Interview Thank You Note?

Thank you notes after an interview can set you apart or make you just one of the interviewees.  It’s not enough to send an interview thank you note, it’s critical to think about how the other person thinks of you when reading it.

A one liner interview thank you note that says, “Hey, great meeting you, sounds like a good job, sign me up!” Is construed as being all about you and leaves the reader feeling like you are the decision maker and they have no say.

A multi-page novelette also sends the wrong message – can you imagine the reports I’m going to get from this person? It will take me all week to weed through it…This article from Ladders touches on appropriate length.

So, as in most things, moderation and meaning are KEY.

During the interview make note (mental or otherwise) of a couple of key things that you found interesting, compelling or even intriguing about the job or company or even the interviewer and use that in your thank you note.

“ ……It was interesting to learn that ABC company is planning to……I’ve been through a similar situation with DEF company last year and would be happy to share the pitfalls and successes of the project with you.”

Specializing and customizing your note will set you apart and put you at the front of the crowd at decision time.  Be business friendly but not casual, this is business.

AND PLEASE – NO snail mail!!

Unless it is a follow up of some kind to the email and then send it overnight.  The interviewer might be getting other thank you’s from other interviewees and think that you forgot to write a note because it is “in the mail”.  There are many differing viewpoints here (see Forbes article) – the point is to make it genuine.

Make this timely but not immediate. Wait at least 15 minutes but don’t put it off until the next day to send.

If possible put another set of eyes on it – get someone else to look at it for errors in grammar, spelling, etc.  DO NOT rely on spell check.  (I look at many “Sales Manger” resumes). At least read it yourself, slowly, twice before hitting the send button!

Good luck!

Deborah Joseph is the Director of our Industrial Automation & Electronics search practice.  She works mainly on customer facing operations and management roles throughout the US and has the greatest success with urgent, confidential, and mission-critical positions.  Deb’s team has a 98% Priority Search fill rate.  She is an open-networker on LinkedIn.

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