After a job interview, it's common knowledge that following up with a thank-you note can help you improve your hiring manager's opinion of you. However, with the rise of different forms of technology, it can be difficult to know how best to approach doing so.
According to Forbes, the detail put into the note and the level of contact necessary changes depending on which step in the application process this interview took place. Often, you may go through a quick phone screening where you're asked basic questions about your resume and skills, after which you can be called in for an in-person interview. When this happens, a good idea is to send a quick and simple email or phone message, stating your name and reminding the person who interviewed you about a piece of the conversation that can help them remember you better. In most situations, if you do this during a crowded or difficult interview process, going the extra mile may convince the manager that you're ready for the next step, an in-person interview.
Replying after an in-person interview can be more complicated, the news source continued. This message should be more detailed and reinforce your interest in the position itself. The minute you get home, you should write down any notes or questions about the interview itself in case you may forget them in the future. Remembering who the interviewers were, each topic you discussed and any questions you think you answered well will only benefit you. Next, Forbes suggests that you discuss the interview with a friend or relative, as it can remind you of any weak points. This will help you take a more grounded view of how the interview itself went, preventing you from coming across as overly optimistic or cocky.
There are several ways you can go from this point, though you'll need to be careful no matter which one you take. It's entirely possible to leave a phone message or email to your interviewer thanking them for their time, especially if they work in a fast-paced industry or will likely be too busy to accept any other type of contact. However, in doing this, you can sometimes run the risk of appearing too impersonal. A handwritten thank-you note can also work in other situations, but there are pitfalls in doing this as well. These letters can get lost in the mail or arrive too late to make a difference in some instances, so you'll need to act fast and take precautions to make sure they reach their target.
A better approach is to send both the handwritten note and the email together. That way, you'll establish a better connection and keep yourself in the interviewer's mind for more time. If you mention the letter in the email and it arrives later that week, for example, the interviewer may be impressed at your ability to follow through.
The thank-you note may seem trivial, but it can make a big difference. The Seattle Times reported that more than 20 percent of hiring managers can become less likely to hire a candidate if they don't send a note because it shows less seriousness about taking the opportunity. The timing is also very important, as most managers want some form of correspondence after a period of 24 hours at most. This may mean email is the only way to go in a few instances, but as long as contact is made, your odds can grow accordingly.