are interview thank-you notes going out of style?

A reader writes:

I emailed you a bit ago about creating an audio clip in a resume which you suggested to not do because no one would take the time to hear it. Now I’m in a position where I hire, I TOTALLY see why… I’d find it annoying and I’d probably delete it.

Anyway, I manage a department of IT developers and find myself hiring frequently (we hire interns from a local school and there’s a lot of turnover in that position).

One thing I’ve always been recommended in job seeking is you should definitely send a quick thank-you note after an interview, stating you appreciated the interviewer’s time. Nothing too complex or long, just a thanks for the time and maybe a sentence or two of what you were excited about most.

I’ve noticed that within the pool of candidates whom I’ve interviewed over the last year (probably 30 or so), I’ve gotten maybe 2 thank-you notes. Usually I’m in the position of hiring individuals right out of college or still in college and wonder, is this just inexperience, or is sending a thank-you note going out of style? Personally, I’ve had to sort of ignore it when hiring (I’d literally get no one if I didn’t) but it still irks me a little.

I wanted to ask because I wanted to change my expectations if it truly isn’t required anymore.

It’s never been required!  It’s just a smart thing to do.

You definitely shouldn’t penalize candidates for not doing it. It’s more something that might be a positive for a candidate who does.

It’s also important to realize that some candidates treat these as just one more box to check off in their job-searching steps — they send a perfunctory note that oozes “I’m just sending this because I heard I was supposed to.”  Those aren’t especially useful, and I wouldn’t count those for or against a candidate. All that tells you is that they read something that suggested a thank-you note, and they’re dutifully doing it.

What’s much more helpful is when a candidate sends a note that builds on your conversation and explains why they’re interested in the job and think they’d be a good fit for it. That’s a plus. Anything else (perfunctory “I’m checking this step off my list” type notes, or the lack of a note at all) is just a neutral.

(And really, keep in mind that you don’t need to be thanked for your time; you weren’t doing them a favor by interviewing them. Interviews are business meetings of two professionals seeing if it makes sense to work together. Which is why it’s too bad that people think of these as thank-you notes, rather than the follow-up notes they should be. )

In any case, it’s not surprising that you’re getting so few post-interview notes from candidates, since you’re interviewing candidates without much experience. This is a group that doesn’t really know business conventions yet, and often feels uncomfortable with job-searching in general. But even if they were more experienced, a post-interview note is just part of the overall picture of a candidate, not a deciding factor.

{ 82 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    I’ve found we don’t get thank-you notes very frequently — but when I do receive them it does stand out to me, especially when they are well written. I think it just reiterates the candidates interest and definitely works in their favor.

    I’m actually surprised recent grads/interns aren’t e-mailing thank-you notes— the Career Center at the college I went to definitely put an emphasis on doing this.

  2. mozandeffect*

    While I agree it’s never been required, the fact that so few people are doing actually makes it all the more useful that you do – because you stand out. I also agree that they shouldn’t be oozing sycophantic thank you notes either – it makes you look less than genuine and can hurt you.

    Thank the person for their time – and if you were a good candidate, they will remember this and you fondly. I put in “good” because even if you weren’t qualified or not considered in the running, a thank you note might not get you anywhere, even if you are being genuine…for this job. But showing you appreciate their time, who knows, even if you weren’t right for this job, they might remember you for another job down the road.

    1. Ryan*

      EXACTLY – I was hiring internally for a position in one of my departments and ONE person sent a thank you note. She was easily my first choice because I felt she could work at the level required but it still made her stand out. I was even more impressed that she did it with an internal posting when she could just as easily have done it verbally the next time I passed her in the hall or not done it at all and I wouldn’t have even noticed.

      1. class factotum*

        We were hiring a new customer service rep. One candidate had been known to all of us for years – she worked for one of our customers. She was interviewing with his blessing. We knew her and we liked her. We only interviewed candidate #2 to make it look good.

        Candidate #2 was excellent – and she wrote a personalized follow-up note to everyone in the group. Candidate #1 did not write to anyone.

        Candidate #2 got the job.

        1. Eamonn Dunne*

          Frankly its a mark against you as an interviewer if something as mundane as a thank you note influences your decision making process.

