Increasing your chances of a second interview can be as easy as this — sending a thank you note or email.

It may seem like an insignificant pleasantry, but it’s important. Sending a thank you note or writing an email after an interview helps in three different ways.

First, sending a follow-up email shows you’re still enthusiastic. After learning more about the role and office culture during your job interview, you're still interested in the job. Second, it shows that you’re a professional who knows how to follow the proper etiquette. And third, it builds upon your connection with your interviewer, showing that you are interested in the role.

second interview
second interview

Here’s everything you need to know about how to follow up after an interview: 

send the note directly to your interviewer

Even if you were communicating with an assistant, receptionist or someone else to schedule your interview, send your note directly to your interviewer. If you don’t have their email, send the note to the person you previously communicated with and request their email. You can also opt for a paper note in this situation.

When you write a follow-up email, put the salutation on the email. You should also address them by name, and their email should be in the ‘To’ field. Never send a catch-all post-interview thank you note to multiple employers with their emails in the ‘BCC’ field. Not only can potential employers know that you're doing this, but it’s impersonal.

personalize your thank you note

One mistake made when sending out thank-you notes during the interview process is to assume they’re one-size-fits-all. After all, you’re just thanking the interviewer for their time because it’s an expected courtesy, right? Not necessarily. Your post thank you note is an opportunity to remind your interviewer why you’re the right candidate for the job.

The best interview thank you notes touch on the best moments of the interview. Think about when your interviewer seemed most interested in what you had to say. A few sentences that touch on these moments should be plenty.

keep it short and sweet

Sending a thank you email that is short and sweet is a good idea. Remember: a post-job interview thank-you note reinforces your connection with your interviewer. The hiring manager may have a lot of other tasks on their plate. Though they will appreciate the thought behind you sending a quick thank you note.

The hiring manager doesn’t need to read a play-by-play of why they should hire you. That is what the interview was for. If the interview went well, let it speak for itself. A droning thank you note that’s all about you can leave a sour taste after an otherwise awesome interview.

mention when you’ll follow up next

Many people think that the thank you note is the end of the line and that if you don’t hear back in 24 hours, it’s best to forget about that particular job and move on to the next. That’s not the case at all.

Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people. Sometimes, candidates slip through the cracks, even if they are promising. Hiring processes aren’t always linear, and sometimes the process can take time.

If you’re excited about the job, be proactive. In the interview, ask when you expect to hear back. You can also take it upon yourself to reach out for updates. You have until you’re told you’re no longer in the running.

If you’re in the interview stage, chances are you’re among only a handful of remaining candidates. As for how often you should follow up? We recommend spacing out each message a few weeks. This strikes a good balance between being interested and being overeager.

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check and double-check it

Make a good impression with proper spelling and proper grammar when following up after an interview. You would not believe the number of job seekers who misspell their interviewer’s name or some other small error. You can easily catch errors by taking a few extra minutes to double-check your email. Better yet, as a friend or family to review the email for you before sending it.

You spent your entire interview carefully detailing why you’re the perfect person for the job. Why risk derailing all your hard work with carelessness? However, some employers may overlook an error if it’s insignificant enough. The best thing to do is avoid putting yourself in this situation in the first place.

should you send an email or mail a note?

Deciding whether to send a thank-you email or a handwritten note after a job interview depends on the industry and company culture. Emailing is acceptable and efficient. Especially if you've been corresponding through email. An email interview follow-up allows for a quick thank you and a reaffirming of your skills and experience.

However, for more formal organizations like law or consulting firms, a handwritten note sent via mail may be considered a thoughtful touch. A handwritten note can showcase your attention to detail. Ultimately, it's a good idea to send a note depending on the communication style of the specific company.

is a note more memorable than an email?

Let’s face it: most people enjoy receiving and opening letters that aren’t junk mail or bills. A thoughtful paper note can be a nice cap to your interview. However, chances are opting for a written note over an email won’t make or break your chances of receiving a job offer.

If you do decide to go with a written note, make sure you’ve got the logistics down. Do you have a mailing address for your interviewer? Or can you leave a note with a receptionist if it needs to be delivered more swiftly?

You'll also need to be aware of the details like your handwriting and stationery. Is your writing neat and legible? Is the stationery clean and professional?

Remember, even if you decide to go with a handwritten thank-you note, all the above rules still apply. If you don’t have time to personalize the thank you note in writing, you’re better off going the email route.

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