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January 31, 2008

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Things like thank you notes were good things to do until it was posted all over the internet that you should do them.

I absolutely send a thank you note. I also watch to see who takes the time to send them when I'm interviewing others. People who write a handwritten note always get bonus points above the folks who send a quick email or send nothing at all.

This past fall I lost out on a new position at the final hour. I did not send a thank you note post-interview. Whether this influenced the final decision I'll never know - but I do know I'll never leave any stones unturned again.

I seriously don't understand paper thank you notes for job interviews. Who still mails letters??? A quick email followup is sufficient for most people.

Ugh, I hate this advice (no offense at all to FMF!)


I just hear it all the time, and it just plain feels awkward!

I thank people verbally and even write thank you e-mails sometimes, but a real handwritten note? Maybe I'm from a different generation (I'm 25) but it feels like sucking-up and insincere even though I am genuinely thankful for the opportunity. (After all, they haven't given you a job yet!) I just think it changes the dynamic of the job application and reeks of desperation.


I really hope there's more hiring managers out there that don't rely on trivialities like thank you notes than statistics and polls seem to suggest. I'm a polite, professional guy but a handwritten thank you note is just downright uncomfortable for me.

I have done interviews, and I remember one person who was hurt by their over-the-top thank you letter. Keep it simple!

Also, I remember someone sending in a thank you after their rejection. They were the #2 choice (they didn't know that) and guess what - the job opened again a year later and they got it.

I nearly always send a thank you note. The one exception was when I was approached for the job, and had a less formal interview as I did a "talk" about the job. Didn't hurt my chances at all, as I ended up getting the job.

But, as a standard line, I would say to always send a thank you note, to everyone you talk to (i.e., interview with, including lunch partners--it might be nice to say thank you to the secretary who ushers you into the room, and would definitely get you brownie points, but I don't think it's expected). I usually opt for emails, too. It demonstrates a lot about your professionalism, and puts your name in front of the person-who-can-hire-you one last time before a decision is made on the next step.

I agree. Sending a thank you note is a good idea, and it gets even more important the higher the position for which you are interviewing.

It can be a simple "thanks for the opportunity to speak with you" letter. That is not desperate or sucking up, it's just good manners.

Absolutely! I always write a thank-you.

@ Finance Monk: Yes, they may “awkward” or “insincere” but they are expected. I’m also 25 and I also don’t like writing (or receiving, now that I’m on the other end) thank-you’s. However, beyond sucking-up, a thank you demonstrates that you understand how to navigate the working-world. Writing a simple note is just too easy to risk a ding against you in the interview process.

I've sent thank you email, but not an actual note before.

I always send a handwritten thank you note. I'm nearing 40. Sometimes I get the job, sometimes I don't, sometimes I'm told I was "#2." I have no idea how the thank you note plays into this equation.

However, I was recently on a hiring committee of four -- one person about my age, one who is 50 and the person who would supervise the new hire -- he's in his 20s. When I mentioned that thank you notes made a difference to me, they all poo-pooed thank yous, and the manager said he thought that was something from the past. I'd be interested in hearing from other people who hire if they agree.

Personally I just send an email afterwards and thank them for their time. I do this because A) It's faster and B) They still have my interview fresh in their mind. If you had to wait for snail mail chances are the position has already been decided upon or the interviewer has forgotton you. I can see why people like to handwrite but for me this is how I go about it.

I've always sent brief thank-you emails, but I think the majority of those 88% have an over-inflated sense of how much thank-you notes actually mattered. Maybe given two identical candidates, the one who sends a note has a leg up. But I doubt a thank-you note can make up for significant deficits in experience or an awful interview.

I work in financial services, and I've always been pretty involved in recruiting and hiring. Most of the more senior interviewers I know delete thank-you emails without even reading them because their time is better spent on other things. When I ran the analyst hiring one year for my alma mater, I did read the thank-you notes I received, but within an hour I couldn't tell you which candidate sent them and which ones didn't.

Look, some interviewers will care, and some won't. I think it's smart to send a brief note to all interviewers. If it gets deleted, it gets deleted. But I think for the most part thank-you notes play a very small part, if any at all, in the hiring decision.

I send thank you notes after interview that I feel warrant them. That may sound silly, but I can't stomach sending a thank you note after an interview where I felt rushed, unappreciated, or treated like a number. I've declined a position before simply because the interview process left me feeling like I would not enjoy working with my coworkers and supervisors and that the environment felt like a bad fit.

