May 12, 2016    |    By

A follow up email? Is that really a thing? If this is the first you’ve heard of a follow up thank you email to an interview, you may be behind the times.Just because you nailed the interview questions, doesn’t mean your work is done.It is now becoming common practice to send a follow up email to the hiring manager that interviewed you within 24 hours after the interview.  If you are going to write one, and you should, there are a few things you need to know.

1. Email vs. Snail Mail Thank You Letters

Snail mail? Who even does that anymore? Some people do argue that sending a letter through the mail offers a more tangible benefit. It can make it more personal and harder to ignore. An email is faster and is more likely to be seen because people always check their email. We tend to be fans of the email. Accountemps survey found that 87 percent of hiring managers view email as an appropriate way to send a thank you note. Only 38% wanted a hand written note.

You want the letter showing up no later than 24 hours after the interview and an email will guarantee that. Make sure the email gets sent during business hours. Sending an email at 1:00am might give off the wrong impression that you don’t keep normal hours. Also, writing when you are tired might not produce as good of a letter as if you wrote it during the day or even directly following the interview.

2. It’s More Than a Thank You Note

While it’s called a “thank you letter” it is way more than that. You want to thank them in the first paragraph of the email and make it specific and personal. Next, you’ll want to write about what you enjoyed about the interview process and the company as a whole. Finally, remind them why you are perfect for the job. A professor of mine once suggested strategically leaving a detail out during the interview and putting it in the email. You can do that or just reiterate why you would love to work for them and why you would be a good fit. Keep the email short and concise. You want them to actually read it. Do not just send them a note saying thank you. Really think about it and put some effort into it. Writing it soon after the interview will help you remember details of the interview.

3. Stand Out Among The Crowd

CareerBuilder found that 22% of hiring managers are “less likely to hire a job candidate if they don’t send a thank you note after an interview because they believe it shows that they aren’t serious about the job opportunity.” Not only that but 86% said it shows lack of follow through if a candidate doesn’t send a thank you email or letter. Most hiring managers will say that less than 50% of people actually send a thank you letter. This gives you a huge advantage to stand out.


Interview thank you letters can help you get a job. Take the time to write them and write them well. How many thank you letters should you write? Write a thank you letter to each person who interviewed you. Make sure you get their emails before leaving the interview. Ask for business cards to make sure you get the spelling right.

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This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.