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Deliver a Quality Post-Interview Thank You Letter and Increase the Likelihood of Securing an Offer

April 2017 - By Erica Woods, Manager of Contractor and Community Relations

I once had a Development Team Lead I was working with who had secured an offer tell me “I’m so surprised by this. Remember when I sent that follow up note to the Manager after the interview? He told me I was the only person he did an onsite interview with, out of 5 total candidates, to send him any sort of follow up! Isn’t that surprising?” As I told him, I would’ve been surprised prior to entering the staffing world, but even a 20% ratio of candidates who send a thank you letter after an interview is a bit high!

Investing time to write a note showing gratitude for your interviewer’s time, re-stating your interest in the opportunity and where your interest stems from, addressing any possible concerns about your candidacy, and providing any other materials that could reinforce your credibility for this role, is never time wasted!

When it comes to these follow up thank you notes, remember that “being generic” will do you no good! Whenever you leave an interview with the reaction of “Wow, that seems like a great opportunity, team and/or company, and I’d love to work there!” make sure you take the extra time and write a follow up letter, keeping these four thank you letter elements in mind!

Excitement
Don’t assume that your presence at an interview speaks to your interest and excitement for the role. Hopefully you expressed these elements prior to and during the interview, but if not, then you definitely want to make the most of the thank you letter. Most hiring managers want to see excited, passionate, eager, positive candidates and the thank you letter is another great opportunity to emphasize these characteristics. You can do this by using example phrases such as “I was excited to learn that ABC company is moving to the newest version of X technology,” “I am excited about this opportunity because,” or “I am interested in applying my knowledge and experience with Y technology.” Regardless of what you’re applying for, show your enthusiasm. It’ll go a long way for your candidacy!


Express sincere gratitude for their time and what they contributed to the interview.
Ensure you’re actually saying “thank you” in your thank you letter! This may seem obvious, but it’s important to say thank you for the interviewer’s time as well as the information they provided during the interview process. I like the phrases “thank you for taking the time to meet with me,” “thank you for offering me the opportunity to meet with you,” or “thank you for taking the time to explain the key responsibilities of this role.” Hiring managers meet and interview a lot of candidates, and showing gratitude and appreciation is just another way to make a lasting impression, show the interviewer why spending the time interviewing you was worth it, and demonstrate a trait all Managers value in their employees.


Reinforce skills and communicate credibility factors.
Not only should you be reiterating your appreciation and gratitude, but a thank you letter is an opportune time to reinforce your overall candidacy and expertise. Always be thinking “how can I meet the needs of the prospective company? Were there certain items mentioned during the interview that I have experience on but where I didn’t get the opportunity to shed light on them? What skills, technologies, tools, experience, etc. do I have that can make an immediate impact on the role, team, and/or company?” Provide any relevant examples of your work that aren’t proprietary. Also, do you have any relevant LinkedIn recommendations or references, or could you get any? A thank you note is a great place to copy and paste snippets to increase credibility of your competencies.


Address and overcome hiring concerns.
Overcoming objections is a common part of the interview process. If there were items brought up during the interview that the hiring Managers expressed concerned about, hopefully you were able to mitigate those in the interview, but if not, and even if you were, use your thank you letter to respond and overcome those objections. Most managers just want to see that you’ve addressed any shortcomings and developed a plan on how to achieve the knowledge, experience, etc. and/or overcome whatever the concern was about your candidacy. For example, if you will be working with a newer JavaScript framework but you don’t have experience with it, share what your training plan would be to quickly ramp up on that framework.


Other important items to consider:

  1. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. It’d be a shame to invest time in writing a thoughtful thank you letter, only to realize you spelled something wrong. It’s always a good idea to write your note in Word first (or any tool that has spell check) and then read it aloud to make sure it makes sense.
  2. Length. Apply the “short and sweet” concept to your note, as most people prefer more concise communication! While there’s no set rule on length, keep to less than half a page, with formatting that improves the “reader experience” (i.e. avoid long blocks of text, using bullet points when you can).
  3. Delivery Method & Timeline. While most thank you notes are sent in an email format, it never hurts to “go the extra mile” and send a hand-written note. Time is of the essence though, so try to write and put in the mail the same day as your interview! We always recommend writing an email thank you within 24 hours, regardless of whether or not you’re sending an additional note in the mail.

Interested in seeing an example? Here are two we’ve put together:

EX. Thank You Letter – Help Desk Role

Insert Interviewer Name,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Help Desk Support position. After meeting with you, I am certain that I have the skills you’re looking for in your technicians. I appreciated you expanding on details around the culture of the organization and what traits make technicians successful. I’m excited about the opportunity to support a large IT organization and eager to apply my 3 years of Tier I and Tier II technical phone support I gained working at XYZ Company, where I handled about 40-45 tickets daily.

While I don’t currently have the CompTIA A+ certification, I am sitting for the exam at the end of the month. I’d be happy to engage in additional training prior to starting but I feel confident that I could contribute immediately to the company’s technical support needs.

I have included the results of two technical assessments I’ve completed via ProveIt and can provide additional references to help my candidacy if you’d like.

I look forward to hearing next steps or the decision! Thank again for your time and consideration!

ProveIt Assessments

Test Name: Technical Support- IT/Network
Test Date: 10/31/2016
Elapsed Time: 00:16:57
Questions Correct: 33 out of 36
Percent Correct: 92%
Percentile Ranking: 90

Test Name: Active Directory Domain Services
Test Date: 10/28/2016
Elapsed Time: 00:21:03
Questions Correct: 25 out of 28
Percent Correct: 89%
Percentile Ranking: 90

Sincerly,
Name

EX. Thank You Letter – Business Analyst Role:

Insert Interviewer Name,

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me and discuss the Business Analyst opening at XYZ Company. I found our conversation to be very enjoyable and insightful, and I left with a better understanding of what the position will entail. I felt a wonderful rapport not only with you, but with all of the team members I met. I am more convinced than ever that I will fit in well as a member of the team. I am excited to apply the experience I gained working at XYZ Company analyzing business requirements and processes.

While I don’t have experience with HP Quality Center, I’ve worked with other quality management software and have already started training. I am confident that my experience and technical degree focused on business process analysis should help speed up my ramp up time, so I can hit the ground running and be a contributor quickly.

I’ve included some of my LinkedIn recommendations below, and can provide additional references or other materials to help my candidacy if you’d like.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps or the hiring decision. Again, thank you for your time and consideration!

LinkedIn Recommendations/References
Copy and paste any strong recommendations…

Sincerly,
Name

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