If you have sent a job application, you will usually have to wait a while to hear back. When is it worth asking about the status of your application? Depending on the employer and the position’s closing date, it will be time sooner or later to send a follow-up e-mail after the application. We explain how this should be done and what needs to be considered.
Writing a thank-you letter or email after an interview is common practice in the US & UK. After a job interview, you take the time to kindly thank your interviewer again in writing and therefore reinforce the good impression you hopefully left. What does this kind of thank-you email look like?
- What is the thank-you email after the interview good for?
- The perfect timing: When to say thank you for the interview
- Thank you for the interview e-mail: Correct formulation
- Thank-you email after the interview: Achieve success with templates
- Dos & Don’ts: Tips for a successful thank-you email after the interview
What is the thank-you email after the interview good for?
It is never wrong to attract attention through friendliness and politeness – not in everyday life and certainly not in the application process. A short, a nice message to say thank you for the job interview brings three advantages:
- You leave a positive impression: With the message, you send positive signals afterwards and might cause the decision makers to remember you well.
- You remind them of you: You will remember that even experienced personnel managers lose track of many applications. You will stand out from the crowd with a friendly email after the interview.
- You’re reinforcing your interest: An additional, unsolicited message proves your commitment to employment. If you also refer to specific topics of conversation, you prove your attention.
Since people are often reluctant or too shy to follow up after the interview with a thank-you email, you may give yourself a competitive edge by choosing to send one. In contrast to other applicants, you are using an additional means to leave a positive impression – if you get it right, of course.
Sending a thank-you email after the interview helps create a good impression. If the job interview has gone completely wrong, even a friendly message won’t be able to save you.
The perfect timing: When to say thank you for the interview
When writing a thank-you message, the right moment plays an important role. The message shouldn’t reach the decision-makers too early or too late, otherwise the e-mail loses its effect:
- Too early: If you report on the same day, you appear overzealous on the one hand and miss the chance to bring yourself back to memory on the other. Within a few hours, you may have been forgotten again.
- Too late: If your thank-you message does not arrive until they have almost made their decision, friendliness no longer plays a role. Maybe you’re not even in the race anymore. Besides, the late thanks doesn’t seem authentic anymore.
One or two days have proven to be a good measure of time. If the message reaches your contacts within this time frame, you will make a good impression. It shows that you are still thinking about the conversation and therefore appears honest.
At a later time, you still have the opportunity to send one follow-up letter. In this letter, you will inquire about the status of the application procedure and therefore show your interest in the employer.
Thank you for the interview e-mail: Correct formulation
Your thank-you email after the interview should be honest and sympathetic. Obtrusiveness in particular can damage a good impression, which you actually want to underline with your letter. Therefore, please refrain from making any demands in the message. Don’t tell your contact person that they have to make a decision about you or that they should speed up the decision-making process.
You shouldn’t sound too chummy either. A friendly thank you is enough. If you sound like you’re trying to score brownie points, your contact person will notice and may take it negatively. Rejection of both your message and your whole application would be the most likely outcome.
Anyway, you have to be brief. Under no circumstances should you provide an excessively long letter of thanks for additional work. You can assume that the personnel managers have a lot to do during the application phase anyway. If they then have to work their way through an overflowing email, this will certainly not create a good atmosphere. With a few friendly sentences, on the other hand, you can improve your mood and collect bonus points.
In order to be able to thank you at the right place, you should first find out the correct contact details of your contact person. Especially when it comes to e-mail traffic, communication usually takes place through a personnel department general address. Therefore, use the conversation on site and ask for a business card at the end. In this way, you can reach the right person directly.
Also, don’t forget that this message is also part of your application. Therefore, the message must be absolutely error-free. Since a thank-you email only covers a few sentences, any spelling, grammar or wording mistakes are very serious.
Is it supposed to be a letter, or is a thank-you email enough after the interview? Whether the letter is sent electronically or by post depends on the previous procedure. Few companies still request application documents by letter. However, if they do, then you should also send your thanks message by post. Please consider the longer delivery time this will necessitate compared to an email.
Thank-you email after the interview: Achieve success with templates
It can be difficult to strike the right note. That’s why we have put together several examples for you. You can use these samples as a starting point for your e-mail after the interview. Make sure you individualize your message!
