How important is the thank you note after an interview?
One word: Extremely.
Most applicants don’t send a thank you note post-interview, which just baffles me. Sure, it’s part of their job responsibilities to interview and hire but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve respect and appreciation.
Here is what I love about a thank you note. It’s a re-cap of the interview and one last pitch of yourself. Why wouldn’t you take that last opportunity? What if the interviewer had a rough day or more likely, they interviewed three people back to back for the same or different positions. The details at the end of the day or even the next day might get a little blurry. Your thank you note will remind them of your conversation, qualifications, and their overall impression of you. Plus, it just might put you over the edge with your sincerity and thoughtfulness.
What do you have to really lose?
Great. I have you convinced. Now what? So many questions, right? For instance should I do it hand written, typed and sent snail mail, or emailed? When do I send it? Who do I send it to?
Let’s start with the type. There are several things to consider here. 1. What type of person are you? Do you naturally gravitate towards hand written notes? Is that part of your ‘personality’ per se? Do you have nice penmanship? I would say if you answer yes to all three of these questions, send a nice hand written thank you note by mail. The only disadvantage would be it’s not an immediate form of communication and there would be a lag in it’s arrival.
Now, if you have terrible penmanship, you should type it, hands down. Just be sure to sign it legibly at the end.
Email is the newest and greatest form of communication. It’s fast and can use spell check and a huge advantage is that you can literally send it immediately reaching the interviewer’s desk right after the interview. If all your correspondence has been through email, I say, go for the email.
Timing. Timing is everything. If you are handwriting a note or typing and mailing, you have two options. The first is in the car right after your interview and then go drop it off at the post office. The second option is to write it immediately when you get home and put it in the mail the same day or to go out the next day. You want to give the interviewer an immediate re-cap of the interview to stay fresh on their mind.
Anyone who actually interviewed you needs a thank you note. My advice is grab or ask for their business card before you leave. You will have their name and address at their office. Bingo. Anyone who helped schedule your interview or assisted you in landing the interview should be appreciated as well, such as an employee referral, administrative assistant, or Human Resources personnel. They could just get a simple hand written and short thank you.
Next, let’s talk about what goes into a thank you note.
This comes naturally to me. But the first thing you want to mention is thanking them for their time to interview you for the specific position and maybe a mention of how excited you are for the opportunity. Next, I would mention something specific you discussed in the interview that only you two would remember. Thirdly, express some excitement about something that the company is currently work on or an upcoming project and how you would be a perfect fit due to XYZ. Lastly, thank them for their time again.
Below is an excellent example of a typed, formal letter either to be emailed or snail mailed. (This is customized for a pharmacist, our main clientele, but it gives you a great example of a quality thank you note and the principles can be applied for any industry.)
14 Elm St. | Sometown, CA 55555 | 555-555-5555 | ElizabethG@email.com
Aimee Long, PharmD, BCPS
Director of Pharmacy
ABC Rx Company
1 Corporate Way
Sometown, CA 55555
Dear Dr. Long:
Thank you for meeting with me this morning to discuss the staff pharmacist position. I enjoyed our conversation, and I am very excited about the possibility of joining your team at [name of company].
I know what it takes to run a busy and successful pharmacy practice. In my last position as a pharmacy manager for XYZ Company, I helped manage all aspects of the operation, handling financial reporting and evaluation, customer service, spearheading adherence patient calls and interactions, and lead many successful community outreach programs to establish a strong presence and relationship for our patients.
You mentioned that you need a pharmacist who has strong “people” skills, and this is an area in which I excel. At XYZ Company, I helped the manager build a loyal client base by consistently providing excellent service. My last supervisor said, “Elizabeth is one of the hardest-working employees I have known. Her friendly and professional customer-service skills helped the pharmacy achieve a 20 percent revenue increase last year, and I couldn’t have done it without her.”
I don’t see the pharmacist role as a punch-the-clock, 9-to-5 job; as a healthcare professional, I will be your “right hand”—helping you manage the day-to-day operations, volunteering for special projects, and ensuring the company is positioned for growth and increased profitability.
Again, thank you for considering me for this exciting opportunity. As you requested, I’m enclosing a list of professional references. Please feel free to call me if you need additional information, have any questions or would like to offer me the job! Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Elizabeth Greenleaf’s signature
Enclosure: List of References
This is just an example of a thank you note. And there are plenty of variations. If hand written, I would shorten this substantially, as thank you notes have very limited space!
So, what do you think? Have you been missing out on a great opportunity for a lasting impression?
As always, we are here to help with all your professional writing needs. All you need to do is ask.
Ashley Gulyas, PharmD
Owner and Pharmacy Editor