Even If You Think It’s Too Late, Send a Thank You Letter

A couple weeks ago, Candice Mitchell tweeted me, asking about the window of opportunity for sending a thank you letter after an interview. Upon further inquiry, I found out it had been a week since her interview.

A week, in terms of a hiring schedule, can go either way. Some companies move quite quickly after the final round of interviews to secure a candidate. Other have been known to take a month to reach a decision. Regardless of their schedule, it’s still a good practice to get a thank you letter out to your interviewer within 24 hours of your interview.

Just because it had been a week, however, it wasn’t a reason to write the whole thing off. Even if the position she had interviewed for was no longer available, I reasoned, sending a thank you letter could bring her to the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind for another position that might also be a good fit. At the very least, it would show her courtesy. Because of the time factor, doing an email thank you with a hard copy following it up was definitely in order. I gave that advice to Candice and wished her luck.

Over last weekend, I wondered how she had fared with this position and decided to follow up with her on Tuesday. I never got the chance, however, because I saw this tweet Monday evening:

Candice Mitchell: "Thanks again for everything! I got that good news call!"

How awesome is that! Many congratulations on the new position, Candice :)

Thank you letters are one of the ways that a candidate can differentiate him/herself from the others. In this situation, even though it felt like it was too late, the thank you letter helped to put Candice over the top and she was offered the job! Starting next Monday, she will be a press officer for a Brooklyn councilman.

As I said before, the ideal time frame for sending out thank you letters is within 24 hours of your interview. However, if you miss that window, still send it. You just may end up getting a great job!

Does this article resonate with you? Imagine what could happen if I was working for you and your career!

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  1. Thanks for this article! I had a job interview last Friday, and today is Tuesday. I was kicking myself for not sending a letter sooner, and was afraid that sending one now would make me look like a procrastinator, but after I read this article I decided to go ahead and send the letter, after all, what harm could it do? I’ll let you know if I end up getting the job!

  2. Hi, I had a panel interview and civil service examination for an Executive Assistant position on Tuesday (three days ago). Then, due to financial stress in the meantime, I accepted a temp position and started it Wednesday. Long story short, I have been meaning to mail out thank you notes ever since….and now it’s Friday. A little twist to this: I received a phone call Wednesday evening to schedule a final interview, as a result of the panel interview. Yay! BUT….should I still send the thank you’s? Maybe even give them to the receptionist when I arrive for my final interview next Thursday? Thoughts are most appreciated!!

    • Melissa Cooley
      Twitter: TheJobQuest

      Hi Stacy,

      First, congratulations on making it to the next round in the interview process! You obviously impressed them since they called you back the day after your first interview.

      Given that you have already been called back, I would not give them thank yous for the interview that you had last Tuesday. To do so would draw attention to the fact that you were not prompt in getting the notes out to them. With this being an executive assistant position, you don’t want cause them to question your abilities to send out timely correspondence if you were in the role.

      Really, the main reason for the thank you note is to get another opportunity to justify why they should either a) call you in for another interview or b) give you the job (depending on where things are in the hiring process). You already have another interview lined up for the position, so you’re good there.

      Instead, use the ideas that you have in the thank you notes you have already written to help you put together thank you notes for after the interview that you have on Thursday. And then, make sure you get those new thank you notes out within 24 hours after the interview :)

      Good luck!


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SnagAJob.com, PongoResume and Emilie E Mecklenborg, Melissa Cooley. Melissa Cooley said: A good example for sending that TY note. New post: Even If You Think It’s Too Late, Send a Thank You Letter http://ow.ly/1WSBc #jobsearch [...]

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