          1. Khillian*

            It said that Candidate #2 was excellent, so I’m assuming that it was not JUST the thank you note. If the two candidates were equal in every other qualification, that thank you note is the tie-breaker.

      1. JT*

        MTV – my time is valuable. Five minutes drafting a good message, plus hitting “send” is not free. MTV bro. MTV.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Intrusive? What’s the emotional penalty in sending a note following up on your conversation with additional thoughts about the fit? That would make interviews and cover letters intrusive too.

  3. Anon*

    Also, it sounds like they mostly hire from one school, it could be a career services issue. My law school career services always told us not to send thank you notes (I don’t remember their reasoning; I think they claimed it “will never help and can hurt, if your grammar and spelling aren’t perfect.”). In retrospect, this turned out to be terrible advice (though obviously you should make sure you grammar and spelling aren’t perfect), but I didn’t know to question it when I was a student.

      1. Victoria*

        (though obviously you should make sure youR grammar and spelling are perfect)

        Sorry, couldn’t resist :) Carry on!

        1. Josh S*

          I did a cut-and-paste job. Though I missed the you/your confusion, I got my pedantic point across, thankyouverymuch.

      2. Anon*

        Heh, you’re right, obviously; I noticed that immediately after I posted and felt like an idiot – also, the missing “since” in the first sentence – but figured since I wasn’t saying your spelling and grammar in blog comments should be perfect, I’d let it go.

  4. Brett*

    Can candidates easily contact you? I’ve found, interviewing for tech industry jobs, that I rarely have my interviewer’s contact info. And tech employees don’t tend to have cards, at least not with them all the time. And so unless you’re putting a ton of focus on remembering to get an email address it’s not always easy to send a thank-you.

    Personally, I have ended up emailing thanks to the HR contact and asking them to pass it along. I don’t know how often they bother to do this though!

    1. Anonymous*

      What I have done in cases like these is take thank you cards with me to the interview. Afterwards, when the interview is still fresh in my mind, I write a pointed note and leave it with the receptionist for the interviewer.

      As a sidenote, when I changed jobs last year, I went to my boss’ office to sign paperwork and saw the thank you note sitting on her desk a week later. They really are worth the effort!

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        FWIW, I would tweak that slightly — send it the next day by email instead of leaving it with the receptionist as you leave the interview. You want it to look like you thought over the conversation and are following up on it; making it clear that you brought a note card with you and planned to do this on your way out will make it seem a bit too much like “checking off the box” (and also that you haven’t even had time to think yet).

        1. Jay*

          I had a candidate try this method recently. Unfortunately for him, I was at the front desk having a conversation with the receptionist…the same receptionist he wanted to leave the note with. Eventually, he just walked back over and handed the note to me with a certain if-I-don’t-do-this-now-I’ll-never-remember look. But…he ultimately got the job!

          1. Jan*

            I once received a thank you card directly after the interview, and though I wouldn’t hold it against the candidate, I found it strange. On second thought, though, it just means they were prepared. I’ll take preparedness over sentimental pretense any day.

  5. Sean*

    Over the summer, I interviewed for a pretty good job – one that would be a good step up from my current role – at another outfit. I met a panel of six or seven people, and send them all notes later that day, thanking them for the experience, and making one last pitch for myself. I didn’t figure I’d get the job, but knew I had an outside chance. In any case, I wanted to leave them with a good impression.

    I didn’t the job, but after being notified by mail, I send them all an e-mail, wishing them luck with the remainder of the search with my regards. I got a very nice e-mail back from the highest -ranking person I met there, the VP of the entire division, who detailed for me where I was strong and what, in their view, I needed to strengthen. It was filled with good, constructive information that was clearly well-intentioned. I’ve always been a proponent of the thank-you note, but this really proved its value to me.

  6. Guest*

    I stopped sending thank you notes back when employers started telling me that they’d have a meeting to make a decision about me right after I left. When I was doing campus interviews in grad school, I had a rejection email waiting before I got home. (A month later I got an offer on the phone from a bigger/better company the evening I interviewed, so that night made up for the instant rejection.)

