The Most Important Two Words in Your Interview

As a staffing professional at BarryStaff, I often help candidates to land interviews with our clients.  When I know that my candidate is facing stiff competition from other people applying for the same job, I recommend that they quickly follow up their interview with a hand-written Thank-you card sent to the interviewing Manager who will be making the hiring decision.  Recently I read the below article which confirmed my belief that, even in this high-tech world this personal touch is still very powerful.

The Power of Two Little Words in an Interview

When we are unemployed, looking for work and spending our full-time trying to secure interviews and our next job, it can feel like we are being ground down and that no-one cares about us. It can be very easy to forget two simple words with meaning that can set you apart from the rest of the jobseeker pack.

The two words are: “Thank you.”

Let’s look at the scenario. You’ve actually secured a job interview. You go to the interview looking your sharpest, you navigate the hypothetical scenarios, talk about your background relevant to their position and ask some probing and intelligent questions at the end of the interview that are sure to make you stand out. You finish the interview with a firm hand shake and a smile and then you say, “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today.”

This is an excellent start, but you’re not finished.

As soon as you get home, you pull out your box of thank you cards that you keep at the ready, and you jot a thank you note inside focusing on how excited you are by the opportunity to work for this amazing organization. You thank the recruiter for their time. And you sign it. You put the card in an envelope, fill out the envelope with the recruiter’s name and address info, you put a stamp on it and you mail it the same day. This is important. Snail mail can take a couple of days and in the private and not-for-profit sector, hiring decisions can happen fairly quickly.

“We live in a world of email and much faster communication,” you say, “why should I send a snail mail thank you card?”

Because no-one else will!

Your objective at this stage in the hiring process is to stand out. And a snail-mail thank you note will certainly do that. Once you’ve secured that first interview you’re over the hurdle of getting your foot in the door. So what does a snail-mail thank you note do?

1. There is now a hard copy message sitting on the recruiter’s desk – it could sit there for days, constantly reminding the recruiter who you are and that you want the job.

2. It shows that you respect other people’s time and that you feel gratitude and are willing to show it. These are sometimes tough to measure in an interview but very, very important to team-building and group cohesion.

So after your next interview, don’t forget the thank you card – you’ll be glad you sent it. It may be old-fashioned, but it works. Remember, I’m rooting for you.