You have found the perfect job vacancy. You wrote a great application. You got an interview and prepared your answers. You’re sure that your job interview stood out from the pack. And now a question hangs in the air – should you send an email to your interviewer to say thank you? Will it make a difference to the outcome of your job application?
The answer is: it depends on what you remember from the interview.
Think about what you discussed, both business and personal. Did you share a common interest with the interviewers? Maybe you made a recommendation? Send them the link to the subject you talked about, and say that it was nice to meet them. For example, if you found common ground while discussing your passion for rock climbing, and you mentioned your favourite climbing wall, you might want to send a thank you email that looks like this:
Dear [Interviewer’s first name],
Thanks for meeting with me today. Like I mentioned earlier, the Castle Climbing Centre in Stoke Newington has some great climbing walls and have buy-one-get-one-free entry on Sundays. It’s a great place for people like you who have been thinking about trying bouldering.
It was very nice to meet you and I hope to be seeing more of you soon!
Even if you don’t get the job you interviewed for, the fact you can demonstrate that you really listened will go a long way, and they might remember you later on when a similar vacancy pops up.
But there’s a big difference between being conscientious and grasping for straws. If you can’t remember any of the specifics or didn’t discuss any mutual interests, then don’t send a thank you email. You had your chance to make your best impression in the interview and if it didn’t go the way that you had hoped, a follow-up thank you note won’t salvage it.
At the end of the day, a thank you email won’t make a difference if there was one candidate who was head and shoulders above the rest of the interviewees. If someone is struggling to choose between two stand out candidates who they interviewed, then it comes down to the preferences of the individual making the decision. On one hand, they might think that an email to say thank you for the interview is a nice gesture. On the other hand, they might perceive it as you trying to suck up to them. Either way, it’s unlikely that sending a thank you email after your interview will have a major influence on their choice.
Our advice would simply be: if in doubt, don’t.