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How To Write A Perfect Post-Interview Thank-You

How To Write A Perfect Post-Interview Thank-You Note

Let’s say you just had a great interview. You nailed all of the questions, you clicked with the hiring manager, and best of all, the job is an excellent fit for your skillset. However, the unthinkable occurs, and you never hear back! What gives? Believe it or not, thousands of candidates are thrown in the “reject” pile for one simple reason: they didn’t send a thank-you note.

While this gesture may seem small and maybe even antiquated, it could be the one thing that sets you apart from dozens of other interviewees. In fact, 57% of job candidates don’t send thank-you notes. So it may be just the thing to help you stand out. And if it’s that important, you want to write one that will knock it out of the park, right? Just follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to a post-interview thank-you note that just may seal the deal.

Be Timely

It is essential that you send your thank-you note within 24 hours. Ideally, you would send it the same day as your interview and even better if you send one within 1 or 2 hours. You want your email to hit the hiring manager’s inbox when you are still fresh in their minds. That way, they can make a positive association between your interview, your graciousness, and the fact that you’re on top of the ball.

Keep It Short

Hiring Managers have a ton on their plates. As much as they appreciate a thank-you note, they do not want to read a novel! A few short sentences should do the trick. Any longer and you risk them skipping over it entirely. 

Customize It

Your thank-you note should be customized to the person you interviewed with. (Yes, that means if you had a group interview, you need to send separate emails!) So, try to reference specific points from your meeting. You can elaborate on an idea, refer to a personal commonality, or even just share a moment that really resonated with you.

BONUS: Here’s a template for a great post-interview thank-you note:

Hi {Hiring Manager’s Name},

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. It was great to learn more about {Company Name}, and the {Job Title} position. I was particularly intrigued by {new campaign, aspect of the job, or fact about the company mentioned during the interview}. The possibility of joining the {Company Name} team and assisting you in making an impact is very exciting.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps in the hiring process. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.

Have a great weekend,

{Your Name}

Looking for more interviewing and job-search advice? Explore our candidate resources!

Thank You For Not Hiring Me

Thank You For Not Hiring Me

Thank You For Not Hiring Me

Have you ever interviewed for your dream job and not been offered the position? Most of us have experienced this at one point or another. Have you ever written a thank you note to the hiring manager for “not giving you the position?” Probably not! Well, times are changing in this candidate driven market, and while we might never know exactly why we were turned down, you can still prove that you are a value to the company. How you ask? Write a thank you note to the hiring manager for “not hiring you.”

Last month, I gave this advice to a close friend who was turned down for her dream job. She called me crying and couldn’t understand why they didn’t choose her. She was a perfect fit for the job.  I suggested she write a simple note thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity to interview and for sharing information about the company and its culture. Short, simple, and not trying to sell herself. She did just that and exactly two weeks later the hiring manger called her out of the blue and offered her the position. She started seven days later and her first day was greeted with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on her desk.

The following week I had a candidate interview for a position with a top client of mine. After the interview, I was informed they were choosing another candidate who had just slightly more experience.  Heavy hearted, I called my candidate to break the news.  I advised her to write a thank you note to the hiring manager for not giving her the job. She wrote a beautiful note thanking the hiring manager for her time, for the opportunity with such a wonderful organization and to please consider her in the future. Two days later, out of the blue, I received an email from the hiring manager informing me that they had just created a new position for my candidate and would like her to start immediately.

This is the power of thanking someone for “not hiring you.”  No one else is doing it and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! So far, this strategy has worked 100% of the time for those I advised. The next time you get turned down for a job, write a thank you note and wait by the phone. You may just get that dream job after all!

Why Is The Thank-You Email So Important?

Thank You

Let’s first look at a couple things that got you to that point and why the thank-you email is so critical to moving your candidacy to the top of the list.

First, you responded to a phone call, LinkedIn message, or email from  the recruiter (that’s me).  That is a good first step.  After you convinced me that you have the skills needed, we presented you to the client and they in turn loved your skill set.  So the HR team had a quick 30 min phone call with you to make sure you weren’t lying on your resume.  That’s good, because you passed that test with flying colors. Finally, you were moved on to the face to face interview with the hiring manager.

Let’s keep in mind that the hiring manager has seen about 30+ resumes from the internal recruiting team along with another 20+ from the other external recruiters.  From these, they chose to see the best of the best (that’s you).   Looking at this from the hiring manager’s view point, they don’t care where you came from (unless it is a small organization), so you are just one of the 3-4 candidates they chose to interview.  This is where things get interesting, as a great recruiter will help you prep for the interview with company insights, best interviewing tips, top interviewing questions to ask, etc.  But the one thing most neglect to touch on is the thank-you email.  As an afterthought, they say, “oh yeah, don’t forget to send it!”

So you got through the interview, you love the opportunity and the hiring manager is great and you can definitely see yourself working for them.  You leave the interview pumped and the hiring manager leaves the interview impressed, but where do you fall within the top 4 that they are interviewing?  Again with a great recruiter, you will know how many they are interviewing and if you are first, in the middle or last interviewee.  It’s important to know that as well.  If you are first you want to make sure to leave a lasting impression that all others are compared too.  If you are last, you want to be the freshest in their mind.  In the middle, you want to stand above the rest and become the new standard by which they are comparing the rest of the interviewee’s.  How do you do that? Through the often overlooked power of the thank-you.

We have seen how the thank-you can thrust you to the top of a candidate pool.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate masterpiece of writing to the hiring manager.  You just have to thank them for their valuable time and again tell them how much you can see yourself working for a great leader at this organization.

How exactly does a prompt thank-you note show the hiring manager you should be at the top of the candidate list?  Think about this… who is going to respond to the hiring manager’s request for something first down the road?  Who is not only showing they have the drive to succeed, but that they also follow up on the discussions with actions?  Who is truly showing the initiative that they want this opportunity?  That’s right, you are.

I’m sure some skeptics are saying, that sounds great and all, but what if you don’t have the hiring managers email address?  That is where I come in as your recruiter.  I work directly with the hiring managers and I interact with them constantly through email, text, and phone calls.  You generate the email directed to the hiring manager and send it to me and I can forward that directly to the hiring manager as soon as I get it.  My job is to make sure you have the skills the client is looking for and ensure you have the best interview tools to put you at the top of the list.  This is only one aspect of the interview process that will help you, but it definitely makes an immediate impact every time.