Whether you did well or not once the interview is over, the question most candidates ask is, “Should I send a “thank you” note”? If you do send a thank you note, what should it say? Should it be on personal letterhead or will an email be sufficient?
Let’s look at this question from the perspective of consequences: If I don’t send a thank you note will it hinder my chances of being selected? Short answer: Probably not. If I do send a thank you note will I be looked on more favorably? Short answer: Maybe. Put another way, a thank you note won’t hurt your chances of getting the job, and might possibly help.
If you do decide to write a thank you note, make it positive, short, and memorable, as in, connected to your interview. Reinforce any encouraging comment the interviewer made during the interview so they specifically remember you. For instance, if during the interview, the interviewer commented about an idea or experience you had like, “That’s an interesting idea we might be able to use”, remind the interviewer that the idea came from you in your thank you note.
Thank you notes show appreciation on your part for the hiring manager to take the time to meet with you. It also shows good manners. Any job you accept will involve interpersonal relations with others. Demonstrating that you have the personal touch, as in a thank you note, will help your cause not hurt it. A thank you note also puts your name back into the mind of the interviewer as the hiring decision is being made.
When interviewing, ask the person for their business card with an email address and phone number. Email responses are quicker and are sent directly to the primary person. A letter sent through the regular mail takes longer and may be short-circuited by a secretary. However, a nice letter on stationery makes a better impression. Save it for the higher priority job.
Even though a thank you note should be short, make sure you cover three items:
- A “thank you” for the time and valuable information conveyed during the interview
- Show your heightened interest in the job and mention the part of the interview where the interviewer commented on the skills they found particularly interesting or a past experience that has direct relevance to the open job.
- Reinforce your keen interest and ask for the next step forward
Every hiring manager wants a high performer who can successfully contribute to the results of the organization. But equally important is the relationships within the working group that forms a successful team. A thank you note shows that you have the relationship side of the open position and the good social graces to follow up.
Demonstrate your interpersonal sensitivity with a well-crafted thank you note.
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