Get your dream job by using proper etiquette and wowing the hiring manager! Here you’ll learn how to write killer post-interview thank you notes.
Let’s face it the job interview process has become increasingly chaotic in the past few years.
Gone are the days of only interviewing in person, with video interviews and phone interviews a common part of the hiring process.
When you get through your first-round interview, you may assume the hard part is done.
But how you respond in the days after the interview can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager.
Here is our short guide on how to write a killer post-interview thank you note:
Sending “Thank You” Messages
The traditional practice of sending thank you messages through paper mail has not died out. There are still instances where a hand written thank you note can be very thoughtful.
But in the fast moving and busy world of hiring managers and human resources, not every piece of mail may be read on time. It can be a lot easier to get someone’s attention through a thoughtful email.
Unlike postal mail, thank you emails can be sent almost immediately. Within a few hours of your phone, video or in-person interview, the hiring manager will get your email. It is also less effort, as you do not need to hand write a note, print out a document, or visit the post office to mail the letter!
Such a quick turnaround can also give you an advantage when competing for jobs, because many positions are filled quickly after a round of interviews. The hiring manager may be deciding on the position the very day of your interview!
What Every “Thank You” Message Should Contain
The goal of a thank you message is to politely and personally mention how you are grateful for the opportunity to interview for a job. It shows hiring managers that you are polite, courteous and thoughtful.
As a rough guide, it can be helpful to try and include these five components in every thank you message that you send:
- Describe your appreciation for the interview.
- Mention a specific event during the interview, or topics discussed.
- Reiterate why you are so excited about the open position that is being filled.
- Discuss why you are the ideal fit for the job.
- An outline of the next steps.
If there is one component of the post-interview thank you message that can be generic, it is the first few lines. The opening line should be your way of addressing the interviewer, such as “Dear [interviewer].”
The next few lines should mention why you are grateful for the opportunity to interview for the position. Mention that you were happy to talk over the job. These lines should be different based on whether you had a phone, video or in-person interview.
For instance, saying “I am grateful that we got to meet and discuss the position,” would sound silly if you had a phone interview!
Mentioning Parts of the Interview
A telltale sign of a generic thank you note is when it does not contain anything relevant to the interview.
Everyone assumes their generic thank you note is special. But hiring managers do this for a living. They read hundreds of thank you messages a month. An interviewer can spot a generic note a mile away!
After your first few sentences showing appreciation for the opportunity, segue into a specific part of the interview.
You can mention skills or opportunities at the company that you discussed in the meeting. Or you could show how much you appreciated a specific action or comment from the interviewer.
Describe Your Excitement for the Job
A thank you message is not only about showing appreciation. It is also a final chance to pitch yourself as someone who desperately wants to work for their company.
With a couple of sentences, try to explain why you care so much about the job opening. How is your desire for the position different from the 20 or 30 other people who are also interviewing?
Discuss Why You’re Fit for the Position
Mention the skills you bring to the table, your previous experiences and how they have prepared you for the role, and why you are the ideal person to take on this job.
Instead of adding new facts to the post-interview thank you note, think of it as a chance to reiterate what you already discussed in the interview. You have already pitched your case for the job – now you have a few more lines to drive home the message!
Outlining the Next Steps
In the last paragraph of your thank you note, mention how you are reachable via email and phone for a follow up. Say that you look forward to hearing from them soon about the position.
You can also include any other personal details at the bottom, such as your LinkedIn profile, social media accounts or website URL. Adding such links will encourage the interviewer to see what information you have posted online, giving them an insight into your personality, skills and fit for the position.
Say More with Less
It can be tempting to write a very long thank you note. You have so much on your mind, especially if the interview was fun and exciting!
But put yourself in the shoes of an interviewer or hiring manager. They have so many applications to read, interviews to conduct and emails to get through. Do they have time to read paragraphs from each person?
Your thank you note should not be more than three short paragraphs, which is why mastering the art of saying more with fewer words is so critical.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Proofreading and editing are critical components of writing a thank you note. Imagine if you sent a message to an interviewer with a spelling mistake that completely changed the meaning of what you were saying!
Editing can help you cut down on the length of your thank you note. Instead of a full page, you should be able to trim it to half a page of meaty sentences. By taking each lengthy sentence and condensing it as much as possible, you can still sound thoughtful, original and enthusiastic in your note.
Proofread the entire letter one time before hitting send. Try to put it through a spelling and grammar checker, as those can help catch any silly mistakes that you may not have noticed!
Common Post-Interview Mistakes to Avoid
In the excitement of interviewing for a job and corresponding with your interviewer, mistakes can be made that have lasting consequences. It is why we put together a little list of post-interview mistakes to avoid:
1. Stalking Interviewers
There is a very thin line between being eager to get a job and stalking the person who is conducting interviews. Sending one follow up email is thoughtful and polite.
Emailing them more than one time can make you come across as annoying. Calling them on top of sending emails will only increase their frustration towards you.
The urge to hear from an interviewer is very real! We have all been in that position. You are dying to know if you got the job – but you must exercise patience!
Remember that part of interviewing and sending thank you notes is showing the interviewer that you would be an asset around the company. If you come across as nagging and annoying, it creates the opposite impression you want to make.
2. Incriminating Social Profiles
Be very careful about the social media profiles you link in your job application or post-interview thank you note. If you are giving away your Facebook and/or Instagram account, ensure there are no incriminating posts, pictures or videos present.
When making these decisions, consider the company where you want to work. What is their work culture? Are they a hip company that does not care if you have pictures that show you drinking at a bar or club? Or would they consider such photos unprofessional?
3. Waiting Too Long to Send an Email
Do not wait three or four days to send a thank you email after your interview. It makes you look lazy and unprofessional. It gives the impression that you do not see the job as a priority in your life.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
By adding a killer thank you note to your repertoire, you will be ready for your next round of interviews!
The excellent application you sent, polite demeanor during the interview and interesting discussions you had will be supplemented with your thank you message. It is a way of reminding the interviewer about your credentials, which keeps you at the “top of their mind” as they make a decision on who to hire.
Sending the first few thank you notes may seem daunting. You are not sure if you were polite enough, while you may be worried that you rambled too much! But you will soon get the hang of it.
Before you know it, sending a polite and personal thank you note will be second nature to you!
Here at Work It Sister, I’ll help you to be career confident and become a perfect candidate and get noticed by recruiters. I’ll show you how to write an amazing resume, raise your game online with a fantastic Linkedin profile, increase your job search success and get you ready to interview to get the job you want, get a promotion or move up the career ladder.
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- 5 Absolute Essentials To Ace an Interview Plus “Do’s and Don’ts”
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- How to Identify Your Personal Brand and Why You Need One
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