Interview thank-you notes are the most effective interview tools you probably don’t use. Most candidates just walk into the interview, say their lines and leave, never to be heard from (or hear from the employer) again.
A thoughtful and relevant thank you note (preferably printed on card and couriered, but email works if your budget is limited) is sure to set you apart from other candidates. Here are three things to add to your message to give you an edge over other candidates.
1. Respond to doubts or concerns over your standing for the position
One of the things you should look out for during the interview are questions and doubts about your ability to obtain the position. Although you can’t really ask, “do you plan on hiring me?” at this point, there are ways to peek into the interviewer’s mind and glean some useful information.
Here are some examples:
- What can I do to move the process to the next step?
- Is there anything in my resume you would like to clarify?
- When should I expect to hear from you about the next step in this process?
These questions are meant to get the interviewer to talk about what they think about your application—but they also lets him or her know that you’re serious about the position.
As the interviewer answers, take a few quick notes of things you want to address in your thank you letter. This will be the time to dispel doubts or questions in a way you can control.
2. Provide specific examples of behaviours and personality traits desirable for the position
Another thing you should learn from the interview is what personality traits the interviewer would like the ideal candidate to have. Since your resume can’t really express those traits, your thank you letter is the time to show you not only have the experience and the knowledge, but also the personality to do the job well.
Use one or two brief, specific examples to explain how your personality can benefit the company.
3. Explain how you will face the challenges of the position
The last thing you want to know when leaving the interview is the kind of challenges that a new employee (ideally, you) will face in the position. In the thank you letter, you can spend a few lines discussing how you have solved similar problems or overcome similar challenges in your career. This will tell the interviewer that you will adapt well to the new position and become productive quickly.
Have you had success with sending thank you letters in the past? Share your post-interview tips and tricks with us in the comments!