The interview’s over, and you’re pretty sure you aced it. Now how do you seal the deal, and convince a prospective employer to follow their hunch and hire you? The answer may be simpler than you think: A well-written thank-you.
Opinions are hotly divided on the topic of the post-interview email. Some hiring managers say they’re a waste of time. Others say a job candidate’s failure to send a thank-you email is grounds for immediate disqualification. What all can agree on, at least, is that a good follow-up email probably won’t hurt your chances — but a bad one most certainly will.
Improve Their Impression of You
In sending a post-interview thank-you, the most important thing to remember is to treat it like an extension of the interview itself. By sending a hiring manager or recruiter one last message, you are essentially asking them to step back into the room with you, even if that room is a Gmail inbox.
Make sure you recognize that fact, and treat it with the same amount of respect and attention you would ask of them. You need to be confident without being cocky, polite without being sycophantic, and most of all, you should aim to improve upon the impression of you they already have from the interview. Today many businesses are seriously considering their options on whether they want to hire an employee or a contractor, full-time or part time. It’s important to remind your interviewer why they should seriously consider you for the open position – based on your terms.
Phew! That’s a lot to manage.
Luckily, the example below provides a perfect template to start from, according to Dr. Deborah Good of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business.
1. The professional tone will safely cover specific requirements for salutations
It’s difficult to figure out whether a female professional is married or single by just looking at their name. Keeping your greeting professional with the “Ms.” title safely covers both. Determining the recipient’s professional title or designation is important to keep in mind when drafting your letter.
2. The opening paragraph will grab your interviewer’s attention
The opening paragraph of the example letter clearly thanks the interviewer, not just for the interview, but also for the pleasant environment they created. Compliments will keep the reader engaged and prompt them to continue reading your letter.
3. Your word choice demonstrates your ability to assimilate well with the business environment
This should be obvious, but be sure to refrain from using slang, lingo and curse words. Use terms that reflect the business environment of the position you’re applying for.
4. Being direct allows you to keep it “short and sweet”
Keeping the body of your letter direct will remind the interviewer of specific topics discussed during your interview, without belaboring the point. Your letter should maintain the overall goal of business communication: to be precise and concise.
5. Specific references to your characteristics will leave a stronger lasting impression
There is a strong likelihood that your interviewers have conducted numerous interviews with several other job candidates throughout the course of the day. Your thank you letter will help them recall who you are better. Did you mention during your interview that you enjoyed boating? Or that you used to be a bowling champion at age 10? Maybe you found out you were from the same hometown as your interviewer? Mention them.
6. The closing paragraph will summarize the overall thank-you letter
The closing paragraph will summarize the overall letter, but will also clearly mention when the hiring decision will be made. Your follow up letter highlights your professionalism, which will now cause your interviewer to extend the same amount of professionalism to you by responding to you within the aforementioned deadline.