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Is a thank you email after a job interview necessary?

Julianne Leybag
03 April 2017 3 minute readShare
Composing an email

A lot of applicants don’t bother to reach out to their interviewers after an interview, but HR managers say that sending an interview thank you email could make or break someone’s application. My Business discusses how to create a thank you email after job interview.

Sending a thank-you email after every job interview is a good way for applicants to make a lasting impression on their interviewers to hopefully increase their chances of getting the job.

A survey conducted by Accountemps revealed that only 24 per cent of HR managers receive a thank you email from job candidates after an interview. It also says that over 80 per cent of these HR managers say that a short thank you email is vital when it comes to assessing job candidates.

This creates a good impression about the potential employees and can increase the advantage an applicant has against other candidates.

Ideally, thank you emails should be sent within 24 hours of the said interview and be sent within business hours. A thank you email should contain what the applicant considers as the best parts of the interview process, what the applicant has learned about the company and a reminder as to why the applicant is the best fit for the position.

Learn more about conducting job interviews here.

Snail mail or email?

The digital age has brought in a lot of technological innovations—one of these is the email.

Email is a fast and convenient way to get messages from sender to receiver and is the medium of choice among HR managers when it comes to thank you messages.

Before crafting a thank you message via email, applicants must consider how the company has previously corresponded with them. If the company has connected with the applicant via email, then a thank you email will be the best way to go. If the company has connected with the applicant via snail mail, a formal letter would suffice.

A snail mail might also be more fitting for more formal companies. While it might take a lot more effort as compared to simply sending an email, sending a snail mail will nevertheless show that the applicant is capable of creating a letter with the proper formatting and style—an essential trait for applicants who are applying for administration-based jobs.

If the applicant has undergone several interviews, it would be best to get the contact details of every interviewer so the applicant will know the email address of each interviewer. Make sure that every email sent is unique for every receiver and avoid creating a template for all emails.

Of course, nothing beats out saying thank you personally after an interview. However, don’t even think about sending a text message to say thank you—an email beats out the informality of a text message anytime.

What makes up a good thank-you email?

Aside from containing interview highlights and a reminder on why the applicant is best suited for the job, this is also an opportunity for job candidates to go over anything that they have failed to properly discuss in the interview.

For example, if the applicant feels like they did not properly discuss their previous experience, the applicant can choose to emphasise this in the interview.

Sending a thank you email could also be a way for applicants to discuss possible concerns they have which the interviewer has failed to discuss. If an applicant wants to know more about the company’s working environment, this can be included in the thank you email, albeit as a follow-up.

Learn more about the do’s and don'ts of asking questions in an interview here.

HR managers are known to gloss over long sentences and text-heavy paragraphs, which is why it is important to keep the thank you email itself short and simple, with only a few sentences for every paragraph. This will allow the HR manager to appreciate the content of the email without taking up too much of their time.

Lastly, before finally hitting that “send” button, candidates must proofread the email first and remove any grammatical errors. If they are still unsure, asking a trusted friend or relative to proofread the email is a good way to objectively edit the email and avoid mistakes.

Sending a thank you email after an interview is necessary if applicants want to leave an impression on interviewers, gain an advantage against other candidates and show that the applicant is well-mannered and has the courtesy to say thank you, no matter how gruelling an interview may be.

Is a thank you email after a job interview necessary?
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Julianne Leybag

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