How To Craft A Belated Thank You Note After Your Interview

Flying high, you crack the window of your car and jam to your favorite playlist; you just left an interview and things went awesome! You're pumped now, but are you thinking ahead? Do you know what you need to do next in order to land the role?

You're super excited about the opportunity and pretty certain you'll receive an offer. You have email addresses for the team you met and you plan to send an awesome thank you note after your interview!

But, as you drive home you start organizing your thoughts on everything you need to catch up on after missing half a day at the office. You glance at your ringing phone and see 35 emails with more downloading. You're hungry and mentally exhausted from your day of meetings. It's 6:00 pm, you're 40 minutes from home and traffic stinks! As you put together the pieces in your mind you realize you literally have 5 hours of work to catch up on before going to bed!

You burn the midnight oil, you're back up at 5:00 am to catch a flight out of town for a business trip. After a week of meetings, you grab a late flight back home Friday evening. Your awesome week closes out with a fantastic weekend with friends!

Sunday night around 11:00 pm, you're in bed reflecting on your awesome interview earlier in the week. Maybe you’ll get an offer tomorrow! As you begin to drift off, it hits you; you never sent a thank you note after your interview!

Overcome Tardiness - Craft A Purposeful Thank You Note After Your Job Interview

The scenario outlined above is not the end of the world and is certainly something you can recover from, provided you handle it correctly. Your knee-jerk reaction to this situation may be too quickly jam out a thank you note, copy all parties involved in the interview process and hit send. While correcting your oversight ASAP seems logical, a quick note is not the way to handle this situation. Slow down and get your thoughts composed. Recover from your interview misstep by following these steps:

  • While your thank you note is now a priority, wait to write it when you aren’t rushed and can put thought into your messaging.
  • Reflect on your meetings and compose a letter that addresses why you're a good fit for the role and the organization. Speak to how you will impact the company positively. Be specific in your writing; eliminate fluff and generalized statements. Highlight facts only.
  • Stay focused on the position, your candidacy, and the opportunity.
  • Do not fall all over yourself for being late with your follow up.
  • If you're only a few days late do not mention being tardy at all.
  • If you're a week or more behind simply start your note off by saying “after taking time to reflect on the opportunity with XYZ…. This type of opening statement allows you to give a nod to the amount of time between your interview and your follow up note, but it doesn’t make excuses or come across as whiney. It's purposeful.
  • Any excuses you're tempted to make or send along with your thank you will fall on deaf ears. No one will care about your “my dog ate my homework” excuses and you will negatively impact your chances of landing an offer.

    Move Forward

    Don't allow your late thank you note to spoil the awesome impression you made during your interviews by piling on excuses. Be strategic with how you compose your thank you note and timing most likely won’t be noticed.

    Rest assured, a speedy thank you note within 1-3 days of your interview is highly recommended. If a company is on a tight turn to make a decision, your tardy note may very well cost you a job offer. If that's the case, simply learn from your error and remember to carve time out to draft a great thank you note after the next awesome interview you have!

    Need Help?

    Don’t underestimate the weight companies place on follow up after an interview. Take time to create a well-crafted thank you note to email to prospective employers. If writing isn’t your forte, our industry certified writers will write one for you! We offer general thank you notes to be used for multiple positions and targeted thank you notes designed to highlight your unique skills and qualities as it relates to a specific role you interviewed for. Easy and affordable, our custom created thank you note will set you apart from the crowd! Simplify Your Career - Get Started Now!

    About The Author

    Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe and AVP, Career Strategy at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. Leveraging more than 15 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna is refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!