Sending a thank you note after your job interview is very important. Thank you notes show your good manners and communication skills, they can seal the deal on moving you to the next step or the job offer, and they can even do damage control if parts of your interview didn't go as well as you would have hoped.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when you write your post-interview thank you note, and a sample note below.
- Send your thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. Time is of the essence here. Not only do you want your note to get to them while you're still fresh in their minds--you want your note to get there before they make a decision. Hiring decisions can be made quickly, and you want as much influence as possible over that decision. So, send your note quickly.
- Send your thank you note by email. To get your message to the hiring manager that fast, you need to send it by email. Yes, handwritten notes are nice, but they aren't necessary, and they may very well be to slow to arrive. Simply send your thank you email to the hiring manager (don't attach a thank you note to an email).
- Send a substantial note with details and references to the interview. Maybe part of the reason some people think thank you notes are a waste of time is that they've only had experience with notes that say, "Thank you for your time." It's always nice to say thanks, but this note is really another strategy piece for you. It's your chance to reiterate why you'd be great at the job, or why they should hire you--another reminder is always a good thing. Mention things you discussed during the interview, along with your thoughts about that, now that you've had some time to consider it. Continue the conversation with your note. If you made a mistake, correct it. If you know you forgot to mention an important piece of your education or experience in the interview, now is the perfect time to bring it up.
- Send a note to everyone you spoke with. Many companies want you to speak with a team of people (sometimes as a group, sometimes individually) besides just the hiring manager. Make sure you get the business card or email address of everyone you speak with and send them each an individualized thank you note (not just the hiring manager). They will talk among themselves about you, and each have a say in whether or not you get a job offer. Put some thought into each note you send to each person.Tip: If you leave without getting each person's email address, you can try a Google trick. Search "*@______.com" filling in the blank with the name of the company you interviewed with. You may be able to see the email addresses of everyone who works there, or at least find the pattern of how they construct email addresses and figure out where you should be sending this note.
- Close with a plan of action. Don't end your note with "I look forward to hearing from you," and leave it at that. This leaves you hanging, and doesn't move this process forward. A better way to end your note is to say something like, "I'm very excited about this position and I look forward to hearing from you about next steps. If I haven't heard from you by Tuesday, I'll give you a call to see where we are." This does not make you seem negatively pushy. It makes you seem like you are very interested in the job and that you want to keep the lines of communication open.
**Learn how to handle post-interview calls and more in a Free Download of my podcast, Following Up After the Interview.
Below is a sample to give you an idea of what a good interview thank you letter should look like:
This is a guideline of what to include in your thank you note. Fill it with details from your interview conversation, and make sure you follow up.
Best of luck!