One online job expert warns job seekers that they MUST write a thank you note after a job interview or face the prospect of being eliminated completely from the next round of interviews – and the job. Now I have to tell you that my sensors go off when I see words like “must” or “have to” or “always”.
The expert went on to tell a story of a hiring manager she knows who eliminates any candidate who does not send a thank you note. Really? Even if this candidate fits the job in every way and everyone she met with during the interview process liked her? If this is true, I have to say that I wouldn’t want to work for that hiring manager!
When you are looking to fill a job opening, sometimes you get lucky and find more than one great candidate. Maybe in that case, the lack of a thank you letter could be the deciding reason. Maybe. But I sure would hope that even in that case, the hiring team would look for qualities other than after-interview note writing that make the person the best fit.
So after all that, do you need to send a thank you note?
OK. I made my point about using “always”. And about rigid rules. Truth is, I’ve hired many people who never sent a thank you letter who turned out to be great employees. And some of the people who did send thank you notes raised an extra concern because of the way it was written or the grammar and spelling. So just any thank you note doesn’t necessarily win you points.
But all that said, a short, well-written thank you for the interview note, can’t hurt. And it may help. Bonus points perhaps if you say something about an idea raised in the interview or telling about something not discussed related to the job that may leave a memorable impression. Just remember to keep it short, sweet and respectful.
So, yes … by all means go ahead and send the thank you letter or thank you email. (A handwritten note may be a nice touch, depending on the type of job – and your handwriting.) But please don’t think that because you forgot to send a thank you note that you are out of the running. Except for a rare few cases, it’s not going to lose you the job. It’s just a nice thing.
Still, why risk it?
Help before, during & after your interview:
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