So you aced the interview!

It’s no wonder, really. You thoroughly researched the company, its challenges, and its competitors. You anticipated interview questions and tackled them with ease. You knew the core message you wanted to convey and you did so— effectively. You researched your interviewers carefully and were armed with excellent questions to ask. And, let’s be honest, you couldn’t possibly have looked sharper than in that dapper new suit. Post-Interview Thank You Note

But before rushing to chill that celebratory champagne bottle, it’s time to close the loop of good executive-job-search etiquette. You need to carefully craft a thank-you note to each person who interviewed you.  And quickly … as in right now. (And no … a quick “thx for your time” text or e-mail from your phone as you are Ubering to the airport does not count.)

Before you groan and call me persnickety and old-fashioned, hear me out: we aren’t talking about a ridiculously arcane Victorian-era formality. We are talking about a basic and expected mechanism of social exchange that you can’t afford to neglect. 

Basic manners aside, strategically shaping your thank-you messages will do so much more than simply demonstrate respect for the people who gave you a shot at answering the question, “Why You?”—an opportunity that many other candidates were not afforded.  It will actually position you as the better candidate.

Below are four ways in which a stellar thank-you letter will play in your favor in the recruitment process:

1) It will differentiate you as a highly professional candidate.

According to a national survey conducted by CareerBuilder that asked 3,244 workers if they had sent a thank-you note after their interview, 57% said they had not. Writing that thank-you note will place you among the minority who demonstrate not only good manners but a strong sense of professionalism—a highly valued quality—whether you are aiming for the C-suite or an entry-level role.

2) It allows you to reiterate your interest in the position.

Did you know that one of the top reasons why candidates are not chosen is because they fail to demonstrate a strong-enough interest in the position? Employers want to offer a job to someone who is eager to take on the challenge. And remember, an interview is a two-way street. The employer is sizing you up and you are also determining whether the company is a good fit for you. A thank-you note is the perfect opportunity to express how the interview reinforced your eagerness to join the company.

3) It gives you the opportunity to once again express to the hiring manager how well you will fit the role in light of what you learned during the interview.

The thank-you letter is the perfect opportunity to restate why you consider yourself to be the absolutely perfect person for the role. But don’t get overly wordy, rehashing everything that you pointed out already during the interview. Try to summarize this in a single sentence or in just a few short and punchy bullet points.

4) It will enable you to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the organization’s goals.

When you carefully crafted your cover letter and resume, you were not privy to certain information that perhaps you learned during the interview. Now is the opportunity to demonstrate that you paid attention during the interview and deeply understand the challenges that lie ahead for the organization.

If you are like the majority of job seekers who fail to pay heed to your inner Emily Post—that should be nagging you to write a proper thank-you note—at least do so because it will actually help your cause. Write a thank-you note that demonstrates that you are the more professional candidate—the one who is conscious of the organization’s specific challenges and, most important, the one who is eager and ideally suited to tackle them.


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