How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

Mary Cullen
Post by Mary Cullen
Originally published February 15, 2021, updated December 22, 2023
How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

This article will help you write a thank you email after an interview that helps you get the job. 

After a lengthy search process, two candidates qualified for the final interview with two vice presidents for a lucrative sales position with an excellent company.

After the interview, the vice presidents were equally impressed with both candidates and unsure who to hire. Then, they received the candidate's thank you after the interview email, and one was immediately hired and the other immediately excluded. Let's look at the thank you after-interview email and examine what worked and what did not.

Author Tip: The ideal candidate would demonstrate both a proven strong sales track record AND the personality to build sincere business relationships with established company clients. Up until these emails were received, they appeared equally qualified.)

Strong example email after interview

(Neutral, professional email address)
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2022 10:09 PM
To: Smith, Mike
Subject: Thank you from Claudia LastName
(Relevant, specific subject line)

Dear Mike:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I enjoyed our remote office venue!
(Nice reminder of their meeting and her flexibility. The conference room they had booked for the interview was locked so the interview occurred in an airport restaurant.)

I am proud of my 24 plus years of sales and management experience. I am a top sales performer eminently comfortable with all aspects of sales, and sales management. I am even more excited about this position after meeting with you and learning it requires diligent focus on relationship building. This is the area of sales I most enjoy and cultivate. When you speak with my references, I'm sure they'll attest to my genuine interest in learning about their businesses and our long-standing relationships. Susan Demers at Summit Team, who is on my reference list, and I worked together on a customized customer service project that is particularly similar.
(This comment is great: targeted directly to the job requirement, with specific testimony to her ability, and includes a reference link).

I excel in:
    ▪    development of sales opportunities
    ▪    building long-term customer relationships
    ▪    high level computer literacy
    ▪    attaining results
(This long bullet list is a wordy and lacks specificity. All sales professionals should possess these characteristics so it doesn't add much but unnecessary length. Better would be to pick two or three traits that best match this job and demonstrate her suitability. For example, since relationship building is so important, bullet three specific examples which demonstrate this.)

Again, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and Matt. It would be an honor to be considered and hopefully become a part of the COMPANY NAME team to assist schools to manage the financial aspects of their education mission most efficiently.
(Great close - she demonstrated she understands the company mission and where she fits in.)

Kindest regards, (Appropriate closing salutation.)
Claudia LAST NAME 
(555) 555-5555

Author tip:
The above is a great example of matching content and tone to her readers, the two hiring vice presidents. She engaged and convinced them because all content addressed their focus and issues, not hers. And, this business writing skill earned her a great position.

Weak example of after interview email

(If you have an unusual personal email address that reflects a personal interest, create a more neutral email account for your job search. Let's hope this address reflects an exercise enthusiast rather than a proclivity towards pyromania.)
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2022 3:41 PM
To: Smith, Mike

Subject: Meeting (Vague subject line)

(Business email salutations for more formal email communication should use a colon, following business letter format. Personal messages and very informal email business communication use a comma. Also, there should be an appropriate professional business salutation included: "Dear Mike:" is best.)

Thanks for meeting with me today. You guys make a great pair. ("You guys" is much too familiar and slang for business communication between people who have only met once, particularly in a job search. These "guys" were two company vice-presidents who had the final hiring decision.)

I definitely appreciate the gentle banter.
(About what? It seems the writer is trying to make a connection, but it falls far short. How does this statement convince his readers, the hiring vice-presidents, why he will best fill in their position?)

I am excited about the possibility of coming aboard. I am confident that I can make a positive contribution to help grow the business. My experience speaks for itself.
(Really? Unless the only job requirement is confidence, there is no other relevant content introduced here that demonstrates job suitability. Since this position is equally about sales and fostering relationships with clients, understanding their business needs by listening well, and problem solving, it was this paragraph that cost him the job. The vice-presidents felt he was too self-focused, and even too arrogant, for the position. They needed a highly skilled sales professional which implicitly requires competitiveness, hustle and focus, and he met that requirement. But, they also needed someone who listened to clients, and this paragraph made them think he lacked that skill. One vice-president commented, "If he can't write a thank you email without alienating us, what will he do to a client sales proposal?")

To Good Tidings!
(Avoid trite, meaningless closings. How does good tidings relate to this situation?)
(A job thank you message requires a closing salutation, such as "Best regards," not just a name.)

The overall tone and content of this email were fully writer-focused. All business communication should be reader-focused. In this case, the message needed to include content and tone that would resonate with the two vice presidents who interviewed him. It needed to convince them he would be the best person for their particular job. Instead, it was all about him and his perspectives.

His lack of reader focus cost him the lucrative job he wanted.

Business Email writing is a requisite skill. Invest in your career growth in this Email Course.

Email Writing Course for Business

Get instructor feedback on your actual business emails in our Business Email Writing Course.

View Course & Outline
Mary Cullen
Post by Mary Cullen
Originally published February 15, 2021, updated December 22, 2023
Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.