Thank You Notes
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Companies differ in their expectation of a thank you note after
an interview. In some offices, interviewers take offense at the
absence of a note and malign negligent interviewees. In other offices,
politeness is a superfluous rather than central part of the culture.
Rather than spending your time deciphering the expectations of your
interviewers, invest in making the thank you note clinch your candidacy.
You should consider the content of your thank
you letter as carefully as you considered the content of your cover
In addition to showing appreciation for the time
of the interviewer and establishing another point of contact, your
thank you letter should include a reaffirmation of your particular
value to the company now that you have more information about the
job. Use the note to market yourself. By referencing specific concerns
and needs of the company as expressed by the interviewer, you show
the interviewer again that you paid close attention to what she
said. By citing particular ways in which you can address those needs
and concerns, you do the work of connecting the job requirements
with your job skills. Making connections between yourself and the
job not only fortifies your aptness for the position, but it also
tangibly demonstrates your interest in the position. The greater
care you take to customize the note, the more personally it will
affect the interviewer. For this reason, it is also helpful to comment
on something specific that you appreciated about the interviewer
or what she said. (Note: be sure that your comments are appropriate
If there is something important that you forgot
to mention during the interview, you think there might have been
a point of miscommunication, or the interviewer indicated concern
over some aspect of your qualifications, you can address these in
the thank you note. When doing so, be certain that your tone is
positive, forthright, and confident.
Consider a sample thank you note:
Dear Mr. Thompson:
Thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday. Your
dedication to ensuring that clients receive what they need from
Svens Consulting in the timeframe they need it is admirable
and makes me confident that I would fit into the culture at
After speaking with you, I reflected on some of the skills and
qualities you indicated are most important in this position:
analytical acuity, project management, flexibility, and the
ability to establish strong relationships with clients. In my
experience as project manager overseeing the delivery of complicated
knowledge management systems to five major clients, my success
depended on these same skills. You had mentioned that miscommunication
between Sven's and your clients periodically causes glitches
in providing services. Since I am adept at developing a strong
rapport with clients, understanding their objectives and expectations,
and keeping communication lines open, I would immediately add
value to the team at Svens.
In short, Pat, I am convinced that the Director position would
be a good career move for me and that I would contribute to
the success of Svens. I look forward to hearing from you.
Not only does the thank you note communicate
respect for the employer and reaffirm your case as a candidate,
but it also provides you with an easy excuse for calling the employer
again. When you make sure that the note arrived, you can take the
opportunity to discuss certain aspects of the position, ask the
interviewer whether he or she has any additional questions for you,
and reaffirm your interest in the job.
Thank you note reminders:
- Send the note within 24 hours of the interview if you send
it via the mail service and 48 hours of the interview if you
send it digitally.
- Send one note to each person who interviewed you. The interviewers
will likely compare your notes.
- Make the note personal, but professional.
- Keep the tone positive and confident.
- Keep the note brief; use your words economically.
- Refer to specific things that the interviewer said during
- Reaffirm how you can add value to the company.
- Be certain that there are no grammatical or spelling errors
in the note.
- Follow up the thank you letter with a phone call a week
later, if you have not heard from the employer.