Do you know that your interview thank-you can cost you the job?
When I did executive search, it happened to one of my candidates.
Here’s the story:
The Interview Thank-You Nightmare
Several years ago, I sent the perfect candidate out to a client to interview for her dream job.
The company, a market leader in a disruptive industry, provided deliciously challenging positions and planned to pay well into 6-figures for the job. Plus, they had gorgeous waterfront offices in a popular Seattle suburb.
My candidate fit the position perfectly — a 10 on the hiring manager’s scale of 1 to 10.
She had a great interview, got good feedback on-site, went back to her office, and fired off a thank-you note to the hiring Vice President — in which she misspelled his name.
He cared. I got a call saying the candidate was out of contention solely because of the mistake. No appeals allowed. He felt as though it said something about her
lack of attention to detail that mattered to him.
In case you want to know more, Mac Prichard of Mac’s List and I discuss what happened here (the story starts at 1:10):
The Interview Thank-You Protection Plan
So, what do you do to prevent yourself from making the same mistake my unfortunate candidate did?
- First, for remote interviews, check the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile for the correct spelling of their name. Almost no one gets it wrong there.
- If you interview in person, be sure to take several business cards with you.
- Then, at the end of each meeting, offer the interviewer your card and ask for one of theirs. No one walks around with business cards that misspell their name. No one.
- Finally, when you write your interview thank-you, make sure you use the name on the card. It’s that simple.
Don’t lose a great job because of a preventable misstep!
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Updated May 2022
© 2013 – 2023, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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