Candidate interviews for an accounting position

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Congratulations! You aced an interview for that awesome new job opportunity (or at least you think you did). Sit back and wait for them to contact you with an offer? Absolutely not. A post-interview thank you note offers one final chance to make a lasting, high-impact impression. It’s a simple step that many candidates forget.

A recent survey revealed that 80 percent of managers take post-interview thank you notes into consideration when vetting potential candidates. Curiously, only 24 percent of candidates follow up with an expression of gratitude. Counter that with the fact that 15 percent of hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder said they would not hire a candidate who neglected to send a thank you note.

Dismissing the importance of follow-up gratitude could cost you a great opportunity. Don’t take any chances. Stand out from the crowd…a few minutes of your time may have a big impact on your future career path.

A few key points to consider:

Time it Right

Punctuality is key. Stay top of mind and send a thank-you note within 24 hours.

Email vs. Mail

In our book, it’s not an either/or situation.

The email thank you is mandatory. Things move too fast now, and we live in a world of instant gratification. Send the email immediately after your interview — it will absolutely be appreciated.

A handwritten follow-up is the cherry on top — an additional reminder to the hiring manager who will most likely receive the note after interviewing other candidates. The thoughtful note brings you back to front-and-center in their mind.

Showcase Your Interest

After the interview, your understanding of the role has likely advanced beyond the initial job description. Think about what you learned and highlight discussion points from the exchange with your potential new employer. Illustrate that you gained valuable insight from the conversation. Express what you admire about the company culture and how you will be a positive addition to the team.

Make sure the hiring manager knows you are passionate about your work and the company’s mission. Let them know that you genuinely care about the opportunity. Highlight how your area of expertise will benefit the company. Be specific on how you can propel the company forward and why you are the perfect candidate to do so. Do all of this in a succinct message — it can be done but requires discipline.

The thank you note also offers an opportunity to highlight additional research you did after the interview — something you saw on the company LinkedIn page or in a press release. It’s just another way to showcase your interest.

Make it Professional and Personal

A great post-interview thank you note allows you to directly repeat a few points made in the interview. For instance, if the hiring manager mentioned specific pain points of the job, you can speak about how your skill set would directly address them.

It’s important to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you LISTENED during the interview versus just doing all of the talking.

The professional is great, but the personal is what will make an impression. Include something that is specific to the time you spent with the hiring manager. A few examples: “loved comparing notes on our golden retrievers” or “thanks for sharing the story about your first week at the company — it really helped me understand the culture.”

These sorts of specific, personal touches will strike the right chord and potentially give you an edge.

Thanks again

Gratitude always goes a long way. Remember that the person doing the interview is a human being with an array of challenges. Who doesn’t want to be thanked for his or her time? It’s your chance to make a further connection and, hopefully, seal the deal for your next career move.

 

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