Impressing your would-be boss doesn't stop at the interview. Sending a follow-up thank-you note is an essential step to stand out above your competition. Thank-you notes are traditionally hand-written letters, but in today's technological world emails are also perfectly acceptable, provided your potential employer isn't overly formal. Send your note within one to two days of the interview so you're still relevant in your potential employer's mind. Waiting too long is almost as bad as not sending a thank you at all.
Express Your Appreciation
One of the most important parts of a thank-you note is the thank you itself. Consider the time your interviewer took to evaluate your application: The hiring manager reviewed your resume, conducted an interview with you, checked in with your references and will likely then discuss the possibility of hiring you with colleagues. Interviewing you isn't a light step on the hiring manager's part, and thanking him for it shouldn't be a light one on yours. Saying something like, "Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this position," is appropriate.
A generic thank you isn't enough. Your interviewer may have seen 10 other applicants the day you were interviewed. If you want him to remember you personally, it's good to mention something specific from the interview. If the two of you talked about a part of the job you were particularly interested in, you might say something like, "I was very impressed with your company's sales history," or "The training program you described sounds challenging and exciting." You may also want to touch on something personal you two talked about, if it seems appropriate. Not only do you want to refresh his memory, but you want to let him know that the interview stands out in yours as well.
Reiterate Your Suitability
Mention how well suited you are for the job. Saying, "I think I'm a great fit" is too vague. Instead, state exactly what makes you a great candidate for the position. Cite your previous experience, education or personal interests that will benefit the company and help you excel in your role, should you be offered the job. Something like, "I think my years of experience as a top salesman and my marketing background make me a strong match for the job" is a good way of touching on your skill set without bragging.
Avoid the Pitfalls
Don't make the mistake of not sending your email soon enough and then apologizing for it. Pointing out that you can't manage your time well enough to send a simple email doesn't make you sound like a good job candidate. Also, grand gestures like sending flowers or chocolates are a bit over-the-top and probably won't win you any favors. Phone calls should also be avoided as a way of saying thank you, as they may be viewed as disruptive by your potential employer. That said, calling to follow up after a specific period of time, such as after you were told you'd hear back with a decision, is fine.
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