Sending a “thank you” note after a job interview is on of the crucial after-interview activities that you MUST do. In this article I’ll address the most frequently asked questions on how and what to send in a thank you note.
Q1: Won’t the employer think that an applicant is desperate if he/she sends a thank-you letter?
A: Who cares! Besides, It is considered as a common way of showing politeness, a gesture of courtesy, one way to outshine the rest of the interviewees, and a way to keep your name upfront.
Q2: Will it not jeopardize the possibility of getting the job?
A: On the contrary, a “thank you” note shows how professional you are. Of course that doesn’t got to all cases. During the job interview you can decide whether it is appropriate or not.
Q3: Can it be handwritten or should it be printed?
A: If you are sending it in the form of a letter a printed one will be better unless your hand writing is one of the job qualifications. Some times a post card is more appropriate, and of course will be handwritten.
Q4: Will it be okay to e-mail the thank you note?
A: A mailed one would be more appropriate unless you had the interview on the phone or through video conference with an interviewer overseas, then a snail mail might arrive too late. However, it depends on the company’s culture. If the people in the company use e-mail in all of their communication and correspondence, then it should be acceptable. This will also apply if the company is into fast decision making when hiring applicants. Always remember that even if e-mails fit in with the culture of the company, it’s still a better idea to follow up the email with a hard copy of your thank you.
Q5: What if I don’t feel I did well in the interview?
A: Now it’s your chance to try to correct it. Applicants who might be on the verge of being hired but suddenly they change their mind or get a better offer. If you don’t sent that “thank you” note another candidate who did might be considered.
Q6: Will a borrowed thank-you letter do?
A: Yes. But make sure to look at the basic structure of the letter. Never plagiarize the whole letter as it may be applicable to the one person but not for the other. Surely, there are employers who can distinguish a thank-you note that has been copied or not.
Q7: If it was a panel interview should thank you letters be sent to all interviewers?
A: Frankly, that’s the best. The same letter to each is as essential as making one for each. All you have to do is to personalize each copy in case the interviewers would bump in to each other and compare the notes they received.
Q8: How soon should a thank-you note be sent?
A: The golden rule is to send thank you notes within 24 hours after the interview.
Q9: What if there’s already an offer before even sending the thank you notes?
A: It’s still better to send the thank you notes as this can be used to accept or decline the offer. This could also be a confirmation of your agreement and/or understanding of the offer they have given (salary, benefits, other compensation, starting date, vacations, etc.), this way any discrepancies can be straightened out before even starting for the job.
If you are going to use a template “thank you” note, always find a way to make it as personalized as possible. Try to think out of the box, you may even adapt what you have observed the interviewer has in the office during the interview.
Whatever method you use, make it fast and professional.