Phew, the interview is over. You put on the suit, shook hands, smiled until your cheeks hurt. You talked about your skills and your background, shared a witty story or two, and slyly threw in a comment about your interviewer’s alma mater. Now what?
One of the first steps in making sure you are remembered in a positive light during the employer’s review process is to properly say thank you for the opportunity. It’s not only proper etiquette, but it gives you a chance to show appreciation and continue building a connection with a potential employer. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.
Write within 24 business hours
The sooner you can write, the better. But don’t rush it; you want to take your time and write a thoughtful email to your interviewer(s). Hastily sending out your correspondence may result in mistakes, something you can’t take back once you press send.
No one is expecting you to email immediately, so relax and take a moment to reflect on the experience. Interviewed on a Friday? You still have the one business day rule in place, so Monday morning should be sufficient. Just remember nowadays many people check work email over the weekend, so a Friday message just might get opened before the start of the week.
Individually acknowledge everyone who interviewed you. If you interview with 3 individuals, you need to compose 3 separate (and different) messages. Before you leave an interview, you should be picking up business cards or asking for an email address. But what if you only got the contact information for part of the team?
If you can’t find an email address through the company website or other means of searching, be sure to relay your thanks through another whose card you were able to attain. This will help you avoid any awkwardness of seeming to forget someone.
Lastly, as someone whose name is never spelled right the first time, I urge you to double check spellings. Even if your interviewer has a very common name, you never know when a “Jon” instead of “John” will trip you up.
Consider a handwritten note
This can be tricky. If you are unable to immediately deliver a handwritten note to a receptionist, let’s say, a few moments after your interview is complete, then skip this idea altogether. But in the era where everything is electronic, a real thank you note can be a classy touch to wrap up your interview. It’s sure to make you stand out.
Keep in mind professional thank you notes are small and simple, many times simply saying “thank you” on the outside. They should not be the size of a regular greeting card, nor should there be a pre-printed message on the inside. It should be blank and awaiting your words.
Mention something memorable from the interview
Did you find out something personal, such as how you share a love of movies? Learn in-depth details about the position? Mention something noteworthy from your experience to help your interviewer really remember you and solidify your rapport. Don’t recall anything too memorable? It’s okay; just keep your message simple. No need to embellish or reach for a false talking point that doesn’t exist.
Reiterate your interest in the position
This only applies if you really want it. If you’re no longer interested, it’s best to be honest about that as well. No need in wasting a manager’s time mulling over your qualifications if you are going to turn down an offer in the end.
If this is definitely a position that interests you, and you’re excited for the chance to move on in the process, say so! This is no time to be shy; be very upfront about your continued interest in the opportunity.