Is the After Interview Thank You Email a Stupid Waste of Time?

Should job candidates write a thank you email after an interview?

An HR consultant shared his view on TikTok that thank-you notes after an interview are one of the stupid elements of recruiting.

I usually recommend writing a post-interview thank-you email. However, are they a waste of time?

While some agree with me, there are plenty of Reddit comments that disagree. You can read the complete Reddit conversation here.

After Interview Thank You Email: Outdated and Not Needed

Here are comments from people who think the after-interview thank you email is outdated.

Dilbert205 says, “I agree it’s outdated and probably a waste of time. That said if it gives me even a 1% better chance in getting the job and has no downside other than my time then why not send it.”

Jsizzle19, in her experience, says they came too late to make a difference “Most of the time, we do our interview debrief right after it takes place, so the decision is made before someone could even send me a thank you letter.”

Former B4 Tax says, “It’s a generational thing. Older people want thank you notes. Younger people don’t care about them. If I were to tell my dad I wasn’t sending a thank you note after an interview he’d probably start a screaming match with me until i agreed to send one (baby boomer generation).

I personally do not care much either way. I used to respond to all the thank you emails after taking students to dinner at big4, but i’d never be upset if someone didn’t send me one and count it against them. In the age of endless emails and remote work, probably shouldn’t be a requirement.”

After Interview Thank You Email: Still Write Them

A few commenters are in favor of writing thank-you emails after an interview.

RandyTunt415 says, “I would totally ding a kid for this, takes little to no effort but at least shows a shred of respect of the time you took up to be interviewed. I don’t really care about schools or GPA, we can coach a lot of things in a good candidate, but the ability to have basic human interaction is way under appreciated”

obi318 gives a common reason people are taught to write a thank you email following an interview “People entering the workforce from college alot of time try to use these as ways to stand out”

SlightStruggle3714 says the thank you email helped them get a job ”

Really? Because it got me my first job out of college in industry.

No one else in the interview pool sent one… The person hired was clearly hired due to nepotism as i found out they had a relative in the firm… Needless to say a month later a diff spot opened up and I got a call to “Come back for interviews”…. which in turn ended up being only me and them handing me an offer…

Think ill continue this “stupid practice”

After Interview Thank You Email: My Recent Experience

I was contacted by a recruiter after applying for a position recently for an interview. However, the interview was not a traditional interview.

I was sent to an online hiring site where I had to submit eleven written questions and record my answers on video for three questions.

I didn’t interview with an actual person, so who would I send a thank you email to? The entire process felt cold and impersonal. Should I be thanking the recruiter for their coordination with the hiring team?

Also, the email address from the recruiter was not their direct email address. If I replied, would the email be lost in an abyss? Would she even see it?

After two weeks, I replied with a short email. “Thank you for considering me for the [job title] position. Can you please provide me with an update on the position? Am I still being considered for the position?”

The recruiter replied (and I was then able to see her actual email address) letting me know that the company decided not to move forward with me.

Heidi’s Advice

I like writing thank you notes and generally recommend writing them anytime you want to express gratitude.

When I first started interviewing for jobs, I had to send my resume in the mail. Now, resumes are uploaded to websites without any contact with a human. So, the after-interview thank you email isn’t as straightforward as it once was.

You will find expert advice that says to write them and now recruiters saying they are a complete waste of time. I don’t think showing gratitude is ever a waste of time, but what if they annoy the recruiter?

I lean towards writing the after-interview thank-you email when you can thank those you interviewed with. You may want to skip it if all your interactions are going through a recruiter.

What do you think?

Do you have a question regarding thank-you notes? You can submit it to Heidi here.

Author: Heidi Bender

Title: Writer

Expertise: Thank You Notes

Bio:

Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. She aims to help people write thank-you notes by providing examples and tips. She is the author of She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.