Today we are revisiting a popular topic in the staffing industry, so welcome to Interview Thank You Note 101. Imagine you just finished a stressful 2 hour in-person interview for your dream job. You’re wondering if and when to send a thank you note, and if you do send one you’re trying to figure out what to say. If this sounds like you don’t worry we’ve got you covered with Interview Thank You Note 101.
Do I Need to Send a Thank You Note?
The answer is YES! Always send a thank you to all of the people you interviewed with. You should do this after a phone, video and in-person interview.
When is the Best Time to Send it?
In this fast-moving world with a ton of competition, companies make hiring decisions at the drop of a hat. We recommend that when you finish your interview, take some time immediately after to just brain dump. Write down some notes or start typing away on your phone.
- What highlights did you take away from the interview?
- Did the interviewer make some key points that you found significant?
We generally recommend sending out Thank You emails a few hours after the interview, preferably on the same day. If you send it within 24 hours, you are in good shape. We don’t recommend sending it right after you walk out because that would not be enough time to truly reflect.
What Should I Say?
Definitely keep it simple and authentic to your voice and style. We’ve seen articles and blogs online suggesting you take the time in a thank you letter to address questions you feel you could have answered better. No one is going to have a perfect interview and so we don’t think readdressing a question you answered poorly is best done in a thank you email. This will actually draw more attention to a low point of the interview. A lot of articles and experts also mention using the thank you letter as a time to send a bunch of your qualifications, portfolios, reference letters, and awards. If the hiring manager/interviewer specifically asks for this info, like a portfolio, then by all means send it. However, bombarding them with a lot of extraneous information can come across as overcompensating and is just unneeded
How Much Should I Write?
Keep it short and sweet, a few sentences, you really don’t need to write a novel. Send it to yourself and see what it looks like reading the email from your phone. That’s probably where they will be reading it and you don’t want to overwhelm them.
I think including these 3 key components makes a great thank you letter:
- Thank them for the time and opportunity to meet with them.
- Mention something that they told you during the interview that you were impressed with. It can be something about the company and its future or maybe their philosophy on business. People like to know that you listened to them and had something significant to take away from the interaction.
- Express your excitement about the opportunity and that you look forward to taking the next steps. If this is the last step, then let them know that you think you are a good fit and want to join their team.
Final Things To Note:
One of the biggest takeaways from Interview Thank You Note 101 is to get a second pair of eyes to look it over before you hit send. We all get excited and sometimes write too much or say the wrong things. A simple spelling or grammar error can cost you the job. A thank you letter should add value to your candidacy, not take value away. If you are working with a recruiter, make sure you have them read, edit, and help you with the thank you email. They’ve done hundreds of these and they will know the company and hiring manager and what will or will not impress them.