It's almost always a good idea to send a thank you card after a job interview. Though some interviewers may not be bothered if you don't send one, it can give you a way of distinguishing yourself from other candidates. Not only is sending a note a polite gesture, it also gives you the opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the position and to demonstrate your good people skills. It's important to write your card in a sincere and personal manner that's also professional and fits the tone of the company you're applying to.
Who to Send the Card To
Generally speaking, you should send one card to each person who interviews you, unless it's a particularly short or preliminary meeting. For instance, you wouldn't need to send one to the secretary who takes your personal information, but you would send one to each person on an interviewing panel, whether that person talked a lot or not. Unless you get a strong idea about a person's preference, either e-mail or a typed or handwritten note is usually acceptable. If the company is particularly formal, then a written card may be better, but you should try to feel out the company culture to be sure. You should also make sure that your card fits with the social expectations of the company's location — what is seen as friendly in one place could be seen as overly casual in another.
When to Send the Card
It's best to send your thank you note soon after the interview: the day afterwards, if possible. If you wait too long, it could give the impression that you're not prompt in your follow through or not very interested in the job. Sending the note quickly also keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind. It's also important to make sure you send your card to the right place, whether that's an e-mail or physical address. You can usually get this information from the receptionist or from the company's website.
What to Say
When writing the card, try to mention specific details about things that happened in the interview. For example, if a person seemed particularly interested in one of your qualifications, you could mention something about it again. You should double-check that the grammar and spelling of the letter is correct, particularly the interviewer's name and title. If you're sending multiple cards, you shouldn't simply send a copy to each interviewer; each one should be as personal as possible.
If you were applying for a job at a clothing shop and were interviewed by a manager, you might want to write a letter like the following:
Ms. Jane Smith
Human Resources Manager
ABC Fashion Store
Townsville, DE 12345
Dear Ms. Smith,
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to meet with me and take me on a tour of your shop. I was impressed by your expanding womenswear section and excited to see a place where my years of experience in visual merchandising could be useful.
Just to re-confirm, I'm still very interested in the position and think I'd be a great fit both with the other employees and with the shop as a whole. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at (123) 456-7890 or at email@example.com.
Thanks again for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Usually, the only time you might not send a thank you card after an interview is if you're absolutely sure you don't want the job and would never want to work with that company. Even if the interviewer tells you that you won't be getting the position, you should still send a note thanking him for his time. When writing a thank you card after a job interview in which you're told you won't get the position, you can ask the person to keep your details on file and to consider you for any other positions that open up. That way, he or she still remembers you positively, and may consider you above unfamiliar applicants for other jobs.