|  November 17, 2014

When should I send a thank you note after an interview

Q&A Monday again! Today’s post will be short and sweet, but I had 2 clients ask me this question last week so I assumed others might be wondering as well.

Q: When should I send a thank you note after an interview?

A: Within 24 hours of the interview

Why? Well, the primary purpose of a thank you note is to actually show someone gratitude for the time they took to speak with you. The more prompt you can be, the better so send the thank you (by email) as soon as you can. Of course, when you’re interviewing in the middle of your workday, you probably will have to wait until that evening when you get home from work. Sending your note within 24 hours is a good rule of thumb and generally possible under any circumstances.

Emailing a thank you right away shows your interviewer that you’re prioritizing the process and excited about the role. In my mind, there is no reason to wait.

With that answer out of the way, here are a few other common questions about thank you notes:

Handwritten or email?

Email. Like I mentioned, promptness is key and email is the best way to get the message over quickly. For some industries, a handwritten note is seen as an “above and beyond” thing to do. If you feel you want to send a handwritten note, send an email within 24 hours and a handwritten note in addition.

I interviewed with multiple people. Can I copy them all on the same note?

Nope. Its a best practice to send individual notes to each interviewer. Not only that, but each note should also be customized based on your conversation.

What should I write in a thank you note?

Of course, say thanks. Then also add something you found interesting from the conversation and reiterate your interest in the job. There’s a full post on this here that should help.

I didn’t receive a response to my thank you note. Is that a bad thing?

Nope. When’s the last time you responded to a thank you note you received after buying a wedding or birthday gift? Responses to thank you notes aren’t necessary and most people won’t write back. It doesn’t mean they’re not excited about you as a candidate.

I interviewed, said thanks, and now I don’t know where I stand. Should I follow up? 

Yes, it’s always a good idea to check in and see what the next steps will be in the process. Here is a post about follow up emails that should help.

What other thank you note related questions do you have? Leave me a comment and I’d be happy to share my thoughts!

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