One of the most common mistake of applicants is to consider the end of the interview as the end of the process. When the interview door is closed, they utter a sigh of relief, go home and wait for the phone call. While waiting is hard, at least it’s over.
However, this not the time to rest on your laurels, even if you think your interview was a roaring success. It can take days or weeks before interviewers can make up their mind. You have now the opportunity influence the interviewers and tip the scale in your favor. The interview may be over, but your interview work is not finished. It’s time to send a thank you letter to close the sale.
Snail Mail or E-Mail?
Sending a thank you note after an interview is your most important post-interview task. Weigh carefully whether you should use e-mail or the old-fashioned snail mail. The former can be useful when speed is of the essence, as when you know that you are last candidate interviewed and you know a decision is coming. The downside to e-mail is that its easy to scroll down and ignore your carefully worded letter. Snail mails on the other hand, are so archaic that receiving one would surely stand out in the mind of interviewers. So if you have the luxury of time, let the mailman do his job.
Four Steps To Thank You Emails
Whether by snail mail or e-mail, the process and the content of the letter will be the same. Take this as an opportunity for further communication and another chance to sell yourself. Write a letter consisting of at least 4 paragraphs that discusses each of the following selling point:
1. Thank the interviewer and tell him you much you enjoyed meeting him
2. Tell him how much you are looking forward to working for the company in the position you applied for and that you have the right skills and attitude to do the job
3. Mention the highlights of the interview and selling points (sell your skills!)
4. Close the letter by mentioning when you expect to hear the results, as established during the interview and your availability to come in for a meeting
Do’s and Don’ts
When drafting your letter as recommended above, here are some tips that can help you draft a thank you email that means business:
1. Your thank-you email should be a fresh communication, so avoid quoting your cover letter or resume.
2. Send the email within 24 hours after each interview. This way, the details are still fresh in your and your interviewer’s mind.
3. Address the email directly to the interviewer. If you were interviewed by a panel, send the email to the lead interviewer, then convey your thanks to the other members.
4. There are 2 diverging thoughts on whether or not you should send a thank you note to all the members of the interviewing panel. One is in favor of it, while the other questions the practicality. What if you miss out a person accidentally? The safest way is to send to all only if you are confident that you have the right names. If not, follow tip #3 above.
5. Don’t forget to thank the human resources manager (if you met him or her) and the department manager. They are most likely part of the decision-making process and it would be wise to put yourself in their radars. If not, you will still be working with them in the future, and a note would not harm your cause.
6. When drafting the third step, make a specific reference to something that was discussed in the interview. Chances are he spoke with a lot of people on the same position that you are applying. Referencing to your specific interview will refresh his memory.
7. Make sure that you are sending the thank you email using your personal account. Some people have been known to use their company email, and that’s just in poor taste. A common excuse is that they have no personal email. In this day and age, it’s easy to get one. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to register. Take the time to maintain a personal account. Every working person should have one, unless you plan on being unemployed for the rest of your life. Making this excuse only shows you’re lazy.
8. Do not forget to include all your contact information in your email.
9. Use formal business language and style when drafting your letter. While its an email, its not an excuse to drop the formality. 10. If you have a question that you forgot to ask during the interview, the thank you email is not the place to follow up.
11. But if you think that you left the interview feeling that you failed to answer or gave an incomplete answer, then you can mention it in the thank you letter.
12. Also, if after further reflection, you feel that there are important information that was not discussed in the interview, mention this in the email. Keep it brief and concise. Do not launch into a long-winded discussion and risk losing your reader’s attention. You can insert this right before step #4. If you think its important, suggest another meeting or at least say you are available for further discussion.
13. Make sure that whatever you mention in #12 above will contribute to closing the sale for you. In other words, it should convince the interviewer that you are worthy of being hired. If not, don’t bother putting it in. If you forgot about it, he probably did also.
14. Do not be tempted to send a separate letter even if you think that your omission is important. You will just come across as disorganized and absent-minded.
A lot of people refuse or fail to send one because they think thank you letters are cheesy. Some even think that it looks like you are begging for the job. But remember, what you are doing is selling yourself. And besides, courtesy alone is enough reason to write a thank you letter. Anyway, what is there to lose? At the very least, you managed to put yourself in the forefront of your employer’s mind. And if you don’t get the job, so what, you probably won’t see him again. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So go ahead, write a thank you letter.
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