The Best Job Interview “Thank You” Letter Ever

Job Interview Thank You Letter Template

by Donna Svei on June 10, 2013

Should you or shouldn’t you write a job interview thank you letter? After many years of recruiting, I recently received the best interview thank you letter ever. If you write as well as this candidate does (see the letter below), you’re genuinely appreciative, and you’re a great fit, then absolutely send a letter!

Want some ideas? Read this letter and the analysis that follows:

Dear Donna,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me regarding the [Job Title] position at the [Hiring Company]. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity both in terms of the organization and the position. I have a lot to offer [Hiring Company] as [Job Title], but also in other areas as needed.

My broad experience in [Hiring Company’s Industry] management would be a strong addition to the management team currently in place. I understand the needs of my colleagues and see the [Job Title] role as one that requires a service-oriented mentality.  I want to be helpful when I can but also have the judgment to know when to step back. I also think I could be helpful to [Hiring Manager]. Often in my career I have been asked to add compelling projects to my portfolio while keeping up with my daily responsibilities.

I am not shy about sharing my ideas or thoughts, but do so in a tactful and diplomatic manner. I think a good indicator of that was when I was invited by the [Previous Employer] Board of Directors to be a voting member of the Board Search Committee for a new CEO in 2006. I was able to gain the respect of a Board that had many members who were prominent in their respective fields including politics, business, and technology.

Finally, as a [Credential], I have kept up with the educational requirements necessary to maintain my [Credential], consider myself an expert in [Industry] [Functional Area of Expertise] matters and have a detailed knowledge of the [Functional Area of Expertise] law and state regulations regarding [Industry].  I have experience in managing [Business Activity], both as a [One Side of the Transaction] and as a [Other Side of the Transaction] in the international realm.

Most of all, I have a strong belief in the mission of [Hiring Company]. I have spent my career in [This Type of Company] and feel my personal belief system and my strong [Industry] management skills make me an ideal candidate for this position.

Donna, I would relish the opportunity to have further discussions with you where we drill down into the specifics of the position.  Thank you once again for your time and for considering me for this position.

Best Regards,

[Candidate Name]

Analysis

Paragraph 1: The candidate thanked me and then, indirectly, told me what he was going to tell me.

Paragraph 2: He described his on-point industry experience, his service orientation, and his willingness and ability to take on additional responsibility without stepping on toes.

Paragraph 3: He discussed his willingness to contribute ideas and provided evidence of the respect his stakeholders have had for him.

Paragraph 4: He described his subject matter expertise and showed that he can bring multiple perspectives to the position.

Paragraph 5: He discussed his fundamental cultural fit for the job.

Paragraph 6: He reiterated his interest in the opportunity and thanked me again.

In addition, the letter provided information on a couple of points we had not covered in our interview and elaborated a bit on items we had discussed.

The letter came via email several hours after we had completed our interview. I liked it so much that I called him to tell him that it was the best interview thank you letter I had ever received.  I have never, in all my years of recruiting, made a call like that. Why did I like it? Well, I felt genuinely thanked, it provided useful new information, and it made me believe that he could both do the job and be a wonderful colleague.

Final Thoughts

I asked him if I could share a “vanilla” copy of his letter here because it contains some terrific ideas and sentence stems to help people write what can be one of the most challenging letters ever.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at donnasvei@gmail.com or call me at (208) 721-0131.

Image © Ilona Baha – Fotolia.com

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Ely June 11, 2013 at 10:14

Donna – thank you for this post. it could not have been more timely. I need to write a thank you letter to an interviewer this afternoon.

Ely,

:)

Donna

Donna Svei June 11, 2013 at 21:00

I can’t tell you all how much I have enjoyed reading two “thank you” letters that people have written today, and shared with me via email, using this letter as a guide. It’s more helpful than I had even hoped!

Donna

Ebony June 14, 2013 at 17:59

Thank you for this post. A great resource that I can pass on to others.

Thank you Ebony. Please do share this. Kind regards, Donna

Narcisse June 17, 2013 at 19:40

Hi Donna,

It’s always nice reading you nicely written blog posts.
I never thought a thank you letter could be this long??? The tone and organization of this letter sounds more like a cover letter to me? Am I mistaken?

Hi Narcisse,

Thank you. The letter worked so the length was fine. Interesting you mention cover letters because many of the sentence stems in the letter could be used to craft a cover letter as well as a thank you letter.

Donna

Freddy Benson June 18, 2013 at 08:40

So…did you hire him?

Confidential…:)

Joe June 25, 2013 at 06:35

Interesting that this letter stood out for you. It’s precisely what I always read and hear that one should do, and I’ve been doing so following my interviews – demonstrating commitment, adding & reinforcing details, etc. So I will concur with Narcisse…I think it’s a bit long as hiring managers (should) get letters like this regularly.

Hi Joe,

Length is an interesting consideration. Direct mail letters can be quite long. Long form blog posts can do quite well. On thank you letters, it’s not so much the length as how interesting the letter is. While I rarely read cover letters, I will read an interesting thank you letter from a candidate who interested me in the interview.

In fact, a follow up letter once reinstated a candidate I had ruled out. She knows who she is. Both of us tried to find her letter again a couple of years ago to feature here but neither of us succeeded. She’s been with the company I placed her at for over ten years now.

