All career books give this simple piece of advice: send a “thank you” note a day or two after an interview. Yet, this simple advice is only followed by in 1 in 20 job seekers. I recently interviewed ten people who all went on to second interviews; all ten did not send a thank you note. Had one of the ten sent the note, they would have set themselves apart from the pack.
A “thank you” note says something about the job candidate: she appreciates your time, she enjoyed getting to know more about the company, she wants the job. Many mistakenly believe that a thank you note is a sign of weakness or simply discarded by the recipient without a second thought – if the decision is close between several candidates – your note might tip the balance!
Sending a “thank you” note is a classy thing to do!
This effective communication keeps your name in front of the interviewer and tells the manager that you are interested in the company and in him. It is a nice touch that a majority of candidates simply won’t do – automatically setting you apart from the crowd.
Handwrite your thank you note on a nice appreciation card. Don’t send a printed message – it’s much more personal to handwrite the note.
Collect Contact Information
Begin by collecting information: when you interview ask for a business card of the interviewer. This allows you to get the title and spelling correct for your thank you note.
Thank the Interviewer
Start out the note by thanking the interview for his time. The point of the thank you note is to thank them after all! You could use something as simple as:
Dear Mr. Stewart,
Thank you very much for the opportunity to interview with you yesterday. I enjoyed getting to know more about you, AniCorp Company, and the open Staff Accountant position. I appreciate the time you spent with me during the interview.
A thank you note is also a great opportunity to reiterate points you made during your interview. You do not need to rehash every point you made during the interview, but a couple key strong points or clarification on some areas might be helpful.
As I mentioned during the interview, I believe my three years of corporate accounting experience would be very beneficial to AniCorp. Additionally, my time spent in budgeting is a great foundation for the Staff Accountant position.
Demonstrate Writing Skills
A “thank you” note also demonstrates your writing skills for the interviewer. These skills may be an essential part of your new position and could be an area where you really shine. If you are not the best writer – it’s simple, find someone you trust to help you when writing the card.
You can also use the card to state your next steps:
I will call you in a few days to see if your have any follow-up questions.
Now, close the card and sign it:
Send the note the day after the interview so it arrives two to three days after your interview. It’s important to keep your interview fresh in the interviewer’s mind before he/she makes a hiring decision.
Congratulations! You just set yourself apart from the pack of candidates!