Subject: Many thanks for the interview on 15.01.
Dear [Name of contact person],
I would like to thank you for the friendly conversation regarding the job as [job title]. I feel very comfortable and can now imagine my future with [company name] even more. I was particularly fascinated by your comments on [discussion point] and found it to be quite thought provoking.
If you have any further questions regarding my application, please do not hesitate to write to me or call me at [your telephone number].
In the subject line, you make the content and context of your e-mail clear, and in the first sentence, you already get to grips with the occasion. Afterwards, you confirm your interest in the employment and pick up a concrete point from the conversation. This will show your contact person that you have thought about the conversation. Finally, you refer to your telephone number and signal your willingness to communicate.
Subject: Re: Invitation to interview
Dear [name of first contact], dear [name of second contact],
I would like to thank you for the interesting conversation we had on 15.01. I felt very comfortable and believe now more than ever that I would make a great addition to your [company].
During our conversation, we also talked about [concrete conversation content]. Even after that, I continued to think about the topic and picked this [link to the topic]. Maybe you’ll also find the text interesting.
I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
With kind regards
With this sample, we assume that you are replying to an e-mail. This means that the previous conversation is still under the new message and helps the recipients to classify it. This example is much more informal. You will find the way of addressing the recipients in the interview. If, for example, you used formal language there, you should continue this throughout your extended communications. If you have had the interview with several people, also address each person individually (hierarchically sorted) at the beginning of the thank-you email.
If a specific topic was discussed in more detail during the interview, you are welcome to return to it in the thank-you e-mail. For example, you can refer to a specialist article to prove your knowledge and express your motivation. However, you should only do this if you really have a decent contribution to make. The recipient can then still decide whether to follow the link.
Subject: Thank you very much! Job interview 15.01 for the position [job title].
Dear [Name of contact],
Thank you very much for the informative conversation and that you took the time for a short guided tour. I liked the team very much and think I would fit in very well. During our conversation, I noticed that you set similar priorities with regard to [field of work] as I did.
I look forward to your feedback. If you have any further questions regarding my application, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can also reach me by phone at [your phone number].
Short, friendly and containing all pertinent information: In this template you quickly get to the point and go into what you liked best. You only praise your interlocutor indirectly and therefore do not become unpleasant. Here, too, you offer yourself for further conversations. Your contact person also has the telephone number in your application documents. However, if you include it in the email again, they won’t have to search for it.
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Dos & Don’ts: Tips for a successful thank-you email after the interview
The risk of discrediting the complete application with a thoughtless message is not unrealistic – there’s no question that it will happen. However, if you skilfully avoid dangerous pitfalls, you will bring yourself and your application to the forefront with a friendly thank-you email after the interview.
|Timeline||One to two days after the interview you can remind them of you in a positive way.||Wait too long with the thank you email and you’ll miss the opportunity to make a good impression.|
|Scope||A short and nice message, which does not need an answer, delights the recipient.||Write too much or make demands of the recipient and they could consider it harassment.|
|Tone||The tone of the message should continue the tone of the interview.||More polite or informal than a conversation: The recipient of the message will feel offended.|
|Mistakes||As part of the application, the thank-you letter must also be error-free.||A message that is hastily composed and riddled with mistakes makes an unprofessional impression.|
|Honesty||Your letter should be an honest thank-you and leave a positive impression on the contact person.||If they think that you’re being misleading or exaggerating, you may be interpreted negatively.|
|Authenticity||Don’t pretend: It’s better to write less and stay authentic, because that makes a better impression.||Artificial friendliness and forced politeness are transparent and are rated negatively.|
|Intrusiveness||With restraint and a friendly tone, you make a sympathetic impression.||With restraint and a friendly tone, they make a sympathetic impression. If you overdo it and put too many compliments in your message, the recipient will probably become uncomfortable.|
|Intimacy||Keep a friendly distance, because you hardly know the other person.||Sharing too many intimate details about your private life, as well as personal photos may overtax the personnel manager and make an unprofessional impression.|
Maybe you have not reached the interview yet and are waiting for feedback after the application? Find out in how to inquire after the application by e-mail in this handy article.