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How To Write the Perfect Thank You Email After Your Job Interview

How To Write the Perfect Thank You Email After Your Job Interview
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A few things are helpful for a successful job interview: a firm handshake, a winning smile, confidence, and poise. There is also one facet that is often forgotten but just as important for after the interview is over: A Thank You email. While it is a small thing, it can often mean the difference between making a lasting impression that lands you a job or losing the opportunity forever. To make sure your Thank You email lands you in the winners circle, here’s the do’s and don’ts of writing one.

ABC: Always Be Correct

Do:

  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Spell your interviewer’s name correctly

Just like your cover letter and resume, this should reflect a professional, courteous tone and show that you know what you are doing. No matter what the job entails, an employer wants to know that you take everything you do seriously. By crafting an intelligent letter that shows you know how to spell and where to put a period says that you respect them, their company, and the job.

Don’t:

  • Write casually
  • Use slang, colloquialisms, or any obscenities
  • Address the letter “To Whom it May Concern”

Even if you connected instantly with the person who interviewed you and the two of you just shot the breeze like old chums or drinking buddies, your Thank You email should not act like they are your pal. This is still a person who is to be respected. A letter that is too casual says you aren’t taking the job seriously. Even worse, if you behave as if you have no idea who they are their opinion of you will rapidly cool.

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Get Personal

Do:

  • Mention a point of the interview that you enjoyed.
  • Use the interviewer’s name and title.

A person likes to feel that they made an impression. As such, they want to know what you thought after you have had time to ruminate on the interview. While you don’t want to be overly familiar, you do want to make sure they recall who you are and show them you went above and beyond in writing a personal message to them.

Don’t:

  • Be too cold.
  • Give them advice or complaints.
  • Give them a form email.

While you should be telling them that you enjoyed meeting with them and showing that you have reflected on the company and how you might better fit into the job, don’t give any hint that you didn’t like them, the company, or the position. You want no negative comments. You want to help mold their sense of you by presenting yourself as positive, happy, and a good listener. Stay professional, but don’t be distant or icy.

Be Professional

Do:

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  • Keep it brief.
  • Make your tone mature.
  • Express your enthusiasm.

Remember first and foremost that this person is busy. You are writing to thank them for their time, not take up more of it. This should read like professional correspondence that makes your point and then signs off. Be excited but don’t gush or wax rhapsodic about how much you love their company. It sounds insincere.

Don’t:

  • Ramble.
  • Disclose too much about yourself.
  • Lie.

You should be highlighting the best points of the interview but don’t slather the letter in effusive kindness. Your emotional content should be limited to being pleased to have met them, glad for the opportunity, and hope to hear from them in the future. They don’t need your life story, they don’t want to hear a tale you think is prevalent, and they don’t want to be buttered up. Simple, genial, and straightforward is all that is needed.

Put the Ball in Their Court

Do:

  • Include a call to action on their part.
  • Restate your interest in the job.
  • Ensure they have your contact information.

While you are thanking them, part of the point of a Thank You email is to make it clear that action on their part is now required. You should be assertive, though not aggressive, in saying you look forward to speaking with them in the future or asking them to contact you when they have reached a decision. Include your phone number and email address so there is no reason they could possibly have for not reaching you.

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Don’t:

  • Just say “Thank you.”
  • Close the matter.

A Thank You email should not be conclusive. You want them to feel as if it is their move. If you just end your letter with “Thank you for your time” you make the matter sound closed. Therefore they can feel good as they throw your letter away. Leave the end as open as possible with a tone that anticipates a reply from them.

Thank Everyone

Do:

  • Thank anyone who interviewed with you.
  • Thank people even if they rejected you.

If you have multiple interviews with various people within a company, send a “Thank You” email to all of them. A mistake that many applicants make is to only thank the top boss or the highest ranking person in the office who spoke with them. This shows you aren’t a team player. Also, showing courtesy to someone – even if they turned you down at the end of the interview – shows them you can take a hit without losing class. It will keep you in their mind for future positions or other people they know who might need your skills.

Don’t

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  • Leave anyone out.

When it comes to giving thanks, no one should be forgotten. If you have the chance to thank the secretary who took you into the meeting, do it. People in a company who seem small often wield immense power and influence. If you can make them remember you, like you, and consider you an enjoyable person, your resume is much less likely to be forgotten.

Even if things didn’t go well, you can always recover from a bad job interview with a great Thank You email.

Featured photo credit: Infrogmation of New Orleans via upload.wikimedia.org

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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