    I’m not sure sending thank-you notes from a smart phone is a good idea, and at the time, I had to get back to work or go to class before I could write thank-you notes. And the decision had often been made by then.

    Then again, I knew a thank-you note would have been pretty perfunctory, and worse, I knew that they would know it.

    1. Victoria*

      I think it’s still beneficial to send one, even if you think that the decision’s already been made. Often the 1st choice candidate backs out, in which case a thank-you from you, the 2nd choice, might put you higher up in their mind and remind them what they liked about you more than what they didn’t like.

      It never hurts to thank someone for their time, IMO.

  7. KayDay*

    I actually think the OP’s story is funny because it’s the exact opposite of what I have noticed. When I’ve been involved in hiring it’s usually the recent grads who always (okay, almost always) send a thank you note, particularly of the “perfunctory… one more box to check off in their job-searching steps… ‘I’m just sending this because I heard I was supposed to.’ “ sort.

    Candidates for more senior positions (in my experience) are much more likely to either not send a note at all, but rather follow up through their connections (i.e. sending a email to a mutual contact), or something similar.

    I’ve always assumed that the reasons for this were (1) recent grads are more likely to follow job search like they are following a check list, (2) new grads probably look for much more job search advice recommending thank you notes, and (3) new grads are more desperate to differentiate themselves through their actions on the job search, because they don’t have much job history.

    1. Jay*

      I agree. Most of the thank you notes I get are from the least qualified (but most eager) candidates who are trying to stand out. It usually does not really help. The worst advice is sending the note in the regular mail. We make decisions quickly and have often already moved one way or another on a candidate before the note arrives. Email is much better for this, especially since all of our correspondence about the job has been via email.

      1. Doug*

        I’m one of those “least qualified” recent grads. If that doesn’t help, what else can we do?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          All the stuff we talk about here — a great cover letter, strong interviewing skills, responsiveness, enthusiasm, professionalism, good references, etc.

  8. EngineerGirl*

    I’ve found that thank you notes have always helped me. It is a chance to show that I’m excited about the specifics of the job. It also gave me a chance to “sell” myself base on any new information I’ve learned during the interview. “During the interview, we talked about some of the issues on the CANDI project. I think my experience with chocolate teapot temperature optimization may help with solving your CANDI blob problem.”

    And here is something for those that think thank you notes are a bother – even if you don’t get the job, you stand out just a little bit more with the interviewers. They may pass your resume on to someone else, remember you for another posting and ask you to apply, or as Sean noted, you may get valuable feedback.

    People that don’t send thank you notes are short changing themselves.

    1. Thanks a Million*

      Spot on. For my Favorite Job Ever I interviewed with a committee of six. It was obvious that they had split up the interviewing duties so that each of them had one particular question to ask, and I made brief notes about which one asked which question. I wrote each of them a thank-you note and added something about the question, as in your example.

      Later, after I was hired (out of a pool of over 100 applicants–I have no idea how many were interviewed), I saw a thick folder on my boss’s desk. My thank-you note was stapled to the outside of it. I don’t know if it helped or not, but I’m certain that it was noticed.

  9. Bobby Digital*

    I had honestly never heard of the Thank You Note Thing until about a year ago (I’m five years out of college). Granted, I wasn’t looking for career advice until recently, but it’s still something that never came up in the career discussions that I did have.

    Also, when I heard about the Thank You Note Thing, I checked with my boyfriend and our roommate (boyfriend’s my age; roommate is a much older Ph.D.), and, alas, neither of them had heard of it, either. None of us could believe how inadvertently boorish we must’ve looked all those times…

    While I’m totally hooked on the idea now (it really does seem polite and like a “freebie,” as someone mentioned above), I do wonder if its prevalence is regional/industry-specific?

    1. Bobby Digital*

      I also want to add that, prior to hearing about it being a convention, it probably would’ve seemed like a really tacky idea to me. I was (and am!) certainly grateful for interviews, but I think I would’ve seen a follow-up note as an imposition, like calling a hiring manager to tell them I’ve submitted a resume. Maybe other people that don’t know that it’s a common practice feel the same way about it?

