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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

must I send thank-you's to all 5 of my interviewers?

A reader writes:

I interviewed at a company where I met with 5 different people. Am I supposed to write and send a thank you card to each person I met with, or only the one person who is making the hiring decision and would potentially be my boss?

Well, you don't have to, but it's a nice touch and it'll be noticed. You have the chance to generate this conversation:

Person A: I got a nice thank-you note from Jane Smith.
Person B: So did I! She must have sent them to all of us. I really like that.

That doesn't mean that you will always generate that conversation, but if you have the opportunity to stand out as well-mannered/classy/memorable, why not take it?

That said, job-seekers don't need yet another obligation to stress out over, and if you don't do it, it's not a big deal. And thank-you notes don't get you the job on their own. But they contribute to an overall picture of a candidate, so why not do it?


Anonymous said...


In a situation like this, should we send a different thank you to each of the 5 interviewers? Or the same email/thank you?

I've been in situations where I've had 5 interviews in the same day, where each covered the same grounds - and it seemed weird to send the same thank you to everyone, and then even weirder to attempt to customize it.

What do u think?


Ask a Manager said...

Ideally you'd customize it to whatever extent you can, but I know that can be hard and can even come off a little stilted/contrived, depending on how you do it. But if you CAN do it with a few of them in a way that's natural, do. Otherwise, a standard thank-you note, varying the wording to some degree, even if not the content, is fine.

Richard said...

Agreed - A 'standard form' thank you note is acceptable, but a little customisation for each recipient may push you a little higher above the bar.

LovesHR said...

I say send a customized one to each interviewer. Here's how...

At the start of your interview take out a paper and pen and state that you'd like to take notes to ensure you don't miss any important details/needs/wants needed for the position. Also state that it helps you in your effort to hit the ground running if selected.

I've found most interviewers like this and think the candidate is very efficient. However, while you take notes, enter each interviewer's name and a comment that sticks out.

For example if a person states they are passionate about XYZ project, make note of that. Then use it to ask follow up questions at the end and put it in the letter so you can reinforce how you can help them with XYZ project.

This helps a lot and allows you to really sell yourself in the interview without being distracted with trying to remember key things on your own.

I would suggest everyone interviewing for a position try this. Unless of course you've got a great memory.

Anonymous said...


Here's another question for you since the topic of Thank You notes came up.

How should the thank you note be written - in an email, handwritten card, or a formal typed letter? I have done the first and third, but I have never done the second. What's your opinion? Does it matter as long as I am thanking the person(s)?

Thank you!

And to the OP - I always make sure to have everyone's names and send a thank you to each. I do tweak each to fit each person (perhaps you had a different conversation with that person).

Anonymous said...

It's also nice to thank the person who made your interview/travel arrangements.

I've scheduled many many interviews which, in addition to the internal interview team scheduling, needed air travel, car rental, hotel, meals, directions, etc. I send out a nice e-mail with all of the travel info plus the interview itinerary with names and titles.

The outside recruiter always thanks me for that info, but most candidates don't. Of course, I remember the candidates that do express their appreciation.

Andy Lester said...

Whenever I get this question (most recently at Milwaukee JobCamp last week), I highlight the attitude that the person is showing.

What are you trying to save by not sending those five thank-yous? How long does it take to write a thank-you note? Five minutes? And five stamps, at 42 cents each.

So sending five thank-yous costs you one half-hour of time, and $2.10 in postage. And in return for that half hour and two bucks, you get to put yourself back in the mind of those with whom you met.

The idea of "do I really have to..." is penny-wise and dollar-foolishness at its worst.

New Hire said...

I also interview with 5 different people and because they were making a decision soon I emailed them all a personal thank you note.

I got the job and once I started I was told I was the ONLY candidate that sent a thank you note. So not only was it noticed, it made me stand out.

Philip said...

MY 2 cents:
In my current job interview I had about six interviewers. Thankfully in my correspondense with the HR manager all the interviewers were CC'd. So after my interview I was able to send all my interviewers a nice little thank you email. And here I am today and I've been with my current job almost a year. I think it'd definitely be a great way to stand out

job searcher said...

I think sending a thank you note to all who've interviewed you is the right thing to do. Also, I would send a brief thank you to the person/admin who scheduled all the appts, too, to show appreciation for their role in the hiring process.

I think you should customize the thank you note to speak to something that was discussed during the interview; it shows you listened and are interested in the position and are not treating each interviewer in a cookie cutter fashion.

With this in mind, the one thing I'd keep standard is your strong suit... what you want each person to know about you ... and why you should get the job... for ex, thank each interviewer for their time and mention something specific to your conversation with them.

Then, make the statement that you are a great fit for the job because _____ so that that characteristic is reinforced wth each person you've interviewed with.

KrisKan said...

i'm wondering how am i going to ask for the contacts of all 5 interviewers?
i've only been to one interview so far and there was only 1 interviewer. And I had to ask for his email personally after the interview ended to make sure i have his contact.

Is it alright if i ask for their namecards instead?

Richard said...

Address it to their name and the place you were interviewed?

I know some guys move around a lot, but chances are that they will receive it somehow.

Ask a Manager said...

KrisKan, definitely ask for their cards!

Courtney said...

I think you should send a formal thank you to the lead interviewer and a nice thank you email to the others....