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Interview Thank You Letter Timeframe

by Billie Nordmeyer

While an interview can be stressful, it’s important to think of it in terms of the 80/20 rule. You can attribute 80 percent of your opportunities to impress a potential employer to 20 percent of the interview. It’s also helpful to remember that 80 percent of the interviewer’s final impression of you may depend on the final 20 percent of the interview process, which is your follow-up.

Interview Etiquette

What you wear, what you say and what you do make an impression during a job interview. To ensure the impression is a positive one, make the effort to adhere to interview etiquette throughout the interview process. Initiate a post-interview contact with the hiring manager to extend your thanks for the opportunity to speak with him. Convey your message using an acceptable means and limit your message to a few well-chosen sentences.

Post-Interview Contact

The employer’s evaluation of you doesn’t end after an interview. Your follow-up is as important as what occurs during the interview in terms of promoting your candidacy for the job. Although the appropriate follow-up is dependent on the company’s culture, at a minimum, your follow-up should include a thank-you note to your interviewer. According to a survey conducted by the staffing agency Accountemps, an emailed thank-you note sent the same day as the interview is considered appropriate by 87 percent of hiring managers. Eighty-one percent of these managers thought a same-day phone call was acceptable, 38 percent appreciated a handwritten note sent within 24 hours, but only 10 percent viewed a text as apprpriate.

Timing of Thank-You Note

According to the Accountemps survey, 91 percent of the managers appreciated a candidate’s willingness to express his appreciation for being considered for a position. The candidate receives the maximum benefit for sending the thank-you note when the potential employer receives it within 24 hours of the interview. However, Forbes experts say conveying your thanks within 48 hours is acceptable.

Thank-You Note Content

Regardless of when you send it, make sure your thank-you note includes the hiring manager’s name, the title of the open position, your contact information and a comment that emphasizes your continued interest in the position. Your message should reiterate the reasons you are a strong candidate for the position. Limit your comments to what amounts to a few paragraphs.

Review Then Send

Don’t transmit your thank-you note before you carefully proofread the content. This message is a representation of your work, which will serve as a means to evaluate whether you will be a good fit for the position. Consequently, both the structure and the content of the message is important. If your state of mind is less than ideal following your interview, wait a few hours, check the message once more and send it.

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