How to nail the thank-you note after the interview.

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Congratulations. Your resume captivated them. You made it to -- and now through -- the interview.

Feeling pretty good? Like maybe this thing is very nearly all yours?

Or maybe, MAYBE, you're feeling a little bit squirmy. Maybe it wasn't exactly a flawless performance, and now you're wondering how you might revive the operation.

No matter what just went down at that interview, you have an immediate thing on your to-do list as you walk out of that meeting (or hang up from that call):

Write a thank-you note

By immediate, I do not mean "three days from now" or "when you get around to it." What I mean is, the millisecond your fanny is back at your laptop or seated at your writing desk, you get to the business of thanking every player you've met with, individually.

Should it be an email or a hand-written note?

This doesn't matter. Don't get hung up at this stage of the game. Some hiring managers love the thoughtfulness of a hand-written note, others could give a rip. What they do give a rip about pretty universally, however, is that you thank them in the first place -- personally, swiftly and in a genuine, "I was totally paying attention in that meeting" manner.

In a perfect world, the interviewer should have your note or email in his hands within a day of the conversation (No, this does not mean you should show up in their lobby - don't do that.)

What, exactly, should it say?

First, your thank-you note should express how much you appreciate that person's time and interest. Next, you should touch on or revisit some specific thing you chatted about in the interview. If you feel like you flubbed up on a certain question, this is also your opportunity to loop back and subtly affirm your knowledge of or expertise in that specific thing. (But don't be apologetic about it -- be confident.)

And finally, you should close out by affirming how excited you are about the position, and that you look forward to continuing in the interview process.

That's right, you want to flat out say, "I look forward to continuing the conversation" or "I'll look forward to hearing from you soon." 

Example:

Dear Jeremy,

Just a quick note to thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the call center manager opportunity. I enjoyed hearing more about how the team plans to ramp up in preparation for the XYZ product launch, and I have some specific ideas on how I could help streamline this effort. It was also such fun to realize we were cross-town rivals back in our high school wrestling days!

I look forward to continuing the conversation after you've completed this first round of interviews. In the meantime, please feel free to call or email if I may provide any additional information to help the team in your decision making process.

Sincerely, 

Mark Fisher

Remember - Your thank-you is not just a matter of manners. It's one of the key marketing tools that you're going to use to keep you moving through the hiring process. 

So make the time, and make it genuine.

And get it out the door faster than your competition.

 

Need help negotiating the salary? Check out my friend Josh Doody's Fearless Salary Negotiation.

Want to interview better than 99% of the people in the world? Check out this incredible video with Ramit Sethi, a NYT Bestselling Author and founder of IWillTeachYoutoBeRich.com. 

 

Photo: Flickr.com Creative Commons (WoodleyWonderworks)