      (Methinks someone should do a PSA about thank-you notes & air it during primetime…)

    2. Rana*

      Yes. When I was working in academia, I didn’t know of anyone who used them. When relatives suggested sending them, it was really hard to convince them that our professional culture tends to view them as odd at best and smarmy and clueless at worst.

      And I’m someone who takes thank-you notes seriously otherwise, so it’s not that.

  10. Anon*

    I do penalize candidates for not sending them, because in my line of work, we straddle a sales and finance role, and I expect them to thank others for their time as a part of business. It’s a show of respect.

        1. Anon*

          I don’t write, but I do respond to theirs with thanks! Even if I’m interviewing, I guess I do view it as more of an imposition on my time, than the other way around (interestingly, I agree that interviews are mutual tryouts, not one-sided). Just as I view my customers’ time as more important than mine.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Interesting! I might encourage you to turn that around — after all, you have a problem (job vacancy) that you’re eagerly searching for the right person to fill, and since having the right team is so important, hiring is one of the most important things managers can spend their time on.

  11. Mike*

    I’m surpised to hear so many people haven’t heard of the post-interview-thank-you note! I don’t know where I learned it from come to think of it, but usually when you can’t remember where you learned it from you assume everyone else knows. Common knowledge we would call it, I suppose. I guess that it’s not common knowledge. Hope this tip helps people in their job searches!

    1. businesslady*

      I know! I’ve never outright disqualified someone over it*, but I do see it as a basic thing that you “just do”–so when a candidate overlooks it, I wonder what other simple, obvious-to-me tasks might not occur to them.

      *now that I think about it, the people I considered viable candidates after the interview always ended up being the ones who sent thank-you notes–even though I probably would’ve wanted to hire them regardless. but if anything, that’s even MORE of an argument for the type of good follow-up letter that Alison advocates: if some of the more lukewarm interviewees ever surprised me with a thoughtful response that elaborated on our conversation, it might’ve been enough to make me reconsider them.

      1. Kelly L.*

        I think, to tie it back to another thread from weeks ago, it’s another one of those things that depends heavily on the circles you were raised in. It gives people an advantage if they were raised by people who know about The Thank You Note Thing, as someone above put it. If you didn’t grow up knowing anyone who sent TY notes for anything, and I do think they’re more commonly done by the middle and upper classes and for white-collar jobs, then you might not encounter the idea unless you read sites like this one or take a career search class of some sort.

        1. businesslady*

          that is very true, & a good point to bring up. I will say that, in the cases I’m referring to at least, the interviewees in question were fairly privileged academically/socioeconomically–at least based on their resumes & all other appearances–& these were white-collar jobs.

          but it’s always worth keeping in mind that what seems “obvious” to you is likely informed by your particular context, & that using culturally-informed behaviors as litmus tests might result in a problematic bias against people who aren’t from the same background.

  12. Cindy*

    My career in publishing started with an internship that I later learned was the result of an extremely competitive hiring process. I sent a thoughtful thank you note on a pretty card to Executive Editor after our interview, and when I came in for my first day a few weeks later, the card was displayed on her desk! I have been a thank-you note proponent ever since.
    To the OP–I wonder if it’s something about IT? My husband is an computer engineer, and he said it would be totally bizarre to send a paper thank you note after an interview. However, he and his coworkers and managers all claim to have some form of Aspergers, so they are maybe playing by their own social rules.

    1. Victoria*

      My husband is in IT also and when he was looking for work and I nagged him to send a thank-you card, he also thought it was bizarre. Dunno if it’s because he’s IT or because he’s male, though ;)

  13. Blinx*

    Very timely subject. Had an interview yesterday, and was just about to email HR to ask for the email address of one of the hiring managers to send a follow-up note. Guess what happened? The hiring manager sent ME a quick thank you note and reminded me of when they said they’d be in touch! I nearly fell off my chair. Not getting my hopes up though, since I was the first of many candidates on their list. Naturally, I sent him and the other hiring manager thank you notes which also contained a line about my interest in the position.

    However, if after an interview I decide that I’m not interested in a position, I don’t send a note. I know I could just email them “thank you for your time”, but I don’t want to encourage them. But for some strange reason I also don’t want to cut the ties and say “thanks, but I’m no longer interested.”

