Skip to comments.The Number One Mistake People I Interview Are Making These Days
Posted on 02/24/2012 7:36:02 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
I'm the Managing Editor of Business Insider, which means I'm responsible for all of the editorial hiring here.
So I'm constantly meeting people of all different levels, from interns to senior editors.
Lately, the majority of people I interview have one thing in common.
They're all messing up on something that I think is very important when trying to get a job: the Thank You Email.
Whether we spent thirty minutes meeting in the offices; we Skyped because you're abroad for your Junior spring semester; or we did a quick first-round phone interview, too many people are forgetting to follow up later that day or the next day with a quick email.
It doesn't have to be anything too involved. Truthfully, the shorter the better.
The Thank You Email should say a few simple things:
-Thank you for meeting (or talking) with me.
-I really want this job.
-Quick plug about why I'm perfect for it.
If I DON'T get a Thank You Email, here's what happens:
-I assume you don't want the job
-I think you're disorganized and forgot about following up
-There is a much higher shot I'll forget about you
Here's an example of a good Thank You Email:
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
I found Dick Cheney’s interview in 1969 with Don Rumsfeld illustrative, though I can’t remember if Rumsfeld had left Congress at that point to work in the Nixon administration.
The young Cheney traveled all the way to Washington to meet with Rumfeld to apply as a staffer. He had to walk several miles in the summer DC heat and humidity while wearing the only suit he owned, a wool winter suit, because he didn’t know the city and parked too far away.
When he finally got there, only a minute or two before the appointed time, he was soaked with perspiration to the point his shoes were making squishing sounds. Before he even had a chance to find a bathroom and towel off, the door to Rumsfeld’s office opened at the exact appointment time and he was ushered in for a half-hour appointment.
In a city known for making people wait, this was remarkable.
Cheney talked for 25 minutes, at which point Rumsfeld politely said something like “Thank you for coming, but I don’t think you are the right person for the job”, stood up and shook his hand, after which the door opened at the exact ending time for the meeting and the young Cheney was ushered out.
Very straight and to the point.
Poor Cheney stood blinking in the office foyer thinking “What the heck just happened?”
When I’ve hired anyone, it’s on the basis of their ability to do the job and fit in with the team. A thank you email makes no difference to that. All they do is depress me unless they come from the person I’m going to hire. Then I think, “Oh, that’s nice.” But it makes no difference either way.
I’ve never sent or received an interview thank you e-mail. I probably wouldn’t hire the person who sent me one. Thank you notes are just too touchy feely 1950s girly. Interviews are about business decisions, they’re not bridal showers, if I hire you you can thank me then.
“There is very little BS factor in these types of positions.”
After college when looking for a job, I would call a company in my specialized technical field and would ask for whoever by name after I had done some research on who was a top dog. Mostly small firms.
Then I would call and if the receptionist asked who I was I would say “This is Tom Smith from MIT”.
Once I got the guy I would say “Hi, my name is Tom Smith, I’m a recent graduate from MIT with a degree in XYZ. I’m going to be in town for a few days and would like to speak with you and your work in XYZ. Would tomorrow at 11am work, or would sometime Thursday afternoon be better for you?”
I had numerous interviews that way. Many were useful just in getting information on other small firms that might be able to use me. A few kept in touch over the years when a job came open.
One guy, after talking with me for quite awhile about the industry in his area said “Well, sorry - we don’t need anybody at the moment. But I just had to meet the guy that had the balls to ask for an interview like that.” LOL!
I would also send a thank you letter. And while that was 30+ years ago, it can’t hurt, and is a good habit to have. As a consultant I still write a handwritten note to clients if they refer me to someone, pay their bill real quick, etc.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.