November 16, 2012

Intern FAQ: Electronic or Physical Interview Thank You Note?

You just had a great interview (or even a not-so stellar one) and you've heard the next thing to do is to send a thank you note. That's great and all, but does that mean the handwritten snail mail your mom used to make you send everyone after your birthday each year, or is a quick note via email okay? Let's take a look at the options.

General Tips

  • Send a thank you in first 24 hours

  • Send a note whether the interview went well or not

  • Ask for business cards from anyone you interview with and send them each one individually

  • Keep thank you notes concise and positive

Pros and Cons
An electronic thank you note is immediate and fitting with a fast-paced electronically driven industry. It is especially applicable if most of your communication so far has been online or if the company or position is particularly reliant on the Internet.

A physical thank you stands out and shows you took the time to go out of your way rather than just type a few sentences on your phone. It's polite and professional and demonstrates a certain level of maturity to send one "the old-fashioned way." Plus, an emailed thank you is a lot easier to overlook between countless other emails than one that's received via mail.

Clearly, both a physical and electronic thank you note have their disadvantages. So, the best solution seems like a compromise between the old and the new: send both. An email will get there quickly and help of the company is fast paced and plan if to make a decision quickly. It will make an impression immediately. A written and mailed thank you serves as insurance in case your email is overlooked and will add a bit of professionalism and personalization. It's a lot harder to miss and serves as a second subtle reminder of your interest. Just be sure to keep both notes polite, concise, positive, and avoid being too aggressive. At the en of the day though, the most important thing is to be sure to actually send a thank you note at all!
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