Saying Thank You
Interviews are not over when they're over: Follow up.
Following an interview, promptly (within 2 business days) write the interviewer a letter expressing appreciation and thanks for the interview.
The purpose of this letter is to:
- Show appreciation for the employer's interest in you.
- Reiterate your interest in the position and in the organization.
- Review or remind the employer about your qualifications for the position. If you thought of something you forgot to mention in the interview, mention it in your follow-up / thank-you letter.
- Demonstrate that you have good manners and know to write a thank-you letter.
- Follow up with any information the employer may have asked you to provide after the interview.
Hard copy, handwritten or email?
Thank-you letters can be hard copy typed, handwritten or e-mailed. Hard copies are most formal and are appropriate after an interview. Handwritten are more personal, and can be appropriate for brief notes to a variety of individuals you may have met during on on-site interview. E-mail is appropriate when that has been your means of contact with the person you want to thank, or if your contact has expressed a preference for e-mail. (Also see guidelines for using e-mail in your job search and e-mail business etiquette.)
What to do if you don't hear from the employer
- Before your interview ended, your interviewer should have informed you of the organization's follow-up procedures - from whom, by what means, and when you would hear again from the organization. If the interviewer did not tell you, and you did not ask, use your follow-up / thank-you letter to ask.
- If more than a week has passed beyond the date when you were told you would hear something from the employer, call or email to politely inquire about the status of the organization's decision-making process. Someone (or something) or an unexpected circumstance may be holding up the process. A polite inquiry shows that you are still interested in the organization and may prompt the employer to get on schedule with a response. In your inquiry, mention the following: name of the person who interviewed you, time and place of the interview, position for which you are applying (if known), and ask the status of your application.
Here's a secret: Employers rarely make their best offer first, and those who negotiate generally earn much more than those who don't. And a well-thought-out negotiation makes you look like a stronger candidate -- and employee.
"We found that those people who attempted to negotiate their salary in a constructive way are perceived as more favorable than those who didn't negotiate at all, because they were demonstrating the skills the company wanted to hire them for," says Robin Pinkley, coauthor of Get Paid What You're Worth and an associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.
You too can start laying the groundwork for your salary negotiation even before the first interview. Here's a step-by-step guide:
Step-by-Step Guide to Negotiating a Great Salary
by Kim Lankford
Monster Contributing Writer
Money Matters, learn about salary negotiation, insurance, and more.
This article from Quint Careers can be helpful when you feel your job offer is too low.
Once you receive a job offer, you are faced with a difficult decision and must evaluate the offer carefully. Fortunately, most organizations will not expect you to accept or reject an offer immediately.
There are many issues to consider when assessing a job offer. Will the organization be a good place to work? Will the job be interesting? Are there opportunities for advancement? Is the salary fair? Does the employer offer good benefits? If you have not already figured out exactly what you want, the US Department of Labor may help you to develop a set of criteria for judging job offers.
Job Acceptance Letter
Even if you have accepted a job over the phone, it's a good idea to write a job acceptance letter to confirm the details of employment and to formally accept the job offer.
Your letter can be brief, but, should include the following:
- Thanks and appreciation for the opportunity
- Written acceptance of the job offer
- The terms and conditions of employment (salary, benefits)
- Starting date of employment
Address the letter to the person who offered you the position. Include your contact information and phone number, even though it is on file with the employer.
Make sure that your letter is well written and does not contain typos or grammatical errors. Even though you already have been offered the job, you want to make sure all your correspondence is professional.
When you have decided to reject a job offer, you may want to let the employer know in writing that you are declining the offer. Your letter should be polite, brief, and to the point. You don't want to burn bridges and this employer may have a better offer for you down the road. So, don't get into any specifics. Even if the hours are awful, the work environment is terrible or the pay isn't enough to make ends meet, don't mention it.
You should include the following:
- Thanks and appreciation for the offer
- Written rejection of the job offer
- Address the letter to the person who offered you the position. Include your contact information and phone number, even though it is on file with the employer.
Make sure that your letter is well written and does not contain typos or grammatical errors.