I’m not sure what my attention span is, but this letter didn’t exceed it.

Kind regards,

Donna

John Campbell June 25, 2013 at 11:45

This is a good *cover letter*. It is far too long as a thank you letter.

Simon Bennett June 26, 2013 at 16:06

Hi Donna,

This is a great example to follow. Even writing a brief thank you letter reaffirming your interest in the position will help your application to stand out at each stage of the recruitment process. The number of people who don’t take advantage of this opportunity never ceases to amaze!

Simon

:) Donna

Eric Kramer July 30, 2013 at 10:09

This is a good example of a “Follow-Through” letter. I think we should drop the name “Thank You” letter and begin to encourage candidates to write Follow-Through letters just as any good sales person would do after a sales call.

Eric

I like it Eric! Thank you, Donna

Lynn Marsh August 3, 2013 at 03:49

I am recruiting for an executive position right now so I have been receiving thank you letters regularly. My two cents: I think it is a bit long. I would prefer some bullet points so it’s easy to read. Time is always of the essence and if it’s too long you risk the reader skimming and not finishing. The best cover letter I have received was all bullet points and I could just get through it quickly and see the exact reasons this candidate thought he fit the job. Not a lot of extra fluff and generic phrases you hear over and over…..so I appreciated that. Remember recruiters are human and therefore different. What one likes another might not.

Hi Lynn,

Thank you for your perspective. What I particularly liked about this letter is that it was not a heavy sales letter. It recognized a human connection between the candidate and me and revisited, in a personable manner, why the candidate was a fit for the job. When I get a “thank you” letter that is actually a sales letter, it mildly to acutely offends me and does more damage than good.

That said, I appreciate your comment that what one likes another might not. Truer words were never written. There is a random element in job search regarding what works with one person and fails with another. Thus, it’s good for job seekers to listen to their gut a bit when deciding on how to interact with potential employers.

I’m always glad to see additional perspectives shared in comments to my posts. It’s makes me more aware of the range of possibilities about a given topic and it deepens the story for readers too.

Thank you again,

Donna

Michael T August 14, 2013 at 16:36

Donna, what do you mean by “This Type of Company” in “I have spent my career in [This Type of Company] and feel my personal belief system and my strong [Industry] management skills make me an ideal candidate for this position.?”

Hi Michael,

Helpful question!

An example would be: I have spent my career working in hospitals and feel my personal belief system and my strong healthcare industry management skills make me an ideal candidate for this position.

Donna

Michael T August 15, 2013 at 06:32

What if you spent your career in offices?

Most of all, I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities you described earlier today. Given my ability to do A and B, I would hit the ground running with the ability to generate rapid progress on C and lead growth in D.

fahad September 8, 2013 at 12:26

Such a nice words letter
this will help great for me and I hope for others.

Thank you Fahad. Donna

Siobhan October 3, 2013 at 11:53

I have an interview coming up, I have never had a successful interview and am making sure i research, research, research this time. Its for a general assistant in a supermarket but a job’s a job! I was wondering is it really worth it to send a thank you letter or will the employer just think you’re being a “suck up”?

Oh and another point, did he get the job? :D

Hi Siobhan,

This isn’t sucking up. It’s courtesy. On your final question, please see my answer to Freddie above.

Good luck!

Donna

Jessica November 12, 2013 at 10:16

Hello Donna,
My Manager sent out a email today stating she was taking over another department. I would like the oppurtunity to apply for her position. I feel that I am qualified although I have no previous management, or supervisoral experience. I have however been a great team leader. My fellow employees constantly seek me out for assistance. My question to you is should I write a letter to our Director of Operations and request the position or apply internally through our website.

Thank you!

Can you get guidance from your Manager? She probably has the best sense of what is appropriate. That said, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to follow process so do apply through the website regardless of what else you do.

John January 10, 2014 at 18:39

Thanks! As others have already noted I agree that it is a tad on the long side, but well written.

However, I am surprised no one has commented on using “personal” belief system. I don’t think that is a line that should be kept in the thank you letter. I do like his reference to the firm’s mission (i.e. core values, vision, etc.).

Thank you John. Donna

jen March 8, 2014 at 20:26

This email/letter, to me, is a little too long…esp to a sr. exec

Thank you Jen. Donna

Mohammad April 2, 2014 at 09:29

I believe this is a very good letter, and the points that Donna has enlisted below (per paragraph) summarizes the letter perfectly. I will certainly keep the above key points in mind when I draft a “Follow-Through” letter to any potential employer. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you Mohammad. Donna

Jordan April 23, 2014 at 17:25

This is a great letter and an inspiration. Do you think however, that is ever acceptable to send a thank you card with similar information. I am a registered nurse and to me it seems more personable to send a hand written card. My job is all about being sincere/professional/personable. Would my interviewer appreciate it?

Thank you for sharing!

Hi Jordan,

Different recruiters and hiring managers have different preferences. I don’t like anything that puts another piece of paper on my desk. Others think handwritten is the way to go. Follow your heart.

Thank you for your kind words and asking a question that I’m sure many people wonder about.

Donna

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