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Thank You Letters/ Follow Up

Nov 10 '10 28 Last Comment
architectonik
Nov 10, 10 5:54 pm

What are your thoughts on Thank You Letters / Follow Up Emails... what should they say? How quickly after the interview should one be sent? Should you send one at all? Is it overkill? Standard?

Thoughts?

 

Cherith Cutestory
Nov 10, 10 6:08 pm

I think it's usually in good taste to send a thank you email after an interview. Usually it's best to send something within 24 hours, but perhaps not immediately.

I usually just thank them for the opportunity to interview with them, reinforce my interest in the position and the company and mention that I will follow-up with them at whatever time we discussed in the interview.

Keep it short and simple.

quizzical
Nov 10, 10 6:17 pm

architectonik: as someone who handles all the interviewing for our firm, I have mixed feelings about follow-up letters.

On the one hand, I appreciate the courtesy of a candidate taking the time to send me a note, but the reality is that probably 85% of the people I interview never send one and I don't hold that against them ... I would not let that omission prevent me from hiring somebody I otherwise want to hire. Mostly, what I think when I receive a thank you note is "hey, this person probably comes from a good family where manners were taught" ... and, that's probably a positive factor.

On the other hand, most thank you letters are pretty lame and mostly proforma boilerplate ... they may be well intentioned, but they rarely come off as sincere. About the only time such notes have real meaning are when the candidate is providing an answer to some question that was unresolved during the interview.

Whether a thank you note arrives via e-mail or snail mail is not particularly important to me ... it's the thought that counts, not the medium.

I would say that it never hurts to send such a note and -- if you want to be safe -- by all means take the time to write. However, at least in my case, it's not really that big of a deal.

Cherith Cutestory
Nov 10, 10 6:38 pm

To reinforce quizzical's point (which coming from someone who does interviewing, probably is more valid and therefore doesn't require reinforcement), the follow-up has yet to yield results in my favor, so perhaps like much of Emily Post, is a product of a different era.

Rusty!
Nov 10, 10 6:51 pm

I usually sent a quick e-mail note the next day apologizing profusely for sweating like a pig, mumbling incoherently and then puking in the elevator on the way out.

Interviewing is like sex. It becomes extremely anxiety inducing if it only happens a handful of times a year.

On a (slightly) more serious note, I second quizzical's observations. I have sent thank you notes that quickly touch on questions that went unresolved during the interview. Which is every single fucking time.

holz.box
Nov 10, 10 7:06 pm

i have always sent out prompt, hand written notes that ty to not look boilerplate, expressing my gratitude for taking time out of their day.

the only downside is my handwriting sucks.

Distant Unicorn
Nov 10, 10 7:07 pm

I've recently sent a firm a pack of cigarettes as a thank you note.

... But I think I've only seriously applied for two jobs in the last 3 months.




The rule with interviews is the same rule as dating... wait at least 72 hours unless instructed otherwise. Dating or sexing your interviewer does not work either. You should only bone them after you have gotten the job.

architectonik
Nov 10, 10 7:14 pm

lol you guys are hilarious... yeah, i'm thinking a box of cigars and a case of vodka is a pretty solid "thank you"

but i think i'm going to shoot with Cutestory's response "...short and simple."

prairie school drop out
Nov 10, 10 7:24 pm

once i got a job because i was the only person who sent a thank you note (i mean, i think there were other factors, but my then boss definitely noted it). granted, this was 2002 but still. i send one every single time (not that it's gotten me a job this time around...)

i generally send something short (an email) a day or two after, and i definitely try to mention something that i thought stood out about the interview. not boiler plate. i frequently get a response (positive!), i think people appreciate the extra effort. and it only takes a few minutes.

Rusty!
Nov 10, 10 7:35 pm

I also include an image in my thank you e-mail that tries to summarize my perception of how well I did in the interview.

Cherith Cutestory
Nov 10, 10 8:05 pm

p.s. architectonik, congrats on getting an interview. hopefully it works out for you.

my interviews usually feel more like this

outed
Nov 10, 10 8:12 pm

a handwritten follow up thank you note never, ever hurts you. so why not?

olaf design ninja
Nov 10, 10 8:21 pm

If I don't hear from them in 2 hours I get anxious and start downing coffee like a mofo, then I stay up all night prancing around punching walls doing the under the breath scream and at 6am I write a very emotional email to them ranting and raving for not hiring me because they don't know good design and are douche bags...

I start calling at 859 am to see if they changed their minds yet, those no talent hacks. The person who picks up tells me they don't make those decisions and I scream at them informing them of their small prick and why suburbia and britney spears sucks because they can't make decisions.

