Job Interview Thank You Notes
Updated: Jan 30
Is it important to say thank you to the person(s) interviewing you for a position with company X? Some might say this is a concern of the past and that making too much of this dates the person bringing it up. It’s true that times change, and cultural norms change along with them, no doubt. However, certain aspects of human nature and their correspondent behaviors are not so disposable as we may be prone to think. This holds true for the job interview as well.
So, yes, it’s important to say thank you to those taking time and expending energy to interview you for a role. This seems so simple on its face, but you would be surprised to know how few people take a few minutes out of their day to extend this basic courtesy to those who have extended themselves to them.
Often, those interviewing for roles may think something to the effect of: “Well, their lucky I’m taking the time to consider them for their open position. This is a two-way street… Why does the thank you always have to go one-way? I rarely see thank you notes from the interviewers.”
To such thinking, I would say that their point is well-received, at least by myself and others who may be more open-minded and cognizant that times do, in fact, change and that none of us should feel cemented to longstanding cultural norms just because “that’s how it’s always been done.”
The above said, the personalized thank you note in the form of a handwritten card may sound cliché and have an anachronistic feel to it for progressive-minded types, but dare I say that a genuine and well-intentioned thank you note will never, ever will go out of style. At least not so long as human nature is
For the interview candidate who takes a few moments to send a thank you to the hiring manager and / or recruiters who have facilitated an interview, they have entered the 75% percentile of interview candidates in terms of standing out in the process. And when I say: “standing out,” I mean in a good way. The return on investment or return on energy for this simple courtesy is huge. And yet so few choose to do this. Why?
Well, this too is most likely attributable to human nature. There seems to be something in us that always wants to gravitate to a 50/50 split in terms of relationship equity, so-to-speak. This may make sense directionally in terms of trying to orient ourselves towards what we perceive as fair, but such thinking is misleading and not self-empowering, certainly not with respect to this example in the year 2021.
The Job Interview Thank You Take Home Message
Basic trust and respect are the foundation to any worthwhile and valued relationship. Saying thank you to those extending themselves to you in the hopes of starting a worthwhile employment relationship is a small price to pay.
Returning a volley of good will in good faith as demonstrated via a thank you note is a simple and very effective way to demonstrate mutual respect and investment in this critical initial stage of a potential long-term relationship.
Be in the 75% percentile of job interview candidates. The price of entry is low, and the potential rewards may be immeasurable in terms of career growth and trajectory.
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