Should I send a thank you note via snail mail after a first interview?
January 14, 2014 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I had a first interview for a job today. Before I left, they said they wanted me to come back next week for a second interview (yay!). I sent a thank you email when I got home after the interview. I'm usually in the habit of sending a snail mail note after a first interview (it has secured a second interview in the past) but with a second interview already planned should I send the snail mail note this time around? Or save that for after the second interview? Thanks in advance for your advice.
posted by macadamiaranch to Work & Money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think with the second interview already secured and a confirmation/thank you email already sent a snail mail note at this point might come across as a little over-anxious.
posted by yoink at 6:39 PM on January 14, 2014 [12 favorites]

I agree with yoink.
posted by hamandcheese at 6:55 PM on January 14, 2014

Thank you emails are appropriate/sufficient these days, at least in my experience. So much of the hiring process is online that I think sending letters via postal mail will only confuse matters. (What if your note gets lost and they only receive it after you have another interview, or don't see it at all, or something? Sort of related anecdata: one time I snail-mailed an application and someone replied they were interested in hiring me 5 months later, long after my ability to take the job had passed.)
posted by mlle valentine at 6:56 PM on January 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Thank you emails are totally appropriate
posted by radioamy at 7:17 PM on January 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Since you have already sent email, snail would be overkill. Snail vs. email is cultural.
If you were applying at the behemoth that pays my wages, I would remind you that snail thanx is a required check box in certain departments.

Knowing when and where you need that formal, personal touch is where networking comes in handy. We have special events where we tell college kids what we expect. Elsewhere, I think this question reveals what a class/cast society we have and I am sad.

Good luck in your job search!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:26 PM on January 14, 2014

I was up for a job I really wanted a few months ago. I sent a snail mail note, and it was returned to me because the mail for the company went to a PO Box, and not the physical address where I went to interview. I regret not using email.
posted by ohisee at 7:33 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just the thank you email. I used to be very much "still snail mail!" but really, things move too fast these days for that. The whole point of the thank you note originally was to show that (a) you're grateful and (b) you're prompt. The email thank you note still doe that - the snail mail one leave them wondering about the "prompt" part for days longer than you really want.
posted by Miko at 7:41 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I guess this is an American thing, as I've never heard of a "thank you" note being sent after any kind of interview ever.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:41 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

You don't say what type of business you interviewed at. If this was a tech company, a snail mail letter would be seen as fairly odd.
posted by octothorpe at 8:06 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with yoink in this case, but in other circumstances snail mail is still very much appreciated. I once visited the studio of someone I 'informational interviewed' with and months later she still had my thank you card pinned to her cork board! (I also agree this could be an American phenom as I hadn't heard of this either until I moved to the US).
posted by gillianr at 8:23 PM on January 14, 2014

This kind of stuff is just seen as desperate or even embarrassing, if the company has already decided not to hire you.
posted by w0mbat at 9:14 PM on January 14, 2014

Just write a handwritten note and mail it or better yet drop it off at the front desk. It's not overkill it's thoughtful. I send an email of course.

One time I came back for the secind interview that I already had set up to see the thank yiu card I sent on display behind my interviewers desk. Because of all the commenters before me, physical mail is treasured. So my note was treated as a special kind of statement.
posted by jander03 at 9:48 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

turbid dahlia: it's another way to suck up in America. Some people care (deeply) about the dang thank you note and some do not. It is better to cover your ass and send one than to not.

Anyway, nthing everyone else about e-mailing rather than snailing because snail is too slow these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:51 PM on January 14, 2014

Next time just bring the thank you card and fill it out and drop it off before you leave.
posted by emkelley at 3:00 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

In one of my jobs, the hiring manager checked his snail mail box and showed me my thank you note, on my first day of work.

I've moved to emailing my thank you notes.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:49 AM on January 15, 2014

Yeah, in addition to the postal service time, internal mailing at large companies can take approximately forever.
posted by Miko at 9:30 AM on January 15, 2014

I find a mailed note a bit antiquated and overly slow. I also think applicants shouldn't do both email and mail, it looks desperate/overeager. And I wouldn't do as emkelley suggested and bring it along to the interview to leave it behind as that makes it a perfunctory and meaningless gesture; the whole point of the thank you note is that upon reflection and away from the influence of any sense of pressure/etc, the applicant is appreciative of the opportunity and still interested.
posted by vegartanipla at 2:32 PM on January 15, 2014

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