Are Thank You Notes a Thing of the Past?
It seems like every part of the hiring process is done digitally these days. From submitting a resume, to filling out an application, to scheduling interviews, through to written offers.
Interview etiquette from days of old would require you to snail-mail a nicely typed, perfectly formatted thank you letter to each interviewer on the team. Or, a hand-written, thank you card immediately after the interview could be left with the receptionist. With all of the digital transactions taking place, are thank you notes a thing of the past?
The short answer is no. A thank you note in any format is both appreciated and expected. But how do you know when to send an email or deliver a hand-written note?
First of all, it depends on the environment where you interviewed. If you’re interviewing at a hip start-up, the company culture may be progressive and earth conscious. A note written on a recycled note card would be appropriate. Even better, a digital message would most likely be the best received. It’s very easy these days to record a quick thank you video and either text or email it.
On the other hand, if the environment is well established and more traditional, a hand-written note or typed letter sent via email would be appropriate.
What to Write in a Thank You Note
Keep in mind that whatever means of thanking your interviewers, you should include the following points:
- Make it Personal – Address them by their name and thank them for their time. It’s nice to point out something specific that you discussed, such as “I enjoyed learning about how you handle customer feedback” or “your role sounds really interesting to me and I would like to work with you.”
- Recap why you’re interested – Don’t assume they know you’re interested. It’s a good idea to specifically say it and tell them WHY you’re interested. You might say something like “I love the energy of everyone on the team and I think we’d work well together” or “I’m very interested in working on the XYZ project with the team”.
- Summarize why you’re a good candidate for the job – For each person with whom you spoke, summarize one or two key points that you discussed. For instance, “my experience working with XYZ software would make it an easy transition for me” or “because I’ve created a strategic plan in my last position, I’m sure I could bring that experience to your plan”.
In summary, a thank you note is definitely still proper etiquette after an interview. How you create and deliver it is up to you, but try to do it within 24 hours of your interview.