Most job candidates know that, while not mandated or truly necessary, “thank you” notes are part of post-interview etiquette. And in this day and age, handwritten notes are nice but not needed. A timely email expressing your interest in the position for which you interviewed, a nice comment about the company and a sincere appreciation for your interviewer’s cogent questions, interview style or time taken says a lot about you as a person and your style as a professional.
The above suggestions assume (do I dare?) that you have prepared well for your interview, dressed professionally, and have conducted yourself with proper comportment befitting the position. While a later column may explore interviewing techniques, I will stick to the topic at hand for now.
My main reason for addressing this topic is not chiefly to remind candidates of proper etiquette throughout the interview process, but to remind them that their respect, courtesy and good manners may not be returned. As a job seeker myself right now, I have been amazed at the post interview behavior of a number of companies with whom I sought work.
One company conducted a lengthy phone interview after reviewing my resume, and then asked me to come to company headquarters for a face-to-face discussion. The company HQ was not as geographically desirable as I would have liked, but the position sounded interesting, so off I went. At the end of this in-person interview, I was asked to return the following week for another interview with the senior level hiring manager and the company president. I dutifully wrote my thank you letter, and a time for the next meeting was decided. I completed this second interview (third, if you count the phone conversation), said my goodbyes, and went home, where I sent both email and handwritten notes to the two interviewers.
While I had reservations about the position after this last interview (did I really want to work in this industry? Was I comfortable with my prospective boss and her boss? Was the company philosophy and culture compatible with my job needs and wants?), I felt that I had invested a fair amount of time and effort in the process. So I waited to hear from them. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, after 4-6 weeks, I received a cryptic and dual message email from “someone in HR” basically saying “thank you for coming in to talk with us; we will review your materials to see if there is a fit”. What?? I wrote back, saying I was confused, and asking if the email was a rejection. The return email assured me that they were still in the “decision-making process.”
Well, you can probably guess… I still have not heard about the results of this search. Even after calling my original interviewer and asking for closure after several months of waiting (with no response). Needless to say, I concluded early on that I did not want to work for this company. If they treated me that poorly after three interviews, during a time when they were in some respects trying to “woo” me as a candidate, how would I be treated as an employee?
Guest Article By: Bettie Biehn is President and Founder of Career Change Central, LLC, an excellent source for customized, well-written and attractive resumes and cover letters that focus on the client’s skills, experience, knowledge and background and also pay attention to what the prospective employer needs and wants. Bettie also provides career coaching to her clients.
Bettie’s background includes many years as a senior HR professional, nonprofit director, trainer, hiring manage, in-house recruiter and writer. She is a published author, for three years contributing a monthly column to a nationally distributed, award-winning trade journal.
Bettie has recently taken her business to a full-time venture and invites you to visit her website, Facebook page, and Google+ page. She is also active on Twitter. Bettie’s URL for her website is www.careerchangecentralllc.com, and you can reach her at 202.550.0999 and email@example.com.
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