After the interview: Why following up is so important

Your interview was an enormous success. The hiring manager thought you were intelligent and funny, plus your skills and experience checked every box—and then some. All there is to do now is sit back, relax and wait for the job offer, right?

Wrong.

A thank you note sent after a job interview is a simple, but important, step toward setting yourself apart from other applicants. Not only does this quick message highlight your communication and people skills again, but it also shows professionalism and gratitude. You can’t afford not to send this email to your interviewer if you’re in the market for a job.

Just five minutes is all it takes to reconnect with a hiring manager, and it can mean the difference between landing the career of your dreams or getting lost in the shuffle. And a thank-you email doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out message. A few sentences can be enough to make a good impression, and show an extra level of attention.

What to include

In addition to expressing your gratitude and thanks for someone’s time, a thank-you note provides an opportunity to restate why you would be perfect for the role. It’s a snapshot of how you communicate, and it gives the interviewer a preview of how quickly and professionally you can follow-up. Here are some things you’ll want to do in your email after the interview:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time, and the opportunity to meet them. Let them know how excited you are for the chance to help serve their company.
  • Share your best skills and talents again that are relevant to the job.
  • Point out one or two specific goals or projects you’re excited to be part of if you join the company.
  • Follow up on the next steps you agreed to during your interview, whether it’s just waiting to hear back or sending samples of your work.
  • List your contact info again. Include the phone number and email address at which they’re most likely to reach you promptly.
  • Double-check to ensure you’re sending the message to the correct person.

One last thing: You should send a thank-you email sooner rather than later. Ideally, you’ll want to send it within 24 hours of your interview. But it’s even better if you can send it the same day.

Good luck out there!