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The post-interview thank-you note (in scope, it should be more of a note than a letter) serves at least three purposes. First, it shows courtesy, thus adding to whatever rapport you accomplished in the interview. This is important, because a major question in the interviewer’s mind, entirely apart from your technical skills, is whether you’ll be a nice person to work with. You can reinforce this impression by handwriting the message on attractive note stationery, rather than on a sterile 8 by 11 sheet of paper. If your handwriting is truly atrocious, get someone else to pen the note; or perhaps you can figure out a way to feed the stationery into your printer and then hand-write your signature. Don’t use stationery that’s so flowery or cutesy that it’s inappropriate for a business setting.

The second purpose the note serves is to give you a chance to make comments that might reinforce the interviewer’s impression of your technical skills or that might dispel some negative information about you that came out during the interview. Every job-seeker comes out of an interview thinking, “I wish I had remembered to say x,” or “I wish I had answered that question better.” In the context of a note, you have limited space to correct these omissions or gaffes, so choose your words carefully and don’t overburden the note. The note can’t be an after-the-fact substitute for an inadequate resume or cover letter, although it may refer to what was written there.

The third purpose for the note is to indicate your interest in and enthusiasm for the job. Tone is important here. You have to project confidence in your qualifications and not come across as needy.

One other purpose this note sometimes serves is to mention any relevant information that has come out since the interview. For example, if you received another job offer or the Employee of the Month award, this is something you would want your interviewer to know.

Unless you know that the hiring decision will be made very quickly (and usually it takes longer than the interviewer says it will), you should wait a few days before sending the note, lest you appear to lack confidence in your performance at the interview.

These comments apply equally well no matter what your industry is or what level of job you were interviewed for. The only exception worth mentioning is the graphic arts industry, which would call for special attention to the visual appeal of the note.

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Comment by Carrie Robinson on May 17, 2011 at 11:15pm

Glen, you have never been a Hope you are well!


Comment by Glen M Hall Jr on May 17, 2011 at 11:11pm
Kinda late here.. good stuff. Also, interesting comment about waiting a few days.   I think the comment below to balance being 'persistent' without being a 'pest' is key.
Comment by Carrie Robinson on April 6, 2011 at 10:59am

Yes, I agree and like your comments.  Employers know when you give thought to your note and show your passion.  If you want the job, then give 'em the FUP - Follow Up With Passion.  Remember, it is part of the interview process.


I will say it feels great when someone follows up with a thank you.  I had it happen the other day and it was so nice to get a heartfelt thank you.  Sincere thank you's separate the people who go the extra mile from those who don't.

Comment by Laurence Shatkin on April 6, 2011 at 10:52am
A young friend of mine questioned my suggestion to wait a few days before sending the note. I agree that you have to decide on an appropriate interval based on your feel for the chemistry of the interview. Some recruiters regard a quick follow-up as a positive sign of interest in the job. Just this week I noted this comment in a New York Times interview with Chris Cunningham, co-founder and C.E.O. of Appssavvy, a social media-focused marketing firm: "We look for people who really want the job. And that sounds really simple to say, but some of the most important people in the organization who shine and are really transformative people were the ones who were almost jumping out of the chair, saying: 'I have to be here. I’ve been studying this company. This is all I’ve ever wanted. And if I’m not here, I’m not going to be happy.' Those individuals took that extra step as well to follow through after the interview. We watch how quickly the person follows through, and how much thought they put into how they want to contribute. But how badly do they want the job — I can’t stress that piece enough"
Comment by Aidan J Byrne on April 4, 2011 at 4:50pm
Follow up in communication that is what I need to do. I am working on it. Thank you Aidan
Comment by Carrie Robinson on April 1, 2011 at 4:59am
Thank you, thank you!  This is so important...thank you!


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