The Importance of an Interview Thank-You Note

As the interviewee it sometimes feels like you have very little control over the interview process.  You work hard to prepare every detail, you show up with time to spare and are ready to present your best self to the potential employer and then, it’s out of your hands, right?  Well, not completely.  There is one step that you, the interviewee consistently has control over and it comes after the actual interview.  That step is sending a thank-you note.

Don’t underestimate the importance of sending a thank-you note.  How you present yourself in this communication is almost as important as how you perform in the interview itself. This note allows you to maintain contact with the employer, shows them that you are still interested in the position and speaks to your commitment on follow through and professionalism.

Here are a few steps to help you create a thank-you note that will really make an impression:

What to write – Even though it’s called a thank-you note it should include more than just appreciation. Take the opportunity to elaborate on why you would be a good fit for the position. If there are examples that you weren’t able to bring up in the interview or thought of after the fact, include those.  This could be your last opportunity to prove that you are the right candidate for the job.  Maintain enthusiasm throughout the letter and be sincere. Have someone proofread your note before you send.

Who to send it to – This should be based on who you interviewed with or spent the most time with at the company.  If you interviewed with only one person, but another member of their team was instrumental in the process, send them each a thank-you note.  If you interviewed at multiple levels of a company, send each representative a separate note.  Make sure that each is personalized enough to show that you didn’t send a standard note.

How to send it – Email or Snail mail? The main thing to keep in mind is the time frame you have to work in.  Are they looking to make a decision within the next week or is this a longer process with multiple interview steps and many candidates?  You probably received some type of information on their timeframe during the interview process, so use that to decide how fast your thank-you note needs to be received.  Also keep in mind the type of company or position you are interviewing for.  Would a handwritten snail mail note show your skills off better than a fancy graphically enhanced email?  Make the most of the delivery of your thank-you note.

Sending a great thank-you note can make you stand out from your competition and in today’s tight job market a competitive advantage can make a significant difference in being the candidate that gets hired.


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