Tag Archives: thank you note

Why You Need a Thank You Note

thank_mentor_webYou’ve just finished a job interview and you’re feeling great about your chances of landing the position. Walking out of the building confidently, you play through the interview in your mind, remembering the questions you answered well and a few areas where you think you could have done better.

But what’s next? What are you going to do over the next few days to help land the job and start this new path in your career? If sending a thank you note to the interviewer wasn’t at the top of your list, it’s time to make some adjustments.

The Science Behind “Thank You”
Hopefully, you’ve experienced the joy of being thanked for doing a good job or helping someone. As it turns out, that feeling isn’t just a passing emotion, it’s actually a drug produced by your brain.

A study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that when you have an interaction with someone else and gratitude is shown, an increased level of oxytocin is produced in your body. Known as the “love hormone”, oxytocin has an impact on social behaviors including relaxation, trust, and stability. This hormone is thought to be a major component in relationships, so taking the time to show gratitude toward a potential employer has an obvious benefit.

What to Include
As you sit down to write your thank you note, start by thanking the interviewer for their time and the chance to meet with them, but don’t stop there. Make sure to remind them about your strengths and highlight one of your stronger answers from the interview. If they had a question about the skills you can bring to the job and you had a great response, remind them of it and expand on why you’re interested in the company.

If there are qualities or areas you wish you’d had more time to speak about during the interview, the thank you note is the perfect time to bring those up.

Keep the note short, two to three paragraphs, and don’t forget to proofread it several times. This is another chance to make a good impression, so don’t let spelling or grammatical errors set you back.

The Next Step, Not The Last
There were likely multiple steps to take along the way to landing your job interview, followed by the time it took to prepare for your interview. Consider your thank you note the next step in the process of getting the job, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s your last.

Write down notes on the questions you were asked, including the ones you know you can do better on in the next interview. If there was anything the interviewer asked for you to send, like a sample of previous work or a list of references, make sure you include those with your thank you note.

This is also the time to be patient. Be sure to pay attention to the time frame the interviewer gives you for making their decision. If they say it will be two weeks, wait two weeks before checking back to see how the process is going.

Each interview process is different, but there’s a chance that you will be called in for a second interview that includes other leaders from the company. Take the notes you wrote down from your interview and find areas where you can strengthen your answers. Then, research more about the company and think about the questions you want to ask the interviewer. Great questions will help you make a great impression with leaders.

What other tips would you give to someone sending a thank you note? What have you included in your thank your notes after an interview? Let us know in the comments section.

How to Interview Your Next Boss

interview_your_next_boss_webDuring most interviews, there comes a point when the interviewer turns the tables and asks if you have any questions for them. Though this may be intimidating if you’re unprepared, it can also be a great time to stand out from the competition with some well-crafted questions of your own. Plus, asking questions about the job, the company, and your future employers’ goals helps you learn more about the job.

The Right Questions
The next time you’re faced with this question during an interview, don’t panic. While some questions will emerge from the conversation you have with your interviewer, there are some back-up questions to have ready just in case. To help you have an even more successful interview, consider the following questions:

  1. How do you evaluate a person’s performance in this job? What are the important milestones that show they’re successful?
  2. After this person starts work, what tasks would you expect them to accomplish?
  3. How much travel is expected in this position?
  4. Can you tell me a bit about the make-up of the team? How does this position fit into the rest of the department?
  5. What are your goals for 2015 as a department/team/company?
  6. What does a typical day here look like? What are the hours, and what are the norms when it comes to working overtime or answering email after hours?
  7. What do you think are the major events or trends that have shaped your company’s plans this year?
  8. What do you enjoy most about working here?
  9. What is your career story? How did you get this current role?
  10. Does this company have a strong social media presence? What are the norms for using social media here?
  11. What does a typical career path look like for the person in this role?
  12. How has this position evolved since it was created? Is it a new position, or a vacancy?
  13. How do people within the company communicate? Are there regular staff meetings, or is email the main form of communication?

The Wrong Questions
While these are great questions to keep the conversation going during a job interview, there are some questions you should avoid.

  • Don’t ask your interviewer what the company does. This shows that you didn’t research the company before you arrived and may suggest a lack of interest in the position.
  • You should also avoid asking about time off for vacations, as discussing previous commitments before being offered a position is generally frowned upon.
  • Avoid asking about salary during the first interview, and don’t come right out and ask if you got the job. This puts interviewers on the spot and makes you seem impatient. Instead, consider asking about the next steps in the process and following up with a thank-you note.

What are your go-to questions during a job interview? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Give Thanks: The Importance of Following Up

thank_you_note_webThe big job interview you’ve been stressing over and preparing for is done, and now you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, if you think your part in the interview process is done and you’re just waiting to hear back, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to shine.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s important to think about how you can show gratitude in all areas of your life. For example, giving thanks after an interview could be the deciding factor in a job offer. According to some studies, only 10% of job candidates follow up after a job interview with a thank-you letter. Don’t assume the interviewer knows you are thankful – take the time to actually express your gratitude. If you’re among that 10%, you have the perfect opportunity to stand out.

So, how do you handle this important post-interview correspondence? Give thanks by using these six tips below.

1. Follow up quickly.

As soon as your job interview is over, send a follow-up email or letter to the company. Following up is a critical step in showing your continued interest, but don’t pester the recruiter. A carefully written thank-you note or email will help keep your name at the top of recruiters’ lists.

2. Make the message personal.

Don’t send a standard thank-you template to every person who interviews you. Find the significant points you discussed in the interview and mention the little details you learned about the company and the interviewer. This shows that you not only paid attention during the job interview, but remembered what the company thinks is important.

3. Always say thank you.

The first line of your message should always start with sincere gratitude for the time and interest of the interviewer. After that, be specific about how your experience and skills can benefit the company. Add any other skills that you didn’t get a chance to talk about during the interview, and end the message with another heartfelt thanks.

4. Fit into the culture.

When crafting your message, consider the company culture. If the company is more traditional, craft your thank-you letter in a more formal manner with a hand-written thank-you note or business letter. In some instances, an email may be more appropriate.

5. Proofread and proofread again.

Before you send your thank-you note, proofread it. Then proofread it again. Have a friend or family member proofread it after that. A well-written thank you falls flat if your note is full of errors or if you spelled the interviewer’s name wrong. Be conscientious when crafting your thank-you letter.

6. Follow up, but don’t pester.

Once you’ve sent your first thank-you message, allow for a week to pass before contacting the company again. During your interview, you may also ask for a general time frame as to when to expect an answer. If you didn’t get the job, request feedback on how to improve your interview skills, and follow up any feedback with another thank-you message.

You can’t go wrong by expressing thanks. Whether you aced the interview or bombed it, you at least had the chance to show off your potential. Interviews are stressful for both the job seeker and the employer, but a well-crafted and sincere thank-you note can ease the agony of waiting to hear back.

What tips do you have when following up after a job interview? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.