August 20, 2019

Getting Hired - Episode 1: My Wife's Strange Habit

by Brian Skory

My Wife's Strange Habit

Early into my marriage, I noticed that my wife had an unusual habit. Whenever we received a gift, had been a guest at another’s home, etc., she would send a “thank you” card. I took particular notice that she would even send one after a job interview. I thought it a somewhat strange and dated practice. It certainly wasn’t something that I was accustomed to doing. “That’s because your Momma didn’t raise you right,” she would joke.

I was reminded of this recently when the Executive Managing Editor for Insider, Inc. (formerly Business Insider) made quite a stir after writing an article about how she generally will not extend an offer to a candidate who did not follow up their onsite interview with an emailed “thank you” note. The article went somewhat viral, and there was much discussion and debate around the topic.

You may not agree that a thank-you note--or lack thereof--should be a factor in a hiring decision. I think we can all agree, however, that writing a thank-you email after an onsite interview can be of value for a number of reasons.

  1. In more cases than not, a follow-up thank you email will be viewed favorably, and every check in the “favorable” column only works to your benefit.
  2. Chances are pretty good that your competition will not have followed-up their interview with a thank-you email, so you’ll stand out from the other candidates. Another check for you in the “favorable” column.
  3. In addition to a “thank you for taking the time to interview me,” this is also one last opportunity to convey to the interviewer how excited you are about this opportunity. Hiring managers like to hire people who are enthusiastic about the opportunity and who think they will like working at their company.

Obviously, to send a thank-you email, you will need an email address for the interviewer. Try to collect at least one business card while you are there. (Hiring managers are generally okay about giving out their business cards.) Once you know at least one person’s email address, you can generally figure out everyone else’s based on the naming convention used by that company. If in doubt, you can send your thank-you to one person and ask them to share it with the rest of the interviewing team.

If you’re working with a recruiter, get the email address from them, and make sure to cc: your recruiter so that they see the extra effort you are putting into the interview. In the event that they are not at liberty to share their client’s email addresses, your recruiter should still be more than happy to forward on your email to the appropriate parties.

Let my wife’s “strange” habit become your new good habit, and you might just find yourself with an extra advantage after your onsite interview.

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