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- Should they be hand written?
- Should they be emailed?
- Should they be sent the day after the interview or is there an advantage of waiting a few days before sending?
Ultimately, the best response is always…just make sure you send one! If you haven’t had the need to send an interview thank you in awhile, you may want to search for current openings or subscribe to the Skywalk Group Jobs E-Newsletter.
Interview Thank You Timing
- The Thank You Procrastinator. Of course, timing is critical. You don’t want to wait two weeks after an interview to reiterate your interest in the position and why you’re the best candidate for the job. That kind of delay will appear to the hiring manager as having no sense of urgency and a lack of interest in the role.
- The Obsessive Compulsive Thank You Sender. This is the candidate that sends a thank you immediately and then repeatedly follows up with the hiring manager. A thank you note immediately following your interview will emphasis your interest in the position, but could get lost in the shuffle among all the other candidates interviewed that week.
So when is the best time to send one? Our recommendation is two to three days following the interview. It reminds the hiring manager of the interview and forces them to review their resume again, even if it’s buried at the bottom of the pile.
Interview Thank You Content
A well-written thank you note brings even more attention. According to Careerbuilder.com, “Nearly 15% of hiring managers say they would not hire someone who failed to send a thank-you letter after the interview. Thirty-two percent say they would still consider the candidate, but would think less of him or her.” It doesn’t have to be a long, dissertation of why you should be selected for the job.
- Citing a few key details taken from the interview is a nice touch that can set you apart from other candidates. Were you wowed by what you learned about the company’s culture and recent growth? Did the interviewer make a specific impression that influenced your overall enthusiasm for working there? If so, mention it!
- If you are trying to differentiate yourself from another candidate “details don’t mean anything, they mean everything.” So mention a few unique details in your thank you note. It could be final piece needed in landing you the job.
To Email or Not to Email, That is the Question!
Do hand written notes have an advantage over emailed ones? In our opinion, either is fine. Hand written notes certainly make a great impression and add an extra touch. They can give you points for design and style but unfortunately lack quickness. If you know that the hiring manager will be making a decision soon after your interview, it’s best to email the note. You may want to also think about how your penmanship will be received. If friends and family tend to complain about your handwriting, chances are emailing a note would be safer.
More Interview Thank You Tips
Suzanne Dupree Howe, Managing Director of BCG Attorney Search in Houston gives the following guidelines for sending a thank you note:
- Don’t send the same note to every person. Vary it. (Managers compare notes with their colleagues to see if the candidate wrote the same one to every person.)
- Thank the recruiting coordinator. (A good recruiting coordinator can have a lot of power in hiring decisions.)
- If you are only going to send one thank you note, then thank the hiring manager or the manager with whom you spent the most time.
- Be formal, but keep it brief.
- If sending a handwritten note, use good paper. If you don’t have good monogrammed paper at this point in your career, then add this purchase to your to do list. Style points can go a long way when interviewing.
- Spell check. Spell check. Spell check. If you are handwriting your notes, then you need to be doubly sure that you aren’t misspelling something. Consider typing out what you want to say in Microsoft Word before transcribing to your note. If you don’t show attention to detail in your thank you notes, then how might your work product look?
- Focus on content and avoid too many adjectives. Tell the reader what you gained from the interview instead and what appeals to you about their company.
Thank you notes are a critical piece in the interview process. If you follow these tips, they will not only set you apart from other candidates interviewed, they will be the final touch in the overall successful impression you give to the hiring manager.
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