Is the thank you note dead?

We’ve been interviewing candidates for an open position in our office. Some of the applicants have been terrific, most have been qualified, which in a market with just 2.4% unemployment is a relief.

What’s shocking to me is how few follow-up with even a quick email (I’m guessing it’s too much to expect a hand written note these days?) to (a) thank us for the opportunity to interview, and (b) express continued interest in the position. Or even, (a) to thank us for our time, and (b) let us know our opportunity is NOT a great fit for what he/she is looking for.

Thank you note image

This was not a follow-up from the job interviews we’ve been doing. Instead, a former employee of mine sent it to me when she released her first music CD earlier this year. Give her a listen.

I feel ancient. But, and, also this is a customer facing marketing and communications role. There will be thank you notes drafted and sent as part of the job. How are these candidates not seeing this as a fantastic opportunity to showcase their creativity in this regard? I am baffled. Unless universally we’ve made a horrible impression and none of them would actually want to work with us?! I’ll guess we will find out soon enough. We’re about to finish up the first round of interviews, so we’ll see if anyone comes back if invited for round two.

We post our open positions on Andrew Hudson’s job list which also has great career/job seeking advice. Some articles focus on getting the first interview in the first place such as The Path to Hired: Keys to Callbacks and Job Offers. Job Seeking: Myth vs. Reality digs into the importance of follow-up thank you letters, and many other relevant topics.

The best article I found (What an employer is thinking: the most important job interview questions that will never be asked) started:

In a recent New York Times profile, a respected CEO was asked, “How do you interview job candidates?” His response? “I have two basic questions in mind: Can you do the job and would I enjoy spending time with you?

Indeed. The article also digs into other back of mind questions about how a given candidate will contribute to the team and the goals of the organization. Great stuff if you ever wondered what your job interviewer was thinking!

2 comments on “Is the thank you note dead?
  1. Clay Lowe says:

    Basic stuff, or as you say, are we just ancient and holding on to ancient practices?