We all know, that a job interview does not only take a few moments of your life, as it is, in fact, a huge investment: you need to look for the positions, check on the available ones, do some research on the office or agency you are applying for a job position at, think your answers through and find the most suitable outfit. Not as easy, as writing a school essay, right? However, it takes some struggle and a great deal of time for the organizers to meet you, too, so it would be a good gesture to send them a thank you letter after this meeting. Not only it is polite, it can be compared to a sip of good wine that leaves a pleasant aftertaste when the main bouquet of taste has vanished. Moreover, 75% of interviewers confirmed that a thank you letter influences their decision while selecting a candidate, which is always a good thing to know.
Why Do People Do This?
It is done as a sign of gratitude and respect. It is not even about the job: you never know when your paths can cross, and it will be good to leave a good impression. However, of course, it might influence the process of coming up with the final solution, but it is just a possibility and should not be counted on.
How Should It Be Sent? Are There any Time Frames?
What is better: sending a handwritten note (or a printed one) using regular post or a simple e-mail? It is advised to use your electronic mail for this purpose due to at least two reasons. First of all, it takes approximately a few days for the letter to be received, not mentioning the time it is going to be read through. It will be better to send the e-mail the next day after the interview, and the regular letter just will not make it within the short time. Secondly, some of the companies that are aiming at progress might consider such a gesture to be a style with the scent of good old days, which is not bad overall, but is not what they are looking for.
Ten Things to Not Include in Such Letter
- Do not refuse from the position. The aim of these letters is different, moreover, you were not offered a job yet. If you were not impressed, do not take time to write anything at all.
- Do not make attempts to sell yourself. You should not ask the manager to let someone else know you are well-skilled and willing to work. Firstly, it is not professional. Secondly, it means you are already looking for other options, the logical conclusion of which is that you are not going to take the position. Lastly, it is a cheap trick and the way to make other people take your responsibilities.
- Do not leave any typos. Probably, no explanation is needed for this one.
- Avoid adding general praises. You can briefly mention, what was special about the interview and how it influenced you, but do not say that someone is nice, great or pleasant as you hardly had a chance to evaluate their personality quite deeply.
- No apologies for mistakes. The letter is meant to leave a good impression, and reminding of the flaws will only add to the list of them.
- Do not ask for favors. It is a thank you letter, not a thank you and please do me a favor letter, so be aware of that.
- Do not criticize. It is not a time for a negative feedback even if something went wrong at some point.
- Do not bring up your salary. This question should be discussed when you are offered a position, mailbox is not a place to bargain.
- Do not sound desperate. It is not easy to find a good job, but hiring process is about looking for the best candidate and not about charity, so your aim is to show you are the perfect person for them and nothing more.
- Do not apologize for the skills you lack. It is not the right time to underline that you are lacking something: if you are, the manager had a chance to notice it.
What to Include in the Context?
There are three factors you need to cover in your letter:
- Expression of gratitude that an interviewer spent time to talk to you personally;
- Listing down something you were impressed most about the meeting (a hint is to remind some of the moments, so they refresh the impression of you);
- Repeating that you are interested in the position and are looking forward to find out if you are what they look for.
There are a few more “dont's” you should keep in mind while writing an e-mail. First of all, do not make it informal. It is still a part of the first impression puzzle the interviewer will get about you, so it will be better to avoid any smileys and slang words, they do not leave an impression of a serious person and a good candidate. Secondly, do not make it too long, two or three paragraphs will be perfect to cover the points required. The last one is, of course, do not send the e-mail without a check and proofreading. Of course, Microsoft Word can do some work for you, but do not rely on it completely.
Here is another secret to come up with a decent e-mail. You can play a game and imagine to be about to receive such a note. Is there anything you consider to be worth to include in such a letter? What would catch your eye and evoke warm feelings towards the person who has sent it to you? First of all, write this letter to yourself instead of thinking about the receiver. Once you are done, read it and adjust it if needed.
What to Do Next?
Actually, at the point you have sent the e-mail the only thing left is to hold on and wait for the response. Do not expect to get it right away, but if more than about ten days have passed and you did not hear anything from the company, you can ask for any updates. Do not take this as a signal to send dozens of e-mails every day, just one kind reminder will be enough. Being annoying will not do you any good.