Post Interview Thank You Note-Group Interviewers?

At the last 10 job interviews that I went to (State) I have had group interviewers. I don’t think that one should send a Thank You note to each one of them, but if not, to whom?

Yes, one should.


I’ve done it before, and I think it helped (I got the job). Also, I would make sure to customize the thank-you notes a little for each person. After one group interview, I remember everyone in my department getting a thank-you email from the person we interviewed–and every note was exactly the same. We compared them, and the general consensus was 1) Aw, isn’t that great, he wrote a thank-you note and 2) Gee, it is kind of lazy to just send the same note to everyone.

I would send the note to the most senior person who interviewed you and ask her or him to convey your thanks to the other people who were in on the interview. I would name all those people by name. For example:

Dear Mr. Kahuna: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday to discuss [position]. In light of our discussion, I believe my [good quality] and my [another good quality] would make me a good fit for this position. . . . [more thank-you-note B.S. inserted here] . . . Please convey my thanks to Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones, and Ms. Taylor for their time and attention as well. It was a pleasure to meet you all. Sincerely, [Applicant]

I have worked for government most of my professional career and have never sent individualized thank-you’s after a group interview. It doesn’t seem to have hurt me much. The only times I have sent more than one note are: (1) if the group is actually two people, then I send one to each; or (2) one particular person has been very helpful to me, like if a particular person is assigned to shuttle me from interview to interview, tour your around the building, show you in and out, etc. In that case, I send one note to the boss, conveying thanks to the others (by name), and also one to the person who had been my handler for the day.

Multiple notes for a single interview strike me as a little suck-up-ish. Plus, it is very difficult (at least for me) to find three or four ways to say the same thing differently, so that each person gets a different note. Plus, IME, both as a candidate and as an interviewer, individualized notes are a lot of work for very little payoff. Other people’s mileage may vary, but that’s my O.

And you call yourself a lawyer!

Wow…I never even knew thank-you notes were expected for job interviews! I’ve only worked at one place, but I’m about to leave it and look for something else in another city, so I’ll keep this in mind. I wonder if it would help set me apart - for those of you who conduct interviews, is this something that’s increasingly uncommon, or do only older people still do it? I’m 25, by the way.

I think it’s nice. I never thought about it, but I think I’ll start doing this!

[qupte]Wow…I never even knew thank-you notes were expected for job interviews! I’ve only worked at one place, but I’m about to leave it and look for something else in another city, so I’ll keep this in mind. I wonder if it would help set me apart - for those of you who conduct interviews, is this something that’s increasingly uncommon, or do only older people still do it? I’m 25, by the way.

I think it’s nice. I never thought about it, but I think I’ll start doing this!

They’re not necessarily expected, but I think they’re a nice touch. They are both a courtesy and an opportunity for you as the applicant to reemphasize your interest in the position and your qualifications. The very fact you took the time to send a note demonstrates your continued interest and will distinguish you from those who didn’t bother. But far from being increasingly uncommon, I think it’s becoming increasingly common; I don’t think it was done at all a generation ago.

I have been on a number or hiring committees. While I would never not hire someone because they didn’t send a follow-up note, it is a way to make yourself stand out just a tad. In other words, the lack of a follow-up won’t necessarily drop you below the pack of candidates, but having taken the time to do it might nudge you forward a bit.

BTW, IMO what we are talking about in the professional realm should be a short follow-up thank you letter, on whatever letterhead paper you used for your cover letter and resume. It is not a personal note and therefore IMO should not be a hand-written thank-you card such as you would send out for wedding gifts (“Dear Aunt June: Thank you so much for the crockpot . . . .”). If there’s no place for handwritten notes in the workplace you’re seeking to enter, then you shouldn’t use them for any communication. Sure, a hand-written note is more personal, but that’s the point: You want to underscore your professionalism, not your personal side. Again, just my O.

I’ve never come across the practice of candidates sending their interviewer(s) thank you notes. It sounds a bit smarmy actually. I’d find it very offputting to receive a thank you note.

It’s standard. I sent one to each person who took the time to interview me; when I have been the interviewer, have have expected and received notes from the interviewees.

The company I work for is being closed so they’ve paid for us to attend career managment training. According to the Lee Hecht and Harrison folks, Jodi is spot on. Thank you notes are a way for you to keep your name current in the hiring manager’s mind and distinguish yourself from other applicants. They aren’t necessarily expected but they do make a good impression.

