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 ...
Quite frankly, I already get too many work emails as it is.
Uh huh. And how many people doing the hiring even bother to tell a candidate two weeks later that he didn’t get the job. That “courtesy” was ancient history twenty years ago.
Maybe this is specific to certain fields; personally I have never found them to be particularly common in my field.
The decision who will be hired, considered or rejected; is usually made before the interview is over. If you didn’t overwhelm them - the decision is made. No email, no flowers, no fancy card is going to make any difference.
In my experience, the letter may actually work against you; identifying you as a ‘suck up’. But, my job is in engineering, not a ‘soft science’. If you have the skills specific to the job, if you are personable, if your personality will meld with the team - you are in. If not, nothing will change that decision - most especially an email.
Wow. A guy who is actually looking for MORE emails.
A lot of commenters at the link are downright ANGRY at the notion of sending a follow-up email.
But look; if you apply at a company, and they call you back for an interview, and you do nothing to follow up on that position opting instead to wait for them to call you?
You deserve to be unemployed.
ping for showing to my son later
There is no magic “key” that will unlock that job, certainly not a follow-up e-mail. There are a whole host of determinants in landing a job and it is a disservice to imply that finding the right, exact, secret elixer is the only way you will ever unlock a job. It ain't so.
I’d be curious as to the percentage of interviews are fake HR go-thru-the-motions as the job was filled internally before someone had to post it publicly to cover their EOE ass.
Yep. It used to have to be a more laborious old-fashioned thank you note.
Doesn’t make sense to take the time to go in for a personal—or even have an over the phone—interview, without adding the 30 second follow up of a brief thank you.
Almost bizarre that people in her field would be skipping that step.
The part that is not addressed at all, is the level of unprofessionalism that many companies show to potential job applicants. Let's pick on Dell Comuters (Round Rock, TX) as an example.
I worked there for couple years, and interviewed dozens (as in >25) applicants for an engineering position we did not have. We flew them in from all over the country, put them up at the Red Lion, and we had no intention of hiring them. Why? So HR could have a list of pre-screened applicatants. I fielded calls from a young graduate in Los Angeles who was quite excited about a job with Dell - and I was forced by my Director to keep her on the line for over 6 months. Finally, as Lead Engineer for the group, I asked to be removed from this process as I had ethical issues with this procedure. I was 'laid off' 6 months later - pure coincidence, I'm sure.
But, the bottom line is that loyalty and professional conduct is a 1-way street. Companies have abandoned the view that their employees are a valuable asset - they are an operational expense, and treated as such. Employees learn this lesson; thus the average life expectancy of employees is now closer to 2-5 years than decades, like it was not that long ago. It used to be that you got your job, you worked your job, you would be rewarded for your loyalty, you may work 2-3 jobs in your career; you'd retire after working for a company 20+ years at a decent salary. Today, you are a cog in a wheel, you can be replaced for any or no reason at all. It's brutal; and some of the advice I'm reading does little more than identify weakness on behalf of the employee.
The follow up letter should be done at the conclusion of the interview. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me,...I am really interested in the job if offered, etc.”
this follow up letter/email stuff is definetly 20+++ years ago.
And I NEVER received a follow-up from a company on why I wasn’t selected. Left to sit there wondering forever if/why I didn’t get the job.
Sounds like a self-center prick; a Gen Y idiot that NEEDS to be thanked. In many cases the candidate doesn’t have an email address to send a thank you as all communications for the interview come from them and it is a bit nerdy to track down the interviewer to thank them.
“the interview come from them”
should have been:
“the interview come from HR”
At the end of the interview, you stand up, shake hands looking the interviewer in the eye, and you thank him for the opportunity to interview.
That should be it. I can't imagine why anyone would want sycophantic garbage clogging up his in-box the next day.
Now, if you interview with this chick, by all means send her an email, but the reason for it eludes me unless she just likes seeing people suck up to her.
I think this may still have value, in the 'soft' sciences. HR manager, Supervisor, manager, Insurance industry, Medical industry - somewhere where dealing with customers and the public may be the norm.
However, this is practialy unheard of in the engineering industry. Usually, the decision to hire/not hire a person is made before the interview is even over. Managment has made the decision, before the applicant has left the building. Due to nothing short of rudeness and unprofessionalism - the applicant will likely not be told 'No, Thank you' .... ever. It costs nothing to keep him hoping, and on the line. Maybe there will be a sudden need, and the #2 candidate can be quickly reeled in. Sure, they will promise to let you know in a week; but this is seldomly, if ever the case.
Absolutely true. Mid-level managers do not want to be bothered by incessant whining from interviewers that were discarded during the interview process. Usually, the person will say "Hello, my name is Bob, and I'm the ......". You visit with him for 20 minutes, and you never see him again. I've been shocked many times to find that the boss I have, when I'm hired, is actually the person who identified himself as a lower-level team member. This is done to evade the endless emails.
To all the detractors here, consider these facts:
- A thank you email costs you nothing. Except maybe a few minute away from your Playstation.
- If nothing else, it represents civility, something that is all but lost to the last couple of generations. Practicing civility makes it habitual, which WILL make you more attractive in the job market.
- If one in one thousand thank you letters are effective, that's an extraordinary edge over someone who never writes one.