Ask the Pros: Is It Okay to Email my Thank You Note After an Interview?

Ask the Pros: Is It Okay to Email my Thank You Note After an Interview? To help prepare you for the real world, our Ask the Pros series is here to help answer some of your most common questions about interviewing, job-hunting and working in the world of publication and media art and photo departments.

Got a question you want answered? Send it to us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll put it to our experts! A varying panel of professionals will give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work.

And if you're a working professional yourself, we'd love to hear your opinion too ... don't hesitate to add it in our comments or email us to be on one of our panels.

Today we're tackling the post-interview thank-you note...



QUESTION: Is it okay to send a thank-you email after my interview or should I stick to a hand-written note through regular mail?


PRO: Ann Davidson - Photo Director, HGTV Magazine
Yes, I think emails are completely acceptable. A handwritten note is wonderful, but an email is fast and it will not get lost in the mailroom. If you really want a job, send both!

PRO: Cass Spencer - Design Director, Prevention
I think an email is enough ... notes are pleasant to receive, but both show you're interested. The impact would've been made in the interview process, therefore neither are necessary and won't sway the interviewer from the decision they've already made about you.

PRO: Jesse Southerland - Design Director, Philadelphia
Send both. It's always weird mailing a card, because you don't want it to arrive late. So I would email shortly after, and get the card in the mail or drop it directly. Sending a card shows professionalism which can often say more than your work when you are starting off. You might not have real design experience, but you have no excuse to not be professional. 

PRO: Julia Knetzer - freelance designer and art director
Emailing thank yous is becoming more and more acceptable, but I say that's all the more reason to send a hand-written note. Showing that extra effort communicates an extra level of interest and appreciation that surely can't hurt -- and may set you apart from other equally impressive candidates.

PRO: Matthew Bates - Creative Director, Active Interest Media Outdoor Group
I don't mind an email at all. I would say that hand-written note sticks with me longer, so if you are trying to get my attention, you have a better shot. Either way you go, letting someone know you appreciated them taking the time to meet with you goes a long way.

PRO: Ryan Haigh - Designer, Complex
Thank you e-mails are fine and thoughtful, but there's a chance of that e-mail getting lost in our chaotic inboxes. I always appreciate the old-fashioned approach. Hit up your interviewer with a nicely written note. It shows you care, because you took the time to sit down and write a letter, grabbed an envelope, and personally brought that letter to the mailbox. And you caring means you're going to take an internship or job seriously.

PRO: John Walker - Art Director for Mobile, Popular Mechanics
I rarely receive either! And have forgotten to send some on my own end. Hand-written certainly suggests more interest in the job, but a nearly instantaneous email afterwards would suffice also.


Thanks to our terrific panel of pros for their great advice! 
Check out our previous Ask the Pros questions below. And email us if you've got a question.
  • Solie

    Can I drop off my thank you letter or would I have to mail it in?

  • Nancy Stamatopoulos

    And what a great way to brand yourself just one step further. A thank you note design... that matches your business card... that matches your résumé...it shows you're on top of your game.

  • Always send a thank you. E-mail first while you're still fresh in the interviewer's mind, and then send a written one. I never really appreciated the power of a hand-written thank you note until I received one, and now make it a point to send them regularly. Make sure to thank the person who you met with, and toss in a point about why you feel you're right for them.

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