After a job interview, sending a thank you email to the recruiter can really set you apart from other candidates.

Audrey Hannecart, Hiring & Talent Manager at Walters People, explains why this is important and shares some tips on how to do this in a professional manner.

What are the most important reasons to send a ‘thank you’ email after a job interview? 

Audrey: "A thank you email allows a candidate to show his motivation for the job and that he really wants to take the next step in the recruitment process. It proves that he has taken the time to think about the job, or even to discuss it with his family. By doing so, he not only gives some extra weight to his application, but also a professional image of himself.

We note that it is mainly experienced candidates who send a thank you email. Candidates entering the job market for the first time tend to do this less often, which is why we advise candidates to take some time after the interview to send such an email to the person they have met. This allows them to think about the position and the company they just applied for."

What exactly do you have to mention in such a thank you email? 

"A thank you email can be split into three parts. First of all, thank the interviewer for the time allocated during the job interview. Secondly, briefly explain what you remembered from the interview about the position and the organisation. And finally, explain your motivation for the role you applied for."

What is the best time to send such a thank you email? 

"Personally, I think within a period of 48 hours is the ideal timing. This shows that you have taken the time to think about the job content and other topics that were discussed during the interview. 

"I would advise not to send such an email immediately after the interview. This can be a sign of impatience and haste. After all, it is important to give yourself the time to reflect about the job and what was said during the interview."

However, if you still want to send a message immediately after the interview, limit yourself to thanking the recruiter for the time allocated and mention that you will take the time to think about. In the following days, you can send a second email to express that you have well understood the job content and that you are motivated for the job."

Do you also send a thank you email when the interview didn't go well? 

"Regardless of the outcome of the interview, it is strongly recommended to send a thank you email. It is a matter of being polite and building a respectful relationship between both parties. Even if the recruiter's response at the end of the interview is negative, it is still possible that a few years later and in a different recruitment process, you will be confronted with the same interviewer again. That is why it is better to leave a good impression of yourself as a candidate."

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