  14. Anonymous*

    What, really? I can’t believe that! I have always sent out thank you notes to the people who I have talked to at job fairs, interviewed with and even to those who rejected me.

    …and I still have yet to land a job. Oh well, I’ll keep doing it, but it would be nice to have a happy ending to share with you guys like some of your other readers have :(

  15. Wubbie*

    I think there are certain industries and positions where it is absolutely essential to follow up with a thank you of some sort. I work in donor stewardship in the fundraising industry, so everything we do is with the aim of keeping our donors happy and engaged. I also work very closely with our Board of Trustees and one of my most important roles is servicing them. Anyone whose natural inclination does not include writing a thank you following an interview is simply not right for a position in our office.

    One of the most mind boggling experiences I’ve ever had was when we were interviewing for an acknowledgement writer. The job description is essentially “Write thank you notes”, and NONE of the candidates wrote us a thank you note after interviewing.

  16. Louis*

    I guess it’s a cultural thing or maybe field specific thing.

    In Quebec and in France in the IT field, I have never received one (I did participate in the selection of 5 to 10 person a year for the past 1o years).

    Sending one would probably have more chance to do harm than good (being seen as overly pushy).

    I really think it depend on the field. I can imagine that in sales, pushing to close a sale is seen as a quality so a thank you note convey the right message. In IT were technical knowledge and efficiency is the game, a thank you note might be perceive as overly verbose.

  17. Kelly*

    Even right out of college, I always sent a thank you note. This makes me wonder if I am truly in the minority on this; I always assume that every other person interviewing for the job is perfect and also wrote a thank you note, haha!

  18. sara*

    I ALWAYS send a thank-you note but I’ve never gotten the job after, so I don’t know if it really makes that much difference.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Thank you notes won’t get you the job if you’re not already a strong candidate. What they do is become part of the overall picture of your candidacy, not the defining factor.

  19. Karl Sakas*

    If I decide “No” after conducting an interview, interview, getting a thank you note won’t make a difference… but as an interviewee, it always felt like like one of those “why not?” kind of things.

    Mailing is overkill for interviews, but I’m surprised that I get almost no email followups (“your __ project sounds pretty cool; I’m still interested”), when I know people can reach me via the ATS.

    When people do follow up, I see it as a sign of interest in the position — but most people don’t follow up at all.

  20. Liz*

    I really loathe thank you notes. Interviewing is very time consuming for the interviewees and it’s not like they’re interviewing so that they could get paid to hang out and watch TV all day, they’re offering a service that the employer needs. It’s a reciprocal relationship and that’s how it should be treated. I hope more people start neglecting this archaic tradition. When I have been the interviewer, I’ve never appreciated having one more email to read. Many open positions overwhelm inboxes as it is, who needs an extra BS letter to read? Why do people keep recommending this? Just stop!

  21. esses*

    While much of the job search advice I’ve read has recommended writing thank you notes, I haven’t personally found the advice effective. Like Guest (above) noted, sometimes hiring decisions have been made immediately following. At one interview I even received a printed sheet of guidelines in which it was explicitly stated that any attempt to contact an interviewer at any time regarding the interview would result in automatic disqualification. I am a recent grad, however, so it’s possible that my experience is just limited.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Well, of course you wouldn’t do it when they explicitly tell you not to.

      And you can’t know if the hiring decision will be made in a day or in a month. It varies. Why wouldn’t you want to do one small thing that many hiring managers have said over and over can strengthen your candidacy?

  22. Andrew*

    I too have debated this. I have sent thank you notes, follow up notes, and even thank yous to rejection letters. I have yet to get a job from doing that, or even have an employer remember my “kindness” and offer me an interview or a job in a better-fit position.

    It’s really frustrating. On one hand, I feel happy for the people who have success stories doing that, but I would like to be one of those people for a change.

    1. Georgina*

      I agree with Andrew. I have sent so many thank you emails, and it’s more embarrassing to me than productive, at least in my own personal experience and opinion. It hasn’t resulted in anything positive, I never hear back from anyone other than the canned rejection email a week or so after my interview, and I had already felt so fake, outdated and desperate sending such thank you emails. No positive results come out of it so I stopped doing it.

