Just curious-Thank you's

I am not sure if this is the correct place to put this, but I am curious about your thoughts. When you interview candidates, and find that they are equally qualified, would you choose someone who has written or called with a thank you over the other person? Do you like when you receive the "thank you" and does that put the candidate in better light with you?
Another curiosity--if a candidate calls you after the interview and states their interest, not necessarily a thank you, but wanted to let you know they were interested and excited about moving on to the next level (if there is one), does this give them 'brownie' points?


  • 15 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The thank you notes don't sway me. But, if I have 2 candidates that are close or the hiring manager is a little unsure, the follow up call stating their interest and desire for the job will influence my decision.
  • One of our staff attorneys hires our interns....thank you notes are a must. However, he is picky...no cards or cutsey things...the stationary should match the envelope.

    For the attorney that used to do this, the thank you was a guarantee that you were heading to the circular file.

    Personally, I find it respectful. But I don't think it would sway my opinions much.

  • I agree with ray. I'm not sure everyone is trained in their importance, and I won't hold it against someone who does not send one. However, the notion that they still express interest after learning more about the job could sway me.
  • They are absolutely meaningless and given no weight. It's my assumption that they are made for a reason other than sincerity. If you hire based on qualifications, skill-set, experience and potential, a note or phone call is irrelevant. No two applicants are ever equal.
  • Overall I agree that no two candidates are exactly equal, however, if two candidates are very close, one that follows up will get some brownie points with me. Follow-up is important with many of our jobs, specially with communication amongst staff and with customers.

    I don't look at it as having ulterior motives, however, I have had some follow-ups that were insincere and designed to get an edge, not because the followup was in the true nature of the applicant.

    That's a gut-feel though.
  • We remember that you prefer seeing if the applicant uses his or her bread, or another utensil to get that last bite as the tie breaker! x;-)
  • I wish the 'thank you' notes had never been utilized for this purpose, nor pushed by someone out there giving advice to applicants. Now, everyone thinks they will fall short somehow if they don't send one. Another waste of trees.

    That said, we had another 600 cords of mostly pulpwood cut from our land this winter, and the price was pretty good, so maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all! I'll have to re-think my objection.
  • I actually had a director reject someone recently ostensibly for the lack of a thank you note from the candidate.
  • Thank you notes do not sway me one bit. Nor, I'm afraid, do follow-up. I can tell during an interview whether the person is really interested in working for our company. They don't have to write and remind me. I have enough mail to sort through and enough calls to answer as it is. One thing that does turn me off is the letter accompanying a resume that starts off: "Look no further. I am ideal for the job you have advertised." While others may see that as an indication of a real go-getter, I see someone who is agressive and a little too impressed with him/herself.

  • Thank you notes or follow up calls don't hold any weight for our hiring decisions, even when the candidates are close.
  • Not a huge deal to me anymore. I think it is one of those courtesies that have slowly gone by the way side. I won't, however, penalize for it.

    My grandfather, old school businessman, who amassed a fortune in terms of size of his company, number of clients and personal wealth, would roll over in his grave if he knew that I had "called" on a business, for whatever purpose, and did not send a thank you note.

  • I am not sure if they are still pushing the thank you note or not. I know that when I was a Career Counselor we did push them because we felt that if it is a case where the employer wanted that, it helped, but if the employer did not want that then no harm done. I really don't have a preference. I don't mind someone leaving a message on my voicemail to thank me, but I really do not want to talk to anyone after the interview. I like to send out the letter saying, thanks but no thanks, I don't want to go through it on the phone.
  • The newest angle is emailing the thank you. They are meaningless. I take notice of how the applicant behaves at the end of the interview.

    The one that shakes my hand, sincerely thanks me for my time and tells me how much they want the job gets the points.
  • It really comes down to the personal viewpoint of the person hiring. I suppose that makes it safer to send a thank you note than to NOT send one. To me, it is pretty much a waste of paper.

    However, you reminded me of a supervisor I had over 20 years ago. If the applicant brought in a letter of reference which had the words "call me if you have any further questions" he automatically nixed the applicant. He took it to mean the prior employer wanted to SAY the applicant was a terrible employee but was forced into writing this letter of recommendation. He figured if he called, the prior employer would tell him all kinds of terrible things about the applicant so he just felt it saved time to just toss the applicant from his pile of would-be employees. I could say a lot more about this supervisor and his particular brand of work, but I think you get the picture.

    In any case, a thank you note is worthless unless it ends up in the hands of someone who appreciates it.
  • I agree Nae Nae, it depends on the person. I guess applicants should send one b/c of the above post that said they had a supervisor that if he DIDN'T get one, he would not proceed with the applicant. Too bad b/c it confuses applicants on what they should or should not do.
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