Are Post Interview Thank You Notes Important?

Continue the interview long after you’ve left the office by sending a thank you note.

If you have ever wondered about the importance of writing a thank you note after an interview, I can tell you, without question, it matters.  I have clients that take special notice when a candidate fails to follow up. A well written, grammatically correct and thoughtful thank you note may be the difference in getting an offer or at least another interview.   Long after you have left the premises, this is your way of leaving a lasting, positive impression.

 

Every interview counts

While the content of your thank you letter matters, it is the thought and even the effort that counts. Taking the time to write a personalized note, to each reader, communicates how much you appreciate their time and how much this opportunity matters to you. Whether you met with 3, 6 or even 9 people, they should all receive a note.   The notes may follow the same format but they should capture something unique to each conversation.

 

Thank you notes in the digital age

Thank you notes need to be short and to the point. It is also acceptable to send these messages via e-mail.  Promptness matters and in this digital age, the sooner you get back to people, the better. When you think about composing your messaging, it is important to tell people how much you appreciate their time, consideration and their willingness to meet with you.  You want to recognize the value of what they shared and what you were able to learn. Writing a thank you note is also a way for you to reinforce your interest and qualifications.   Hopefully, you learned a lot during the interview so you can speak specifically to what they care most about.

 

4 easy steps to writing an effective thank you letter

 

Step 1. Say “thank you”

In the first paragraph, you are saying thank you and expressing your interest.  Take the time to include something unique to the conversation you had with the interviewer(s). Taking the time to acknowledge someone for their time goes a long way.

Step 2. Highlight your Accomplishments

The second paragraph is where you reinforce what makes you a great candidate. When you highlight your accomplishments, think about what you heard during your interviews and what problems need to be solved.  Present accomplishments that reinforce the immediate value you can bring to the organization. This is an opportunity for you to address relative strengths and accomplishments that didn’t come up during the interview. The more you can quantify your examples, the better.

Step 3. Address the company culture

The third paragraph is where you comment on your fit with the culture. A company’s biggest strength can be its people, and it’s important to make sure you’re both entering into a mutually beneficial relationship. Talk about what values you share and how you complement the company’s vision.

Step 4. Reinforce your interest

 The fourth paragraph is where you restate your interest and keen desire to hear back. The Thank You Note can be used to address relative strengths and accomplishments that didn’t come up during the interview. All of this may help you move to the next step in the process. 

 

Here’s a formatted example of a post-interview thank you note that you may find helpful:

Dear Mr./Ms. XXX,

Thank you for meeting with me today to discuss the XYZ position.  I enjoyed our conversation and I am very excited about the possibility of joining your team.

As I listened to you describe the challenges and opportunities associated with this role, I believe I am a very good fit.  

1)   Example one

2)   Example two

3)   Example three

4)   Example four

As someone who enjoys building relationships and being part of a team, I would enjoy being part of the XYZ culture.

Again, thank you for taking the time to meet with me and considering me for this exciting opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Your name

 

Finally, make sure you proofread your letter carefully. This letter represents the quality of the work you’d bring to your prospective employer. Typos and grammatical errors are unprofessional and sloppy and can cost you the job.  Trust me, I’ve seen that happen often.

 

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