As you embark on a payroll or HR interview, what do you do when it’s over? Twenty years ago, you would have mailed a “Thank You” note as a follow-up to your HR interview – but is that a valid strategy today? Or does sending a note make it look like you’re either desperate or out-of-step with the times? Let’s examine post-interview Thank You notes and whether they help or hurt you land your next payroll or HR opportunity.
This is an opportunity to solidify your candidacy as the right person for the payroll or HR job. But you only do this with timely communication – so send your Thank You within hours, not days of your interview. In the spirit of distinguishing yourself, consider the level of job and who you were interviewing with as you decide whether you should send an email or a handwritten Thank You card. A Thank You email is a must within 24 hours, but an actual note may impress a more seasoned HR decision maker may be impressed by a handwritten note. Keep in mind to tread carefully as if you do mail a note, it should be same day… and it could hate you with a younger HR decision maker, hurting not helping your HR position candidacy.
Solidify your Candidacy
Use your Thank You notes to reiterate what makes you a solid candidate and where both fit in culturally and may have an edge in terms of your experience matching with the job requirements. Sending the note also separates yourself from your competitors by showing your interest in the position. Enthusiasm is often a hiring differentiator and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that equation by sending not sending your Thanks. Especially when your competition is.
Ask Your Questions
Take the time to ask relevant and pertinent follow-up questions. This helps illustrate to the hiring manager your level of interest and attention to detail around the role. I recommend formulating 1-2 questions to dive deeper into the job duties, company culture, team dynamic, expectations (such as metrics), or schedule.
Relate your experience directly to what’s happening in the company in the short and long term. Use your best judgment based upon the interview process to send along some suggestions or research that relates to challenges discussed. Whether you hit the mark or not, your efforts will not go unrecognized. You will be distinguishing yourself as an enthusiastic go-getter who has a strong desire to win the job today and well into the future!
Don’t Bother If your Thank You notes contain any of the following, you’re probably better off not sending anything, so be careful to avoid: • Typos or mistakes • A generic note that is clearly being recycled • Getting too chummy or personal… it can be misread as creepy • Exhaustive, long notes send the message that you, yourself are exhausting
A carefully crafted interview Thank You note is a great opportunity to continue to build a relationship with the employer and raise your profile as a payroll or HR candidate – don’t miss out on a dream job because you think they are outdated!