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Thank You Interview Letters -
Your Questions Answered

Flick through any job interview book and 9 times out of 10 you'll find a section which advises jobseekers to send interview thank you letters after their interview.

So why do so few interviewees send them? Between us, your How To Land Your Dream Job Team can count their thank you interview letters on one hand!

And research suggests that only 5% of candidates send them, though based on our experience, that's optimistic!

When we've suggested to our own staff, friends, family and customers that they send an interview thank you letter, we're often met with quizzical looks and questions. Here are the common ones:

Thank You Interview Letters -- Qs and As

  • Don't I look a bit desperate or like I'm sucking up if send a thank you interview letter?
    No. We enjoy getting them, few though they are! And so do colleagues we've spoken to.
    Research shows that most employers consider a thank you letter to be an underused tool, and agree that it differentiates candidates because it shows they have real interest in the position. It keeps that person right in the front of their mind, which is what you want.
  • Should I send a typed or handwritten thank you interview letter?
    We really don't mind, and studies show it makes no difference either.
    It's actually doing it at all that matters, since most people don't!
    But if you have poor handwriting, or need Word to do a spell check, type it!
  • If I've not got time to send a letter, will an email interview thank you do?
    Yes, though a letter is always preferable since it takes more time and effort. If you have time to send one, and can get it there the next day, do a letter. If not, email is fine. Again, it's the doing it which will make you stand out from the crowd!
  • If I'm interviewed by several people, should I send an interview thank you to each one?
    It's up to you really. If there was a main interviewer, it's enough to address your thank you interview letter just to them. Simply refer to the other interviewers too, to give them credit.
    If the interviewers all played an equal part, you can write to each. Use essentially the same letter, but vary it slightly to individualize the letters in case your interviewers compare them.
  • How soon after my interview should I send a thank you letter?
    Immediately, but no later than 24 hours after the job interview.
  • Is it worth sending a thank you interview letter if I know the decision will probably be made before it's received?
    In this case, if 'snail mail' is too slow, find a faster way, such as email, fax or hand-delivery.
    In fact, if the interview was local, hand-delivery of your thank you letter makes a great impression!

What Other Advice Would You Give On Thank You Interview Letters?

If you can personalise your thank you note or letter, do.

For example, if you found out, through conversation, that one of your interviewers loves dogs, send them a note on paper with a tasteful picture of puppies.

If you know they were going out the evening of the interview, express your hope that they enjoyed themselves.

One interviewee did this in an interview thank you letter to us. It's all about creating a bond!

And here's a sample interview thank you letter if you would like some ideas about what to write.

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