Should I Write a Thank-You Note After the Interview?

Should I Write a Thank-You Note After the Interview?

by Kerry Scott on 3 January 2009

YES! You would be amazed how few candidates do this, so you’ll really stand out if you send a thank-you note after a job interview.  I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen someone actually lose out on an opportunity because they failed to send a thank-you note, but I have definitely seen cases where a company was on the fence about someone, and the thank-you note made the difference.

Thank-you notes don’t have to be mailed in fact, I prefer to receive them via email, because then I can easily forward them to the others involved in the hiring process.  It’s also faster, and time is of the essence after the interview, because you want it to get there before they make a decision.  If you’ve interviewed with multiple people, it’s great if you can send a personalized note to each one.  A lot of people find it hard to come up with something different to say, though, especially if there was a large cast of interviewers.  In that case, it’s okay to send a group email.

Thank-you notes don’t have to be long.  This is one of those things where, for the most part, you get credit just for having completed the task–anything else is icing on the cake.  Here’s a sample of a very basic thank-you note:

Dear Kerry [yes, it's okay to use the first name once you've met them],

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me about the HR Director role at XYZ Corporation.  I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your plans for 2009, and I am very interested in the position.  Please let me know if you have questions or need additional information from me.  You can reach me at jane@ihatespam.com, or at (414) 555-1212.

Thank you,

Jane Applicant

Ideally, though, if you’re fairly comfortable with your writing skills, it’s nice to tie in what you learned in the interview with what you think you bring to the table in terms of skills.  Here’s a sample of a more comprehensive thank-you note:

Dear Kerry:

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me last Thursday to discuss the HR Director position.  I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about XYZ Corporation.

I am particularly excited about your efforts to streamline your recruiting process.  As you know, I worked with ABC, Inc. in a similar initiative last year.  We were able to go from an average time-to-fill for sales jobs of 87 days to 32 days.  We also reduced our cost per hire from $2,307 to $923.  Aside from the expected benefit to the organization, we found that we significantly improved our reputation as an employer-of-choice in the Duluth area, which made future recruiting efforts much easier.  I’m confident that many of the techniques I used at ABC would be effective for XYZ Corporation as well.

I’m very interested in this position, and I would welcome an opportunity to come back and meet with you and Jim to explore it further.  You can reach me at jane@ihatespam.com, or at (414) 555-1212.

Thank you,

Jane Doe

One more thing:  Be sure to get a business card from each person who interviews you.  It can be really hard to remember all of those names after a nerve-racking interview, and even harder to figure out how to spell them or what the email address might be.

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{ 1 comment }

Jill January 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

I agree! CLING to the old-fashioned notion of thank you notes. Good manners never go out of style. I highly recommend using email when at all possible. I’ve gotten a number of snail mail thank you notes on wildly inappropriate cards. There’s nothing like getting a thank-you from a SVP candidate on a puppy card!

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