Thank You Notes & Interviews

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I once famously wrote that I don’t expect a candidate to send me a thank you note after an interview. In fact, please don’t send me a thank you note. I’m doing my job. There is no need to thank me. In fact, I ought to thank you for taking time and interviewing at my office. It’s a hassle for you. The odds are against you. You probably won’t get the job. So thank you for making an effort. I ought to send you flowers.

But HR people hated that post. Some of my friends still talk about it. They say that thank you notes are helpful in the interview process because the note leaves a ‘lasting memory’. A thank you note can be a key differentiators and help you make an impact on the company, the hiring manager, and the HR professional.

And I say that’s nonsense.

Thank you notes are appropriate when you receive a gift or when you have an experience that is memorable. I assume that I’ll get a thank you note when I send a gift to a relative or friend. But an interview? It’s really unnecessary.

I know that HR professionals and recruiters see 100s of resumes each day; however, if you are a Human Resources professional or recruiter and you expect a thank you note from a candidate, UR DOIN IT WRONG.

You have serious problems as a company and as a recruiting department if your hiring process is so jacked up that it takes a thank you note to trigger your memory about a candidate or help you make a hiring decision.

Candidates should send thank you notes if they’ve been given a gift or had a very memorable experience. But my advice stands: it’s not a gift to haul your butt to a company and plead your case for a job. If anything, it’s a burden. Job seekers should band together and grow a spine. No thank you notes. Not unless you’re given an offer.

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