Well, I could make this the shortest article of all time….. The answer is YES.
After a decade in the employment industry I can assure you that effort, perception and attitude is what wins a job offer. The skills and qualifications of course have to be there, but if a hiring manager is faced with two perfectly qualified and experienced candidates what will they use to make their decision?
The fact is that personality, commitment, effort and communication can make all the difference.
So yes, where possible I would always encourage a well worded thank you email after interviewing, but here are some rules, hints and tips to keep in mind before you hit SEND to your potential new employer.
1. Keep it Brief
Your interviewer has a day job, and as heartless as it sounds interviewing and hiring isn’t it. It’s crucial that they get this right but as most hiring managers will tell you; hiring is a second full time job until you find the right person and get them onboarded.
So, it’s important that you keep this in mind when sending them emails that they might not have been expecting regardless of your good intentions.
This is not the time to revisit your profile, beg for the opportunity or update the interviewer as to your personal position or status.
This is however the perfect opportunity to show them you are proactive, committed, organised and above all else, polite.
2. This email is also an opportunity
So how are you going to use this opportunity of further communication? Would you believe me if I told you that as someone who interviews ALL day (it really is my full-time job) I rarely get a thank you email? Given the number of people I interview on a daily basis it must be under 1% who send this follow up.
So, if you ensure that you are in that 1% you have instantly set yourself apart from 99% of the others being considered for the role.
3. Refer back to your interview
You have a shared experience with your interviewer now. You were both there, in that conversation, you have the same reference points. Refer back to the time that you spent with each other, develop a point that perhaps you felt needed clarity and use this as the time to mention anything you didn’t get to cover in the interview, but that you feel would be useful for the interviewer to know.
4. Place yourself in their future
At some point in your interview your interviewer will have mentioned more information on the role and the companies plans. Make sure to use your thank you email as an opportunity to position yourself as a key player in these plans. Perhaps there is a project coming up that you have valuable experience in, perhaps there is already a suggestion you can make that would be of benefit to the role? A proactive and forward-thinking mindset like this will set you a part and allow your interviewer to consider you in the role.
5. Questions and Next steps
That dreaded point in the interview when you’re asked, “do you have any questions?” is always, without doubt the exact moment when all prepared questions leak unceremoniously from your brain cells. This is so commonplace that I’ve also written an entire article on it!
So this is your opportunity to ask any nagging queries. Again, this shows your interviewer that you are really interested in the opportunity and prospects of joining them, an attitude that a lot of the time is not communicated.
Feel free to finish up your email with asking about the next steps if these haven’t been made clear, this shows good practice and organisation that you would want to know what the next steps are and what to expect from the ongoing interview process.
You: How about a little freebie example?
Me: Sure thing.
Thanks so much for your time today, it was great to get to know you a little and find out more about the role and what XCOMPANY are planning.
Actually after I left I was thinking about the transformation project that we discussed and there might be an agency that I previously worked with who could offer some insights in the initial planning phase.
I didn’t mention it at the time but I previously worked on a similar project that ended up generating an increase in profits of 32% and I think that this experience could be really useful for XCOMPANY.
I’d be really keen to move forward to any further stage of interview and look forward to speaking again soon,
Be thoughtful and tailor this to your personal circumstance and potential role but this really is all that’s needed, and NEVER underestimate how far good old fashioned polite good manners can get you.