How to Thank an Interviewer

As an HR professional, I have certain expectations for candidates when they come in to interview for a job, regardless of what that position is.  When preparing to be on the opposite side of the table as an interviewee, I try to make sure I am my own best candidate.  It can be difficult, however, knowing that my expectations of candidates are not shared by all HR professionals.

When I interview a candidate, I expect that they have a minimum understanding of the position and the company.  As an interviewee, I make sure that I have done my research on the company, the HR department, and the role I am interested in.  Also, I expect a candidate to be able to speak to all experience listed on their resume, so I make sure to review my own resume before sitting down to be interviewed. 

After an interview, I enjoy receiving a quick “thank you” note from the candidate, either via email or phone. Not all HR professionals share my view on this, so my decision about how to follow up as an interviewee is based on the general feel of my interview.  I try to express my interest in constant contact or follow-up as it relates to the job for which I’m interviewing; I usually try to incorporate these two topics into one of my answers and gauge the response from the interviewer.  If they agree with me or seem to like my answer, I’ll make a mental note to follow up with a “thank you.”  If they act as if a note is too much, I’ll take it off my to-do list.  If the interviewer is hard to read or appears indifferent, I’ll wait until the interview has ended and ask him or her what the expectations are of me concerning follow-up. 

It’s an interesting dynamic when you’re an HR professional sitting in the position of the interviewee, but I think that there are definite advantages, especially when you can identify what your ideal candidate looks like.  If you know what you look for and what you expect, it’s easier to be that candidate yourself.


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