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This question already has an answer here:

Should I send a thank you email immediately, or perhaps wait a day or more? Does it make a difference if its a phone interview or an in person interview? If you wait too long, then it is likely to have no effect, or even seem out of place. However, if you send it right away, it takes away one of the advantages, which is that it reminds them of your strengths.

marked as duplicate by Jim G., IDrinkandIKnowThings, Jan Doggen, gnat, jcmeloni Aug 6 '14 at 10:45

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    Here's a link to a related question; the community can decide via flags and votes if there is enough of an overlap to call this a duplication since the intent (being courteous) is pretty similar. – jcmeloni Jun 22 '12 at 2:10
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    Since I'm not a fan of 1-line answers to gain rep, I'll give you an answer in this comment :) ... wait as long as or as short as you need to prepare a pleasant and honest note, and no it does not matter the type of interview. – jcmeloni Jun 22 '12 at 2:11
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    @jcmeloni: That question don't seem to overlap. That is about whether you should send a thank you email, this is about whether you should wait – Anon Jun 22 '12 at 2:13
  • Sure...but it's implied (at least to me, and perhaps I'm odd, which is why I said "the community") that since the answer to that one is clearly "yes, send one", it should be sent reasonably soon after an interview to achieve all the positive results that are delineated in the answers there. – jcmeloni Jun 22 '12 at 2:17
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Emails should generally be sent within a day or two. Exception being if your interview was on a friday, try to send one by EOD, or an hour or two after opening on monday. Lots of times, over the weekend, people get flooded with emails, and won't always want to read them all if they're not urgent. Waiting until the recipient(s) have settled down, gotten through their morning routine, and will notice a new email appear is somewhat courteous. If you're sending a paper letter as thank-you, put it in the mail the next day. Make sure you date it in formal style, so they'll tell when you sent it.

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It is a good thing when you have an excuse to contact them by phone or email. Sometimes they need a list of references, or an electronic copy of the resume.

While you are sending the email turn it into a thank you email. You should send it within 24 hours. I try for close of business for a morning interview, and by early the next business day for an afternoon interview.

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    +1, I would also add. Don't forget to ask for a business card in case you have any more questions. Its a way to get their contact information without asking for it (if you don't already have it) – OrionDarkwood Jun 22 '12 at 13:46
  • +1 for within 24 hours I would wait at least 2 hours after the interview to show effort not just send it immediately when you get home/off the phone. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 22 '12 at 14:46
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I would wait about 1/2 a day. It's a good idea to draft it immediately after the interview while ideas are fresh, but it's also a good idea to then put it aside for a few hours, maybe sleep on it, and then review it for both content and tone and send it.

I would have a minimum of 4 hours to not be (or seem) rushed and a maximum of 3 days while you are still current in folks minds and they are still deciding- which can vary (a lot) by industry and technology from minutes to months (e.g. startup to government) so adjust accordingly.

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If the decision is being made right away, such as even the very next day, it is imperative that the thank you note arrives right away. This is often the case with teacher interviews. Send them the same day as your interview for snail mail, so hopefully they will arrive the next day before the decision is made. Send on the same day for email responses too, waiting several hours. Even if the decision is already made, a nicely written thank you note will keep you in the running for the next posting.

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