Friday Forum – Should I Send a Thank You Note After a Phone Interview?

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Happy Friday and Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday we take a question submitted by one of our users and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Jeff asks:

“I had a phone interview this morning for a position that I really want and I think it went well.  I want to send a note to let them know that I am very interested and that I would love to sit down and discuss it with them.  Is it appropriate to send a thank you note after a phone interview or should I only send it after an in-person meeting?  Also, if I do not have their email address how can I get it?”

Thank you notes are a vital piece of the interview process, as they reiterate a number of different things.  First off, it shows that you are genuinely interested in the position.  Second, it informs your interviewer(s) that you appreciated their time.  Finally, it is a great example of your professionalism.  Thank you notes after in-person interviews are a no-brainer, and a MUST if you are looking to land that dream job.  But what about after a phone interview?

Different Story?

Phone interviews can be a little bit of a different story because they are not all the same.  Typically, when you have an in person interview, at some point you will be meeting with the Hiring Manager or key decision makers.  When it comes to a phone interview, this may not always be the case.  Initially, you may be speaking with an HR representative or a company recruiter who is simply screening your credentials.  However, there are times when you may be speaking directly with the Hiring Manager, where a follow up note may carry more weight.

If you don’t send a thank you note after your call, will it take you out of the process?  Probably not, but you never know.  There isn’t one set of rules when it comes to employer’s expectations.  Some employers may expect a thank you no matter whom you speak with.  Even if it isn’t a requirement, it might be something that can give you the edge over your competition.  We say to be safe and send it.

Spoke With HR Representative/Recruiter

If you spoke with a recruiter or someone in HR, it is best to keep your thank you note brief.  Since they are not the final decision maker, you do not need to get into detail about why you are a great fit for the role.  The goal here is to thank them for their time and hope that they will move you onto the next step in the process.  Typically, if you have a good call and follow it up with a simple, pleasant note you will be in good shape.  Here is an example:

Subject: Thank You – [Job Title]

Message:

Dear Patty,

Thank you for your time this afternoon regarding the [Position Title] opportunity with [Company].  I enjoyed our conversation and look forward to learning more about the next steps in the process.  Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,

[You Name]
[E-Mail Address]
[Phone Number]

Spoke With the Hiring Manager or Key Decision Maker

If your conversation was with the Hiring Manager or a higher level member of the organization, you should approach your thank you note in a different fashion.  Since this is the person responsible for hiring for the role, it is important to let them know that you are interested and have the credentials needed for the job.  A thank you note is much more appropriate in this situation, but it should still be concise and provide more detail.   Here is an example:

Subject: Thank You – [Job Title]

Message:

Dear John,

Thank you for the discussion regarding the [Position title] role at [Company Name]. This position seems to be a perfect match for my abilities and interests.

As we discussed, I feel that my experience with [List any specific areas that you covered] would be a great match for your current need. I feel that I could quickly become a solid asset to the team [reasons why] and that I could make a positive impact.   

I appreciate your time today, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you in person.  Thank you very much for your consideration.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions.

Best Regards,

[You Name]
[E-Mail Address]
[Phone Number]

How to Get the Email Address?

If for some reason you don’t have the interviewer’s email address, there are a few ways to obtain it.  The easiest way is to reach out to the person that set up the call and ask them for it.  Let them know that you want to send a note to thank them, and they should provide it.  This could include an HR representative or a recruiter, if you are working with an agency.  If that doesn’t work, you can also call into the company and ask the operator.

Conclusion

In conclusion, is it absolutely necessary to send a thank you note after a phone interview?  No, it isn’t a necessity, but it is an example of courtesy, and could be something that may help you stand out from your competition.  If you have the email address, we recommend taking a few minutes to send something over.  If for some reason you don’t have the address, or you forgot to send it, don’t panic!  Just be sure to send one following your in-person meeting!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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