Many job seekers debate the response to this question. Some candidates believe that a thank you gesture is essential while others question whether it is even required. I posed this question to recruiters in leading industries and got an astounding 85% response that a thank you email or gesture is proper protocol. I have outlined their responses as well as tips and techniques below.
Format of the Thank you
From the industry professionals that I surveyed, a thank you email would be sufficient. One Recruiter stated that a candidate should aim to have the thank you sent and received in a timely manner following the interview. Some candidates feel that an email is impersonal and will drop off a physical thank you card. This is a great approach but does not take into account if the interviewer is absent or on vacation and it may not be possible to deliver it in a timely manner. What is the most important is the content of the message to demonstrate that reflection and appreciation of the role and organization has been taken into consideration.
Timing of the Thank You
Candidates often question when the best time is to send a thank you email. A leading Recruiter stated the protocol to follow is to send the thank you the same week of when you were interviewed. By this logic, If Jane Doe was interviewed on a Monday, and then a thank you email should be sent by no later than Friday of the same week. Personally, I would suggest a 2-3 day limit as you want to use this as an opportunity to reinforce your interest in the role.
Content of the Thank You
The thank you email should first and foremost express appreciation for the interviewer’s time. The secondary aspect is something from the interview that reinforced your interest, perhaps a demonstration of how a value comes into play at the organization or an award that they have received. You can add from there on for what you think would best fit.
I would suggest to sending one thank you email for each stage of the interview strictly to those that were involved in the recruitment process. While a thank you email might not necessarily result in the ultimate hiring decision, it does portray appreciation. It also helps in leaving the door open for future opportunities.
I wish you the best of luck in the interview process and hope that these tips help you!