeping in mind the breadth of experience that i have in both fields as a Site Manager and as a Senior Sales Engineer in the diesel generator domain, unlike other candidates i don't need or need little training to fill the required position either as a sales or as an operation, definitely i will be an added advantage to your company.

    Thanks again for your time, and looking forward to meet Mr. zzzz after few days.

    Best Regards

    • Farouk, I'm not able to give specific feedback on this site, but it sounds like you're on track.

  • Second interview, second thank you. Both of them constructed impeccably. Thank you, Jezra. Even if my interviewing skills need a little work, I can impress with a well constructed thank you note. :-)

    • I'll bet your interview impressed, too! Please keep me posted, and thanks for letting me know the technique has been helpful.

  • just went for my second interview, the interview was based on behavioral interview.i want to send a thank you letter to the company. but i just don't know what to write. can you help me with some ideas.

    • Moria, I'm sorry that I'm not able to give specific advice in these comments. But if you take what I wrote in the column and change every sentence to describe what you actually experienced, you should be fine.

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