Personalized Thank You’s
One of my firm beliefs is that interviews are not strictly tense Q&A sessions, but rather friendly and relaxed conversations where interviewers and candidates get know one another. Sometimes interviews follow the standard process where they ask you all the questions first and then you get to turn the tables on them. Other times candidates are confident enough with themselves that they can sprinkle their “company” questions throughout the interview to allow for more robust discussions. At some point afterwards, be it 2 days or even a week later, when the interview team finally huddles up to review candidates, they are going to share all their thoughts and impressions about you. Often times interviewers will forward thank you emails they’ve received to each other as confirmation the candidate took that extra step to wrap up that terrific interview day with a bow. Nothing kills positive vibes about a candidate more than a Thank You note that has been copied, pasted and sent to everyone on the team. It shows a lack of originality and creativity.
Want to know how to “WOW” your interview? After completing your interviews for the day, send every single person you met a handwritten and personalized thank you note as this is the “gold standard” on how to properly wrap up job interviews. Yes, I said HANDWRITTEN. Unfortunately, with most people working remotely, due to the pandemic, they are not able to receive mail at their office. Therefore, mailing thank you notes are not feasible right now and will not be addressed in today’s blog. However, we can still talk about the other important detail of PERSONALIZATION.
Why is this detail so important in a thank you note?
You might think that writing the exact same “Thank You” sentiments to everyone you met is not a big deal, but it very well could be. While it may be a small thing, personalizing a note to someone shows that you pay attention to details. Attention to detail is a trait that most employers seek in candidates. Not everyone recognizes details are important. So when an employer sees you as someone who is detail oriented even, in something as ancillary as a thank you note that isn’t tied to your actual job, it helps you stand out above the others. You’ve “WOWed” them.
During each one-on-one meeting do your best to learn a little nugget of personal or professional information about them. You get this by asking unexpected questions that augment your conversation (or interview) with them. How long have they been at the company? What has made them stay there? Of all the projects they’ve worked on while there, which one has been their favorite and why? From a personal standpoint, if you see a picture of their dog, what kind is it? If you see marathon medals, how many have they complete and how do they balance that level of training with their big responsibilities at work? If you see pictures indicating a hobby, ask about it. Absolutely anything you learn about the interviewer that helps you make a personal connection, no matter how small, should be referenced in the thank you note you write specifically to them. Doing this will demonstrate you understand the value of personal connections and learning about others and those details are worthy of being mentioned in a follow up personalized thank you note to them.
Have you “WOWed ” an interviewer recently? Might be time to start writing thank you notes!
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