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How to Write a Thank You Email to a Candidate?

No matter how the job market looks, a candidate taking time out of their busy lives to interview with your company is an investment worth acknowledging. Sending a note to show your appreciation is thoughtful, and it can help build your brand reputation.

Here’s more about when you should send one, what to include in each note, and why this traditional practice should be kept in place—regardless of changes in our tech tools and society. We also included several thank-you note examples/templates to make this process even smoother.

How To Write A Thank You Email To A Candidate After An Interview

When Should You Send the Follow Up Thank-You Emails?

  • If you feel that the candidate is a good pick and are leaning toward hiring, be sure to send the thank-you note right after the job interview, and on the same day, if possible.
  • If they are still being considered, but a final hiring decision hasn’t been made, send an email to let them know where they are in the running but that you need time.
  • If you need them to come in for followup interviews, a post-interview skills assessment, or to give permission for an extended background check, include this in a thank-you email.
  • If the candidate is no longer in the running, make sure to thank them kindly while informing them of your or the hiring manager’s decision. 

Email Templates to Successful Candidates

Giving a candidate the good news of either a hire or an invitation for the next steps can be done through a thank-you email. The best part is that this doesn’t have to be complicated, and our sample thank-you letter is a good place to start:

Subject line: Your interview with [Company name] for [job title] position

Dear [Candidate’s first and last name],

We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about the position of [job title] and enjoyed getting to know you better. We think you would be an excellent fit for our team here at [Company name].

[Insert next steps here, including the arrangement for a second interview with the hiring team or the chance to tour the office. Emphasize that they would not only be interviewed, but they would have the chance to ask questions and see where they would be working before they made a decision.]

If this sounds good to you, just reply with your availability for a followup this week. You are also welcome to email me directly with any questions you have.

With Gratitude,

[Your Name]

Email signature

If you are ready to make a job offer, you can replace the next steps for interviews with the next steps for accepting the role. Be sure to let them know if you require additional information or paperwork from them.

The important point of either of these successful candidate scenarios is to congratulate them on a job well done, thank them for their time, secure their interest in working for you, and to inform them of what will happen in the post-interview process. By being very clear about what to expect, you are setting a tone of professionalism and communication. 

Email Templates to Unsuccessful Candidates

Thanking someone with some additional good news is certainly more enjoyable than sending along bad news. Is it hard to find the words to tell a job candidate that they aren’t a good fit? Have confidence that this template will say everything you need:

Subject line: Your interview with [Company name] for [job title] position

Dear [Candidate’s first and last name],

We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about the position of [job title] and enjoyed getting to know you better. We have filled the position with another candidate at this time but will keep your application and resume on file. If there is an opening that seems a better fit in the future, we will reach out for next steps. 

Thanks again for your time and interest in [Company name.] I wish you all the best.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email signature

Sending this email template acknowledges the investment the applicant made in interviewing with your company while letting them know that a future with your company is not impossible. It also lets you keep this candidate in your talent pipeline, which may come in handy if you need to expand the company or fill multiple positions quickly. Since you’ve already interviewed this candidate and know of their skills and background, you won’t be starting from scratch if you do decide to give them another chance to interview. 

Why do Employers Need to Send Thank You Emails?

As mentioned, these notes of appreciation can help build your reputation as a company that values all candidates. It may even alert new talent and other job seekers to the fact that you are a good employer to partner with. It can also help fill your talent pipeline with candidates who are left with a warm impression even after being turned down for a job.

By leaving candidates with a good impression and the possibility of working together in the future, you ensure that there’s talent available in the future if you need to circle back to some of these candidates.

Sending a thank note is a natural way of updating the candidate on their status in the hiring process. Whether you thank them for their time and wish them well with another company, or you use the “thanks” as an opener for offering them the position, a thank-you email simply makes sense in a time when email communications have become rather impersonal. You’ll stand out as a warm, professional place to work, and that’s never a bad thing.

You also shouldn’t be surprised to see candidates who just didn’t quite make the cut come back for another position, assuming you were kind in your thank you emails. This can prove useful in uncertain times and in industries where every qualified candidate counts. 

How Comeet Can Help

If you’re concerned you’ll miss a candidate or two on your thank-you email “to-do” list, consider how an applicant tracking system like Comeet can help automate the job. Combined with the simplicity of templates, we can help you take the guesswork out of when it’s appropriate to send your thank-you notes. 

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Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith is a content strategy consultant working with high-growth businesses on their brand messaging, content strategy, and content creation. A digital nomad, she's exploring the world's cultures and cuisines as she works.

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