Why You Should Send a Thank You Letter After the Interview
After completing the interview process, candidates usually wonder what’s next. Will they call me? Should I call them? Should I send a thank you letter?
The questions swirl around in your head like a Sharknado
. Catching a case of the post-interview jitters happens to the best of us, but in order to put yourself a step ahead of the competition, you need to steady your thoughts and send a thank you letter to the interviewer.
Whether you consider yourself “old school” or part of the new school, decency never goes out of style. Survival tactic #5: Mind your manners.
Being courteous, personable and polite throughout the interview process helps promote a favorable impression and may even keep your name on the hiring manager’s mind.
Some job seekers do not believe it’s necessary to send a thank you letter, but…
Let’s say you have just finished interviewing for a position you really want and decide not to send a formal “thank you.” The selection committee narrows down the successful interviews to two possibilities: you and another candidate. Since they believe you are both equally qualified, they start a point-by-point comparison to see who seemed the most interested in working for the company. Your competition happened to send a thoughtful thank you letter. Guess who they ended up choosing? Yep, not you.
This scenario may not be common, but it is possible
. During the interview process, your goal is to stand out for all the right reasons. The slightest misstep can wipe out your chances of landing a new job. Sending a thank you letter provides an opportunity to:
- Strengthen your rapport or connection with the interviewer(s)
- Emphasize your interest in the position and the company
- Show your willingness to go the extra mile
- Demonstrate your appreciation for the interview
- Prove that you respect and value the interviewer’s time
Here are four tips for an effective thank you letter:
- Reference an interesting or noteworthy point made during the interview. This way, the letter sounds personal rather than a template you found on the internet. You want to be sincere and thoughtful in your communication.
- If you forgot to say something really important about your skills or experience during the interview, briefly mention it in the letter.
- Send a thank you note to each person you interviewed with and make each version slightly different for a personalized touch.
- Double-check for spelling and grammatical errors. Addressing “Jean” as “John” could be a problem. Make sure you review the letter for mistakes and typos before sending.
Remember, a hand-written thank you letter is nice, but an email will suffice.
Ask for the interviewer’s business card so you have his/her current contact information. If you send a thank you email immediately
after the interview, you may come across as desperate. It’s appropriate to wait a couple of hours before sending the email, as long as you send it within 24 hours of the interview.
Although a perfectly written thank you note may or may not make a difference in whether you get the position, knowing you did everything in your power to increase the odds of a successful outcome can give you some solace, regardless of the hiring manager’s final decision.
Bonus Tip: Be yourself.
An interview is simply a conversation with another human being about a potential employment opportunity you are pursuing.
Voice Your View: Do you send a thank you letter after every interview? Do you think it matters anymore? Share your opinions in the comments section!
More on this topic:
The Interview Follow-Up Checklist
Dos and Don’ts of the Interview Process – Part 1
Dos and Don’ts of the Interview Process – Part 2
5 Tips for Performing an Interview Follow-Up
How to Prepare for Random Interview Questions
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