I've sent notes for interviews where I felt welcomed, the people there were warm, and I always address the entire hiring committee and include details that might help them remember me from the crowd (i.e. "Thanks so much for the fantastic lunch, you were right about the sandwiches being huge!") I also try to close with something that sounds like I wish them well regardless of whether they choose me or someone else, like "Best of luck with your search,"

I dont and I certainly dont think that its harmed me in getting a job. Ive gotten about 85% of the jobs Ive interviewed for and I dont believe that my lack of sending a note had anything to do with it. Sometimes I think these are things that the older generation left behind we are stuck with deciding whether or not we want to carry on.

Maaaaaybe if I were interviewing for a six figure or close position I would but certainly ...probably not for where I am now. That could change though...

The thank you note puts your name in front of the hiring manager one last time. It can tip the scales a little, but not much.

The one time I did send a thank you note, I got a very good, high paying job. I don't think the thank you note had anything to do with it though, it was my qualifications and experience as well as my interviewing skills that did it.

I could not imagine passing on a qualified candidate if they didn't send a thank you note. My mind is usually made up pretty quickly in the interview as is.

I have gotten jobs because I send formal thank you's in business letter format. Everyone that interviews me I get their name (spelled correctly) or ask for their business card and send them each a thank you note. No e-mails - too informal.

I have gotten jobs because of that. It is amazing how actually snail mailing something formally separates you from other candidates.

I think it shows your attention to detail that is impressive to them. One particular job, another candidate got the position, but I was hired for a job in another department because it got back to them I sent a letter to 10 people (all different).

In general, I would not send a thank you note after a first round interview, especially if it's the kind where they're interviewing a bunch of you on the same day. In those cases the recruiters/interviewers make their decisions immediately, same day, while the people are still fresh on their minds. They dont' wait a week to see who sends thank you notes.

Of course it won't hurt to send one, but I personally find it awkward to receive those thank you notes, especially as the decision has usually been made already. And don't send one to every person you met at the company--try to figure out who actually has hiring authority. A follow up email is fine, but don't send a slew of them asking "insightful" questions about the company or the industry. We're glad you're interested, but we have work to do too.

I would send a thank you note/email if I was applying for a position that was being created for me or if a connection had specifically gotten me an interview. Or after the second or third round interview. Or if it was a managerial or higher up position. It's just more amusing than anything when you're interviewing a bunch of post-grads who have obviously been told to check off a bunch of unoriginal interview tactics.

I'd say that it never hurts to send a thank you email after a good interview. The most important thing is to always convey professionalism and respect in all of your communications - and a thank you message certainly does that.

If I interview for a job that I really want, then I send a thank you email to the person that I worked mostly with, and try to mention something that would help them remember who I was and something positive about the interview. It never hurts to get your name in front of the right person one more time.

As far as in my own career, I think that a snail-mail thank you note is un-necessary. I work in the technology industry and email is a perfectly well accepted means of communicating important messages. I could see how a handwritten note might be appropriate for other industries or positions though.

Saying thank you for being given an opportunity.

This should be a given, shouldn't it.

But writing a note then posting it, it takes some "work". I suppose this would show some seriousness in the applicant.

Every time. And I send one to every person I interviewed with.

I sent in a handwritten thank you note to one place that I really enjoyed the interview. I was interviewed by a bunch of people, including one senior vice president who was not slated to interview me, but heard from the first person who I spoke to and decided to drop in.

I sent in a thank you note to the main person who interviewed me and then mentioned everyone else to thank them for their time.

I sent a thank you note for my last job, so it seems to have helped! And my coworkers just interviewed someone, and were very much glad to get a thank you note. It was nice that the interviewee asked for the info/business card so that you knew she was going to take the time and effort to write the note.

I am 26, and I have learned the hard way that snail mail thank you notes are most definitely NOT a thing of the past.

First, after I interviewed for the position where I currently work, I DID send a thank you note. The interview was with a non-profit, and I was incredibly under-qualified for the job, so I knew I needed to stand out in any way possible. I just wrote a few sentences on a card, stating my gratitude for the opportunity to talk and that I would be praying for their process in seeking God's will for the opening. It took the organization a while to make a decision, but I got the job.

Secondly, I definitely used to be someone who didn't value or understand the need (or appropriate situations) for thank you notes. Unfortunately, a dear family friend was really hurt by the fact that I didn't send her a note when she expected to get one. It was very uncomfortable, and my mom was really upset (not with me, but with the situation). I resolved to be more intentional about writing notes. I started noticing more and more situations where I really ought to send thank yous! It was awkward at first, but people are so very appreciative, and it doesn't take much from me.

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