At luinchtime I go and make a visit. As always I befriended security the day before with a 6 pack of heineken..its a jungle out there...I Say yo my essay security what's happening holmes we cool, get you pizza later bro...walk up to the hot reception and tell her she wants to sleep with me.

At that moment I imagine all the principals of the firm gathered around my brilliantly written 6am email on the demise of true architecture and the little prick skyscaper syndrome.

Some sweater vest wearing douch bag comes out and says Olaf we need you to leave please...I shout "what because I am better than you? I am sorry I didn't go to an ivy league grad school, my bad, I don't know how to drive a yacht."

At that point security comes in and I start telling security calmly this white mother effer won't higher me because I talk to lower class people like himself.

As the security grabs my arm I tell the reception to call me.

They usually do...after a night of drinking and sleeping with me she tells me that she has blown the sweater vest principal many times who is married to a big yale alumbn endownment family daughter.

I got the job. Still banging the reception. Drinking brews with security watching. Monday night football on the clock. I wear sweater vests now.

Rusty!
Nov 10, 10 8:23 pm

If the handwritten follow-up note is a ransom demanding employment for safe return of their external back-up drive, then it can definitively hurt you. It depends on your negotiation skills...

Parad0xx86
Nov 10, 10 8:29 pm

I say send a very short 2 sentence thank you email within 24-48 hours after the interview unless you want to mention other things you forgot to mention during the interview. Surely, a thank you letter won't get you the job but it shows you have manners.I'm just not sure if manners matter anymore though,I guess firms hire who they "THINK" is more qualified whatever his/her manners are....

olaf design ninja
Nov 12, 10 6:28 pm

Sweater vest yo.

mdler
Nov 12, 10 6:51 pm

send a thank you email that forces the interview to continue the discusson with you...'let me know what next steps are', 'let me know if I can send you any more info', 'I have referrences', etc

if you put the ball back in their court, they are more likely to keep talking with you (which is what you want)

olaf design ninja
Nov 12, 10 7:06 pm

No really sweater vest.

Rusty!
Nov 12, 10 7:23 pm

Dear mister Holl,

Thank you for taking your time to consider me for the position of "the-new-guy". I enjoyed talking with you. Once again, I assure you that it was not me who 'bumpied-down' your Jenga puzzle back in '84. Also, I too love sketching while watching Spungebob Squarepants. What's your favorite episode?

Kind regards,

Like that?

olaf design ninja
Nov 12, 10 7:30 pm

Sponge bob square pants sponge bob square pant§

zen maker
Nov 13, 10 9:16 pm

Thank you letters never really worked for me, I think if the employer is interested in you during the interview, then they will do their best to attain you, and those stupid thank you letters / emails are the thing of past generation.

file
Nov 13, 10 9:53 pm

Not sure I really know what it means, but of the people we interview we receive thank you notes from a fairly high percentage of the female candidates, but only a very small percentage of the male candidates.

outed
Nov 13, 10 10:24 pm

it's not always about landing a particular job at a particular interview. sometimes, it's about creating an impression that sticks in someone's mind. you never know where it will pay itself forward down the line...

med.
Nov 15, 10 12:03 pm

An email just telling the potential employer that you appreciate their interest and time in interviewing you would be adequate in my opinion...

I think it is very professional and shows good manners.

Darth Spacer
Feb 1, 11 6:32 am

LOL! The exploding head was me when I interviewed at Gehry Partners, I guess that's why I didn't get the job :(

Olga B.
Feb 1, 11 8:20 am

would it be appropriate to re-apply for a position you were not hired for several months ago, and that became available again? "We have chosen another candidate" letter was very flattering, so I don't even know whether or not it was a standard reply form.

Caryatid15
Feb 1, 11 3:39 pm

Good manners and professionalism, I think is never outdated. Sending a thank you note by email or snail mail is just simple manners. Does it help in your candidacy or not? I don't think it matters. Just send it whether or not you are eager to get the job at least it will set you apart from the others who think this simple gesture is outdated.

Caryatid15
Feb 1, 11 3:40 pm

Good manners and professionalism, I think is never outdated. Sending a thank you note by email or snail mail is just simple manners. Does it help in your candidacy or not? I don't think it matters. Just send it whether or not you are eager to get the job at least it will set you apart from the others who think this simple gesture is outdated.

Cherith Cutestory
Feb 1, 11 7:11 pm

Good manners and professionalism are a two-way street, and many employers have seem to forgotten that fact.

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