I can’t give this message a strong enough show of agreement. The job I currently have was very specifically because I showed the tenacity to thank them for the interviews. There were three rounds of interviews. I used a different means of providing them with a thank you note each time. In each case someone was interviewing me via conference call in addition to the live persons in the conference room.

For one round I sent everyone a personalized hand written thank you. On another round where I knew a decision would be made soon, I sent them a personal email (because I didn’t want them to receive the thank-you after they had made a decision).

I think what sealed the deal was that I didn’t write down any of their names in the interview, and I certainly never received any email or physical mailing addresses. It was simple, after the interview ended and I was escorted out to the lobby, I started towards the elevator. When the interviewer went back inside I went to the receptionist and stated that I’d like to send thank-you notes. I remembered the names wel enough to get email addresses, and office addresses to send the proper thank yous.

By the way, its a thank you note - which means its on notepaper (or a correspondence card or some such). Don’t buy a card at Hallmark - too much of your personality comes through with puppies on the cover. Its professional - not a personal note. I use correspondence cards a lot at work to send handwritten notes.

Somehow I think paper thank you notes seems antiquated… email thank you notes seem more contemporary. And I don’t think HOW the thank you gets delivered is as important as what you say in the note.

Well, it depends on who the manager is I suppose. But I don’t consider email to be a note. I’m sort of a stickler on ettiquitte - or rather - I’m sort of a stickler on KNOWING what is proper (not necesarily doing it myself), and the person who sends me a handwritten note on paper, puts the effort into the stamp, getting it to the mail, etc., gets more points than the one who drops me a note via email - who gets more points than the person who doesn’t send a note at all. However, its really only going to factor in if you are in a dead heat in the interview process.

How odd. I sit on lots of interview panels and not only have I never received a thank you, I would be creeped out if I did. I have, however, received a few “why didn’t I get an interview” or " why the hell didn’t I get the job" phone calls.

There seems to be an element of magical thinking here. People who went to great lengths to provide thank you notes believe that this is what resulted in them getting the job. Could it have been that they were good applicants who interviewed well?

I can assure you if you are ever appointed by me, having sent me a thank you note, it will be in spite of the note not because of it.

Likewise, when I’ve received thank you notes, I felt a little uncomfortable. However, lucky not to have received the other responses you had gotten.

Hmmm. Seems like the folks who think thank you noted are weird and off-putting are mostly not from the US.

As a career counselor, I tell my clients to always send a thank-you. It does not guarantee the job, but it does set you apart, and it’s a great opportunity to address things from the interview. If one of your questions was “What are some of the biggest challenges for the person who fills this position”, your thank-you note provides you with an opporunity to state (or restate, since you should have in the interview) how you would meet those challenges. You can provide after-thoughts on an idea, or expand on a point you really wanted to expand upon.

As someone who has interviewed candidates for positions, I’ve been pretty aggravated when someone didn’t bother to send a thank you. To me, that showed lack of respect for the time it took for me to interview them.

As someone who recently got a new job, I will say that my first interview was with 2 people. I sent them each a thank-you after the interview. Round 2 was with 9 people, including the original 2 interviewers. I sent 9 different thank-you notes, and made sure that the 2 who had already received them received ones which were different from the thank-yous for the round one interview. Yeah, it was a PITA, but I knew I should do it (particularly since the job is still in the realm of career services). During my interview, I made sure to make a note of something that each person said or a project that they mentioned working on. That way I had material for the thank-you notes.

I don’t think this is the only reason why I got the job, of course. But I have heard from people who were involved in hiring me that it did make a difference.

Yes, clearly the whole “thank you note” thing obviously differs from one culture to another. I’ve been asking around my colleagues to gauge their reaction and to see whether my feelings of revulsion are somewhat extreme. The response was universally similar to that expressed by don’t ask: they all thought it was a gross idea and that any candidate who did it would be less likely to get the job as a result. It may be considered polite in the US for a candidate to send a thank you note, but Australians just see it as a creepy attempt at brown nosing.

Well, it seems a little dorky to me, kind of like I’m trying to pressure them into giving me the job. Of course, OTOH, it is also a display of courtly manners. OTOH the people who have interviewed me never look me in the eye during the entire interview, because they are the usual bureaucrats, so it seems like I am debasing myself even further to thank them for displaying the manners of somebody from Deliverance. But, OTOH, groveling has never bothered me before. OTOH, I didn’t get the plum jobs even with the groveling. What to do!