How important is it to send a thank you letter after an interview?
-Thankful Job Seeker
Dear Thankful Job Seeker:
“In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.” – Anatole Broyaird
There is hardly anyone out there who has not experienced the pleasure of receiving a letter, and while it was incredibly common in the not-so-distant past, the practice has slowly diminished.
There are four main reasons to send a thank you letter:
1. Plain good manners
It is common courtesy to thank the interviewer for taking out the time to interview you. Since interviews are a formal process, the act of sending out a letter, is very much appreciated by interviewers. In fact, some employers might even think less of candidates who fail to send out one. At the very least, it could be the deciding reason to hire you versus a just-as-competent candidate.
2. Make a lasting impression
After an employer is done with interviewing dozens of candidates, you run the risk of being forgotten. A note is your chance to remind them why you are the best match for this position. Highlight your skills or refer to topics that were discussed during the interview.
3. Recover gracefully
Say you get stumped by a question during the interview, this will be your chance to reclaim the top spot by answering satisfactorily. Let’s say the worst happens and you run late to the interview, you can follow-up and right this ship by referencing it in your note.
4. Ask follow-up questions
If you weren’t able to ask any follow-up questions during the interview, now would be a good opportunity to get them answered. Asking specific questions shows that you are eager, and this is not just another interview to you.
In short, a thank you note is absolutely necessary to send after you have been interviewed.