I am not sure if people have gotten ruder over the years, or if common courtesy is no longer so… common (kinda like that common sense thing). But the art and necessity of sending a thank you note following an interview, has been lost. It’s time you rediscovered it and played by these rules.
Everything You Need to Know about How to Say Thanks
Yes, a thank you note is part of the interview process, you DO have to send one.
You have two options of delivery, depending upon who you interviewed with and the position you are being considered for: email and snail mail. Yes, there is such a thing still as snail mail. Here’s how to determine the best method for various situations:
Sending a thank you isn’t optional, but the impact of your follow-up is important. When I get an email of thanks from a candidate, I know that the person is not only interested in the position, but also wants to ensure that I remember who they are. If it’s customized and mentions something we discussed, then I do give a second look at them before sending them to the yes or no pile.
When I get a snail mail thank you… wow. I am usually surprised and pleased. Not only does it show all of the same things that an email shows, but it also reinforces my thoughts a few days later when the note arrives – so you have a second chance at making an impression. That’s the whole point of these things from a candidate’s perspective at least, so may as well take full advantage of it.
The timing of it all… When you send your thank you note, is almost as important as sending one at all. For email thank you’s, I like receiving them the morning following our interview. NOT immediately after the conversation. Why? Because I’m already thinking about and have probably moved on to another candidate and am not paying attention to your thank you. When your note of thanks hits my inbox first thing in the morning when I’m reflecting on the candidates, you will have a bigger impact.
So, next morning before 10am, is great timing. If you are sending a snail mail of thanks, it should be mailed the following day as well to ensure that it gets to the recruiter/hiring manager asap. So you will be experiencing a lot, the morning after.
But what do I say in my thank you note? Here’s the easiest part – keep it short, to the point, and simple. Here are a few email examples, feel free to use and repurpose. For snail mail, you’re on your own! Take out your Emily Post book of business etiquette and write an engaging thank you leveraging the tips below as well as connecting it with the personal bond you formed with the hiring manager.
Example 1 (email sample):
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today to speak with me about the Account Coordinator position. I enjoyed learning more about the position and about ABC Company. Based on our conversation, I am certain that my experience in (SKILL A that was discussed) is a great match for (SKILL B that they are seeking from job description), which is required in this role.
I look forward to continuing along in the process and hope to hear from you soon. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me.
Sally Sue, email@example.com
Example 2 (email sample):
I appreciate you and the team taking time to meet with me today to discuss the Account Coordinator position. I am very excited about the opportunity and look forward to learning even more. (ENTER COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU DISCUSSED – it can be a joke you shared, ahem, an appropriate one; or it can be something about the company).
I am very interested in the position and know that I’d be a great fit on the team. I look forward to partnering with you in the future.
Sally Sue, firstname.lastname@example.org