Interviewing Best Practices: Is the hand-written thank you note dead? What is the replacement?
Here is what I was told when I was interviewing: Write a hand-written thank you note and get it to the person who interviewed you within 24 hours.I guess those days are over. What are best practices for post-interview follow-up?
Eric Schoep(Marketing Director, Blackout Creations, LLC)
Do not fall for that! Hand-written thank you notes will receive extra attention more now than ever. There are a wide range of electronic thank you notes and cards that you can send but those tend to get lost in the e-mail inbox and often interpreted as inpersonal. As in most all cases, use technology to compliment your relationship skills and not replace them.
4 Additional Answers
Richard Pell(Consultant, Human Resource Solutions Plus - HRSP)
I agree with the idea of a handwritten note having more impact than an electronic follow-up even if only because of the novelty value! But....use really good quality paper/envelope and write very clearly. People do like to receive high quality correspondence that someone has taken some time over.
If your handwriting usually looks like a spider has stepped in ink and dragged itself across the page you could always word process the note and 'top and tail' it in handwriting - but make sure the content of the note is relevant to the post and does not appear to be some hideous standard acknowledgement that everyone gets!
Tiffany Branch(President, Branch Career Consulting, LLC)
I guess I'm the odd ball out. I don't care about a handwritten note. When I was heavy into recruiting, the handwritten notes usually sat in my in-box with the other snail mail. It just doesn't impress me. Call me strange, but if I think you are qualified and the best person for the job, an email or handwritten note will have no bearing on my decision.
HOWEVER, I will ALWAYS advise my clients to send one because there are folks who appreciate it and will value the personal touch.
Scott Petoff(Founder, Owner, and President, Meliovation (VacationCounts))
I have a different perspective to share. I know employees at major technology companies who barely even know they have a snail mail (physical) inbox as it may be located somewhere else in the office. If you mail them a letter or hand written note as a thank you post interview, there is a good chance they won't see it for days or weeks and therefore won't affect the hiring decision in your favor. Or they could be traveling or working from home.
My recommendation to colleagues is to EMAIL a Thank You note and make sure it is sent before 8am the next morning. Email is hard to ignore and can be received and read anywhere in the world. When I interview candidates on-site or by telephone, I always expect but hardly ever receive a personal thank you note (email or otherwise). When a candidate did send one, I made sure to bring that up when passing along my opinion to the hiring manager (and vice versa).
Now if you have a spelling mistake in your thank you email it will go against you (at least in my book), so make sure to spell check and ask a friend or family member to review it before hitting send; but that goes without saying :)
Eric Britten(President, Britten & Associates, LLC)
So far, everyone agrees that a written 'thank you' note following an interview is appropriate - the question is what medium should be employed. I'm with the handwritten note folks.
These days I think that email is acceptable, and that is why I think a hand written note can be a differentiator. To me, it's like going the extra mile. And, in situations where there may be a lot of folks interviewing, this could make a difference. That said, I have to agree with Richard - if your handwriting is poor, don't hand write it. And, use professional stationery - not one of those cutsie notes you pick up at the mall.
I do think this subject is personal to the interviewer, so it may not help you, but, conversely, I have a hard time thinking it would hurt you.