Should you or shouldn’t you write a thank you letter after an interview? Or a note or an email (more on which to use here)?
A few years ago, I received the best interview thank you letter ever.
If you write as well as this candidate does, you’re genuinely appreciative, and you’re a great fit, then absolutely send a thank you letter after an interview!
The Best Interview Thank You Letter
Want some ideas? Read this interview thank you letter and the analysis that follows:
Thank you for taking time to speak with me regarding the CFO position at [Company]. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity both in terms of the organization and the job. I have a lot to offer [Company] as their CFO, and in other areas as needed.
My broad experience in nonprofit management would be a strong addition to the team currently in place. I understand the needs of my colleagues and see the CFO role as one that requires a service orientation. I want to be helpful when I can, but I also have the judgment to know when to step back.
I also think I could be helpful to the CEO. Often in my career, I have been asked to add challenging projects to my portfolio while keeping up with my daily responsibilities. I am not shy about sharing my ideas and thoughts but do so in a diplomatic manner.
I think a good indicator of that was when I was invited by the [Previous Company] Board to be a voting member of their Search Committee for a new CEO. I was able to gain the respect of a Board that had many members who were prominent in politics, business, and technology.
Finally, as a CPA, I have kept up with the educational requirements necessary to maintain my license. I’m an expert in nonprofit financial management matters and have detailed knowledge of the law and state regulations regarding nonprofit organizations.
Most of all, I have a strong belief in the mission of [Company]. I have spent my career in nonprofits and feel my belief system and strong nonprofit 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.
The Interview Thank You Letter Analysis
Paragraph 1: The candidate thanked me and then, indirectly, told me what he was going to tell me.
Paragraph 2: On-point industry experience, service orientation, and willingness and ability to take on additional responsibility.
Paragraph 3: Willingness to contribute ideas and evidence of the respect stakeholders have had for him.
Paragraph 4: Subject matter expertise and ability to bring multiple perspectives to the position.
Paragraph 5: Culture fit.
Paragraph 6: Reiteration of interest in the job and a final thank you.
Also, 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 thank you letter came via email several hours after we had completed our interview.
I liked it so much I called to tell him it was the best interview thank you letter I had ever received. I had never, in all my years of recruiting, made a call like that.
Why Did I Like His Interview Thank You Letter?
- I felt genuinely thanked.
- The letter provided useful, new information.
- It made me believe he could both do the job and be a wonderful colleague.
- And he didn’t make this interview thank you letter mistake.
Because of those four accomplishments, I asked him if I could share a redacted copy of his letter here to help job seekers with one of the hardest writing challenges ever.
The Power of Saying Thank You
Lest you doubt the impact of a sincere interview thank you letter, watch Dr. Laura Trice in this TED Talk on the power of saying thank you :
I predict you will be upping the level of your interview thank you letter game!
Bonus — A Sample CFO Resume That Worked
If you’re curious about CFO resumes, click here to see a job-winning CFO resume.
Updated October 2018
© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, Smart Brief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.