Closing the Deal: The Art of the Thank You Note

It’s interview time. We dress the part, show up early, look the hiring manager in the eye, shake their hand. During the interview, we answer their questions succinctly and exceed all expectations. (Easier said than done)

Now, the interview is over. This is the end of it, right? Now you can just sit back and wait for the next interview? No! You must close the deal!

Even if you haven’t written thank you notes since high school graduation, dust off that stationary and get on board with snail mail! This will show initiative and make you memorable among all the candidates they have in the works. Many people wonder if an email is okay and the answer is, better than nothing.  If you know you will be going back in the next day or two, send the email immediately and save the physical note for after the next one. If there is a gap in time between rounds of interviews, send a note in the mail. At a minimum, it won’t hurt your chances and could potentially keep you in the running!

Now you need these 4 simple things:

-Business card(s) or name and address of recipient:
Expert Tip: Try and get the business card of every individual you meet with during the interview.  That way you will have proper spelling of their full name, address of where to send, and an email address to follow up later.

-Thank you card(s) with envelopes:
Expert Tip: If you don’t have stationary, you can often find a pack in the Target dollar bin aisle.

-Stamp(s): 
Expert tip: They sell stamps at QuikTrip so you can skip the post office.

-Pen:
Expert tip: When writing your Thank You card, stick to using blue or black ink. Colored inks, though they may seem fun and creative, do not provoke a professional appearance.

After you’ve gathered these essentials, ask yourself these questions:

When? Immediately and deliberately. Do not delay or procrastinate as timing is everything. Some candidates leave the card and a pen in their car so they can write the note immediately after the interview when thoughts are fresh.  Drop in the mail on your way home and they’ll get it the next day!

-How? After expressing your thanks for the interviewer’s time and interest, make sure you include: why you want the job (in detail), why you’re the best choice for the role, and any other selling points for this position. Double check all grammar and spelling, there is no spell check!

-Who? Send it to the interviewer. If you met with multiple people, send them each their own. Keep your reader in mind – his/her personality, their level within the organization, and their top priorities for the job in question. Based on these things, set the tone/mood and style of writing. If they shared anything personal in the interview, reference it. (i.e. I hope your daughter’s graduation goes well this weekend!)

-Why? This may be your last chance to influence your interviewer by showcasing your thoughtfulness, follow through, and attention to detail. Do you feel you are the best person for the job? Show that you are!