Writing an Interview Thank You Note
There are many aspects to think about when preparing for an interview (I’ve talked about what to wear to one here and here). Interviewing can be a tiring experience – from the hours of prep to the adrenaline rush and let down…you might not have much energy left for follow up. However, sending an appropriate, thoughtful, thank you note is critical and can have almost as much impact on the outcome as the interview itself. Here are a few tips for success in this phase of the process.
- DO remark on the conversation: this shows you were engaged and thinking critically. This is not the time for promotion of your accomplishment and fit – this is about showing them you understand the particular nature of the role/company.
- DON’T thank them for time: thank them for the great conversation and/or chance to learn more about them and the company or organization. Thanking for time can be a good idea for some meetings, but in a formal interview, they needed to meet you almost as much as you needed to meet them – hiring is an incredibly important part of management.
- DO be prompt with your thanks: getting a thoughtful message to the interviewer while your interaction is still fresh is very important. These days, email is often the best way to send a thank you note, but hand written notes can be effective under certain circumstances, IF you can get it out promptly. A physical note should arrive no later than a day after the interview – otherwise they might write you off.