The Do’s and Don’t’s of Job Interview Thank You Notes

Posted April 16, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

Repeat after me (no, seriously, do it): the thank you note is not dead. Recently, it seems many believe it is. In my own hiring practices at Career Girl Network, and from countless friends who hire regularly, I’ve heard stories this year about interviewees who fail to send a thank you of any kind after a meeting. In a world of quick decision making and one where elementary school students no longer learn cursive writing, it might seem a thank you note is superfluous. It’s not.

So today, we’re giving you the do’s and don’t’s of interview thank you notes.

Thank You Notes: DO’S

  • SEND ONE! It doesn’t matter if it’s via email or a handwritten note. It really is the thought (and herein the action) that counts.
  • Send one to each person you interview with. It’s not enough just to thank the hiring manager. Thank everyone who interviewed you.
  • Reiterate your strengths. The thank you note isn’t just to say thank you, it’s also to say “here’s why I’m awesome, remember?” Take the opportunity to remind the interviewer that you’re a great fit for the team.

Thank You Notes: DON’T’S

  • Write it ahead of time. You should tailor your thank you note to what was said and discussed during your interview. Don’t write a generic note prior to the interview.
  • Snail mail it if the decision will be made this week. Hopefully, you’ve asked the question about the next steps in the process. If the decision will be made in the next 3-5 days, don’t send your thank you via USPS. It might not get there in time. While handwritten notes are more professional, email is entirely acceptable with tight timelines.
  • Assume you have the job. Some people skip the thank you because they believe they “have it in the bag.” Bad idea! You never know how long you’re being judged. Keep your best foot forward right up until the end (and hopefully well into the job!)

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."