  23. Tom*

    After having been on both sides of the interview process, I would have to say that thank you notes don’t make much difference. They’ll never make up for a bad or even mediocre interview and could potentially come off as pedantic. Additionally, I think it might put one at a small disadvantage during the salary negotiating process…coming off as too needy.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It certainly won’t make up for a bad interview. If you’re out of the running, it’s not going to put you back in. But when there are two or three roughly equal top candidates, a good note can make the difference. Since as a candidate, you can’t tell from the outside whether that might be the case in your situation, it’s silly not to just do it.

      1. Louis*

        Can they really help ?

        I personnaly never spoke to anyone who had their choice influenced in a positive way by a thank you note.

        – If a candidate is clearly better, thank you note won’t change a thing.
        – If it’s close, you usually go with other factor. (One ask for less $$$, One lives closser,… )

        If you analyse it, in an “undecided” situation, a thank you note is another interaction with the recruiting party :

        – It has very little chance of adding something more to your candidacy if you are already in the running.
        – It has some elements of risk… It could be perceived as pushy (or high maintenance in the IT field). A botched one could sink you.

        So basicly a net gain of zero for some effort… not worth it.

        It’s the same as your pair of lucky socks… by all means wear them at the interview if they make you feel better, but tthat wont change a thing to your candidacy.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I always find it bizarre when people claim they’ve never heard of a thank-you note influencing a decision when this blog is full of comments from hiring managers about times when it did.

          1. Louis*

            I said I never spoke to someone who was influenced by it.

            I read about it here, I just never meet face to face someone who did.

            Maybe it’s the dinosaur in me that is acting up, but I guess reading about it on the internet is not to same for me has having someone in front of me say it.

            My first reaction would be WTF would a thank you note influence you ? Do you have anything more meaningfull to evaluate the candidacy ?

  24. Aaron*

    I’m very interested by the general understanding that of course good applicants should send thank-you notes. I’m sure there are some fields where it’s virtually required, and there are quirky hiring managers in every field, but I didn’t send thank-you notes when applying to consulting and law-firm jobs, and would make exactly the same decision again next time.

    While I was applying to law firms, I went to a recruiting panel where a hiring partner advised students *not* to send thank-you notes. He said that it only very rarely helps push a candidate over the top–as Allison mentioned, a perfunctory note doesn’t really count in your favor at all. On the other hand, he thought it regularly hurt candidates who otherwise could have moved on in the process, but sent thank-yous with typos or grammar errors, because writing clearly and attention to detail are extremely important skills for lawyers.

    The (amazing, former law firm hiring partner) career services head at my school basically had the same view: he generally discouraged thank-you notes, but said that if you’re going to do them, they have to be perfect. Which is hard, especially given that applying for a number of jobs often makes you very busy, and that you need to do thank-you notes quickly if you’re in an industry/process where you know employers make decisions quickly.

    Obviously, this translates differently to different fields. And I wouldn’t be adverse to following up if I thought of something particularly compelling after the interview. But I definitely won’t follow up after every future interview, and I hope readers who come to this blog for its (excellent) hiring advice won’t feel it’s always needed. Realize that lots of people get hired without sending thank you notes, and make the decision for yourself about what’s best for your chances.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’ll say what I always say on this topic: A thank-you note alone won’t get you a job that weren’t a top candidate for, and the lack of one won’t lose you one if you are the top candidate. But when there are two or three roughly equal top candidates, yes, a good note can make the difference. We’ve heard lots of anecdotes here before where it did exactly that. Since as a candidate, you can’t tell from the outside whether that might be the case in your situation, it’s silly not to just do it.

      1. Aaron*

        I guess I’m just saying I think there are lots of situations where it’s not silly not to do it. Certainly, people writing thank-you notes the way you advise are helping themselves. But if anyone is writing perfunctory thank-yours because they think they’re required, they should stop that.

        After that, it’s a value-of-time thing–for me, it would be way more than 5 minutes to do this well. I’d put it in the same category as spending another 30 minutes on a cover letter–at some point, enough is enough, and that point varies depending on how much you want/need the job and how much time you have.

