Post-Interview: Writing Tips for Thank You Notes and Follow-Ups

October 12, 2023
By Nelson Connects

In the competitive world of job hunting, the devil is often in the details.


One such overlooked but invaluable detail pertains to post-interview etiquette, which encompasses sending thank-you notes and making follow-up inquiries. A well-timed and polite thank you or inquiry can be the tipping point to help you land the job.


In fact, over two-thirds of hiring managers (68%) said receiving a candidate’s thank you impacts their hiring decision. However, many job seekers do not take advantage of the simple thank-you note.


To make sure you boost your chances when competing for a job, consider our top tips for making the right impression after the interview is over.


The Importance of Post-Interview Communication


Beyond the recognized etiquette of sending a formal thank you, post-interview communication offers a unique opportunity to reinforce your potential as the ideal candidate.


Here’s how to ace your follow-up interactions:


Reinforce Your Genuine Interest:

  • Be sure to send a thank-you note or email.
  • Highlight your deep interest in the position.

Showcase Professionalism:

  • Demonstrate your work professionalism through impressive post-interview etiquette.
  • Beyond expressing gratitude, make sure your thank-you note demonstrates diligence and attention to detail.
  • Emphasize your commitment to maintaining professional connections.
  • Display traits valued by hiring managers and HR: professionalism coupled with skills.

Differentiate Yourself from Other Candidates:

  • Seize the widely accepted opportunity to communicate with the interviewer.
  • Take the time to stand out from other candidates who might skip the thank-you step.
  • Demonstrate your proactive follow-through skills.

Post-interview communication involves a careful balance of professionalism, genuine interest, and strategic positioning. When done right, it can significantly enhance your standing in the selection process.


Crafting Thoughtful Thank You Notes


A well-crafted thank-you note blends gratitude, personalization, and strategy. To make the most of the all-important “after-interview” phase, use our step-by-step guide to create a thank you note that stands out:


Step 1: Purpose – Re-establish Connection


While your primary objective is to express gratitude, the subtext of the note should remind the interviewer about who you are and the essence of your conversation.


Tip: Start with a brief introduction, "Thank you for taking the time to discuss the [specific role] with me."


Follow this by highlighting a vital point of the conversation, "I found our discussion on [specific topic] particularly enlightening and feel that my experience in [a particular field or project] aligns well with the team's goals."


Step 2: Customization – Make It Personal


A generic thank-you note can be easily overlooked. However, a personalized one demonstrates your attentiveness and genuine interest.


Tip: Mention specific moments or insights shared during the interview.


For instance, "Your perspective on [a certain challenge the company faces] intrigued me. I started thinking about [a potential solution or a related experience I had], and I'm eager to help address such challenges."


This reflects your active engagement during the interview and shows that you've been pondering the conversation post-interview.


Step 3: Highlight Your Unique Value Proposition


Your thank-you note should subtly remind the interviewer why you'd be a valuable addition to the team.


Tip: Briefly weave in your unique skill or experience. "Given my background in [specific skill or field], I'm eager to bring fresh insights and contribute to [a specific project or objective of the company]."


Step 4: Close on a Forward-Looking Note


End your note by expressing your eagerness to move forward, ensuring you remain on the interviewer's radar.


Tip: Conclude with something like, "I'm genuinely excited about the potential of joining the [Company's Name] team and look forward to the possibility of contributing to its success. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need any further information."


Remember: A thank-you message provides the opportunity to echo the high points of your interview to ensure they remain front and center in the interviewer’s memory as they make their decision.


Crafting Follow-Up Inquiries


After you've aced the interview and left a lasting impression, it's natural to feel eager to hear back about the job. The waiting period can be nerve-wracking. However, it's also a valuable opportunity to maintain your professionalism and keep your candidacy top of mind.


Crafting effective follow-up inquiries is an essential part of this process. Follow-up inquiries serve a crucial purpose in the post-interview phase. Their primary role is to seek additional information or clarification regarding your application's status.


How to Craft a Follow-Up Email


Crafting an effective follow-up email is about striking the right tone, asking relevant questions, and being considerate of the recipient's time.


Here's a breakdown of the key elements to include in your follow-up inquiry:

  1. Subject Line: Make your subject line concise and relevant. For example, "Follow-up Inquiry Regarding [Position Name] Application."

  2. Greeting: Address the hiring manager or interviewer politely by name. A simple "Dear [Interviewer's Name]" works well.

  3. Express Appreciation: Begin by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the position.

  4. Reference the Interview: Mention the date of the interview and any specific points or discussions that stood out. This helps to personalize your follow-up and reminds the recipient of your conversation.

  5. Seek Clarification: Politely inquire about the status of the hiring process. For example, you can ask, "I wanted to follow up on the timeline for a decision regarding the [Position Name] role."

  6. Reiterate Interest: Emphasize your continued interest in the role and the company. Mention why you believe you are a good fit and how enthusiastic you are about the opportunity.

  7. Respectful Tone: Maintain a respectful and courteous tone throughout the email. Avoid sounding impatient or demanding. Keep the email brief to show your respect for the interviewer's time.

  8. Signature: Conclude with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your name.

Timing and Professionalism


While it's essential to convey your continued interest, it's equally crucial to respect the interviewer's time and the established process for candidate evaluation. To strike the right balance:

  • Thank-you notes: Send within 24 hours post-interview. It's fresh in your mind and theirs.
  • Follow-up inquiries: Wait for a week or the timeline the interviewer gave you. If you have not received an update past the expected time, reaching out is appropriate.

Key Takeaways


Post-interview communication goes beyond mere courtesy. It's a strategic step in the hiring process, allowing candidates to reinforce their genuine interest in the position. By emphasizing your fit and showcasing your professionalism, you can leave a lasting impression that sets you apart in the eyes of potential employers.


Are you searching for your next role and ready to take the next step in your career journey? Dive into the opportunities that await you and review our open positions today.

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