It’s as easy as this: send a thank you note.
Sure, it may seem like an inconsequential pleasantry, but it’s an important one. Sending a thank you note shows serves three important purposes with one little note. First, it shows you’re still enthusiastic after learning more about the role and office culture during your job interview. Second, it shows that you’re a professional who knows how to follow the proper etiquette (and will presumably bring that professionalism along if you’re hired.) And third, it builds upon the connection you already made with your interviewer.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to follow up after an interview:
send the note directly to your interviewer
Even if you were communicating with an assistant, receptionist or someone else to schedule your interview, send your note directly to your interviewer, if possible. If you don’t have their email, send the note to the person you were previously communicating with and request that they forward your message. You can also opt for a paper note in this situation.
The salutation on your follow up note should also address them by name, and their email should be in the ‘To’ field. Never send a catch-all post interview thank you note to multiple employers with their emails in the ‘BCC’ field. Not only is this tactic transparent, it’s blatantly lazy and impersonal.
personalize your thank you note
One of the most rookie mistakes made when sending out post job interview thank you notes is to assume they’re one-size-fits-all. After all, you’re just thanking the interviewer for their time because it’s an expected courtesy, right? Wrong. Your post thank you note is an opportunity to remind your interviewer why you’re the right candidate for the job.
The best interview thank you notes touch upon the best moments of interview – think about when your interviewer seemed most interested in what you had to say. A few sentences that touch on these moments should be plenty.
keep it short and sweet
Remember: a post job interview thank you note is all about reinforcing your connection with your interviewer. It’s not about you. Your interviewer is a busy person with a lot of other tasks on their plate beside hiring you. Though they will appreciate the thought behind you sending a quick thank you note, they don’t need to read a tome that details point-by-point why you’re right for the job.
If the interview went well, let it speak for itself. A droning thank you note that’s all about you can leave a sour taste after an otherwise awesome interview.
mention when you’ll follow up next
Many job seekers think that the thank you note is the end of the line, and that if you don’t hear back, it’s best to forget about that particular job and move onto the next. That’s not the case at all. Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people. Sometimes candidates slip through the cracks, even if they were promising. Hiring processes aren’t always linear and sometimes the process can take time. If you’re really excited about the job, be proactive and take it upon yourself to reach out for updates, until you’re told you’re no longer in the running. If you’ve made it to the interview stage, chances are you’re among only a handful of remaining candidates. As for how often you should follow up? We recommend spacing out each message a couple weeks; this strikes a good balance between being interested and being overeager.
check and double check it
You would not believe the number of job seekers who make the mistake of misspelling their interviewer’s name, or some other small error that would have been easily caught if they’d just taken a few minutes to double check their message.
You spent your entire interview meticulously detailing why you’re the perfect person for the job. Why risk derailing all your hard work with carelessness? Though some employers may overlook an error if it’s insignificant enough, it’s best to avoid putting yourself in this situation in the first place.
should you send an email or mail a note?
Most employers will find an email perfectly acceptable. As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve been in email contact with the company prior to your interview, your follow up thank you note can be in email format as well. In rare cases, for more formal organizations (such as some ‘old school’ law or consulting firms) a written thank you may be more appropriate.
but is a paper note more memorable than email?
Let’s face it: most people enjoy receiving and opening letters that aren’t junk mail or bills. A thoughtful paper note can be a nice cap to your interview, but chances are opting for a written note over an email won’t make or break your chances of receiving a job offer.
If you do decide to go with a written note, make sure you’ve got the logistics down – do you have a mailing address for your interviewer, or can you leave a note with a receptionist, if it needs to be delivered more swiftly? Also, be aware of the details like your handwriting and stationery. Is your writing neat and legible? Is the stationery clean and professional? Remember, even if you decide to go with a handwritten thank you note, all the above rules still apply. If you don’t have time to personalize the thank you note in writing, you’re better off going the email route!