  25. John Quincy Adding Machine*

    I certainly hope they’re going out of style. But then, I also hope that the concept of having to ‘sell’ myself to an employer is going out of style. I hope interviews where I’m judged on how extroverted and bubbly I am (not very) are going out of style. I hope work clothes that aren’t pajamas are going out of style.

    In truth, I generally write thank-you notes, but I feel terribly awkward doing it. It feels very old-fashioned, and I worry that I’m coming across as stodgy, or like the interviewer sees it and reads it as me saying, “Thank you for granting me the opportunity to practice interviewing! Now, good luck with your real hiring.”

  26. Andrew*

    Do you think that one reason why they are “going out of style,” so to speak, is because everyone is following the advice of doing it. Perhaps back when the economy was better, it was rare to get one from an interviewed candidate, but now that the economy is down the toilet more candidates are doing so as a means of trying to get a leg up?

  27. mel*

    It’s a nice idea, actually. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job where a thank you note wouldn’t seem kind of kooky, though. But if I ever interview for even a halfway-decent job, I’ll keep it in mind :D

    Though I kind of hope that an employer who expects thank you notes doesn’t then turn around and give rejected candidates the silent treatment. Two-way street and all.

  28. Amanda*

    Here’s a question for hiring managers:

    I work in an industry where almost everyone maintains an online presence. It’s really easy to find someone’s full name from their social media profile by simply googling the company, their name, and department/job title.

    I’ve been to a couple interviews where there were multiple interviewers, but I wasn’t able to get everyone’s contact information for thank-you notes. Usually in these situations I’m introduced to people by their first names. Based on the contact information of other people at the same company, I can pretty much guess someone’s email address once I’ve found out their last name (it’s usually or some variation of this).

    Would it be weird if I sent a thank-you email even though I didn’t get their last name/contact information during the interview? I don’t want to risk being perceived like a stalker but I also don’t want to leave someone out. A friend suggested I call the front desk and ask for the person’s contact information and mention in the email how I came by their email address. Or should I not mention it at all?

  29. Jason*

    This must be an American thing. I have never sent, nor received, a ‘thank you’ note for an interview, it is pointless to the point of being ridiculous and would be met with sarcastic jokes here, and actually go against you.

  30. Melissa*

    I was part of the hiring process for a director position at my job. Even though I’m a part-time graduate residence life director, our hiring process at all levels includes all levels of employees. I had a clear first-choice candidate, but I instantly liked her even more when she sent me a thank-you over email. I’m pretty low on the totem pole and even though my opinion is considered, I’m not the one doing direct hiring, so I thought that was really nice. I’ve interviewed people for three different professional staff positions since last August and she’s the only person who has ever sent me a follow-up, even though others may have sent them to higher-ups.

  31. Keith*

    An interview is a two way street. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. You do not need to thank the interviewer with a not. I am irritated when I receive a thank you note. What am I supposed to do with it? File it, throw it away? I agree that if the competition was very close between 2 candidates that a thank you note may be the “tie-breaker”. I do receive thank you notes after an interview over a meal, when I am paying for the meal, and the candidate thanks me for the meal in a short e-mail.

  32. Rachel*

    I’ll never understand people that feel the need to send thankyou notes. Do you expect one from the company in return? Or are you that unattractive a prospect that the company is actually doing you a favour by interviewing you? No? So why the one-sided obsequiousness? Have some self-respect, realise you’re involved in a two-way transaction that has nothing to do with either party deigning to do the other a favour that the other party ought to be thankful for, but is rather a simple exchange of ability to do the job for pay and benefits. The only thanks I expect from my employer is to be paid on time each month and to be treated with respect. The only thanks they need expect from me is competence, civility, and that I will leverage my skills to their advantage during the time I am paid to work for them. No cards or flowers required by either side.

  33. TaaNop*

    “All that tells you is that they read something that suggested a thank-you note, and they’re dutifully doing it.” If you aren’t counting this as a positive towards a person, then there is no point in writing a thank you note. If you think people do it because it’s just so fun and they absolutely love writing thank you notes, or any reason other than obligation, you are insane.

  34. Jeanie*

    It’s a waste of time and does not help with a decision. They already know if they want you or not before you walk out of the room.

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