I think you’ll agree with me when I say that your job is only partly done once you’ve aced your interview. Sending that thank you email after the interview is a remaining challenge.
After all, even surveys point out that 25% of hiring managers say they wouldn’t hire someone who didn’t send a short thank you email after…
Okay…no big deal. Just head back home, craft a short letter, or better yet copy some samples off the Internet, change some things here and there, and…voila! Job done! All that’s left is wait for the job offer.
Here’s the thing: It won’t work. Not even close.
Before you get all upset with me. Let me tell you that you are in the right place because this detailed guide is not only going to show you how best to prepare a thank you letter along with some templates, but also significantly increase your chances of landing that job – if you can only be patient and read it in its entirety. There is a reason why this post has been shared and linked to by more than 25,000 sources…
First things first, let me introduce myself. I am Deniz Sasal. I am a manager with PwC Consulting in our strategy consulting business unit. I am also the creator of The Career Mastery and infamous Landing Interviews Guaranteed (1-hour long free masterclass where I teach candidates advanced strategies to pass job interviews.
I launched The Career Mastery blog as a side project in 2016 because I wanted to help unemployed and underemployed find better jobs with large multinational employers and management consultancies.
See, I’ve joined a lot of interviews as a hiring manager. And one thing I noticed very clearly is that today’s job applicants are extremely misled. There is so much BS advice out there given by completely unqualified non-achievers who have the audacity to teach. And as a result, a lot of graduates end up wasting so much valuable time and settling for sub-par employers.
But long story short, if you stick with me, I will provide you with the best career advice and insider tips and tricks to increase your chances of getting jobs with multinationals.
Let’s very briefly talk about why the thank you letter after an interview is very important;
whether you send it after your 2nd interview, in person meeting, or on the phone. I, as a hiring manager, couldn’t care less if you sent a thank you email or not. But I know that some HR and other hiring managers would. And just to put it out there: even though I don’t care about that post-interview email, sending me a generic one could end up hurting you.
It needs to make me feel that you wrote one for me. If I see that you couldn’t be bothered past a template, then you’ve just shown me something about you. After all, you’re putting yourself to be judged and evaluated some more with your email. At that point, I’m still deliberating who among the applicants is the best.
So, how do you impress a hiring manager? Let’s start by looking at how an amazing “thank you letter” or “thank you email” can be. The following tips I give are what I think and know will definitely work with a hiring manager at a multinational company.
Trust me. You will have a 100% success rate in impressing him or her and easily get 20+ additional points to help you get that job you just interviewed for.
Best of all, you don’t have to pay for them. They’re all here in this page.
Good. Read on.
Before I give you the goods, here are some “musts” that would really help you to know.
Okay. Let’s get to the good bits.
Have you noticed a common thread in your application process so far? Let me tell you what that is:
It’s you who is getting something from them.
It’s you who asks and them who gives.
It’s you who wants and needs the job.
It’s you who sucks the life out of them. (Just kidding!)
The point is, do you see a semblance of a relationship in any of the above?
Think of a first date. It wouldn’t be fun if your date is the one talking and talking and constantly asking for something, right?
No, I ‘m not saying you should interview your interviewer too. Instead, it’s about value exchange. So far in the application process, what have you given the interviewer that added value to his life? Are they a better person after having met you? Have they learned something new? Would you say they were glad to have met you for something you’ve said or done?
The probable answer with most candidates is “No.” Perhaps some may have even just wasted 2-3 hours of their lives.
But maybe you’ve already gone past the interview stage. You didn’t know about value exchange and give-and-take then…so what do you do?
That’s where your final shot with the thank you email comes in.
I suggest you leverage 3 of the 6 influence triggers from Robert Cialdini. It’s a good but long theory. To simplify, he says in order to get a “YES,” you need the following;
Being a management consultant, I love to work with inputs and outputs and weights of inputs. So, in this case, here’s how I would rate them in priority for a thank you letter:
Reciprocity is the Holy Grail here. If you can establish reciprocity, liking will naturally follow .
Scarcity is entirely up to you. You may or may not mention other opportunities waiting in line depending on your risk aptitude. Personally, I wouldn’t…
So, let’s get deep into Reciprocity.
This is a fairly simple concept. If you gave something to someone for free, the other person will most likely want to return the favor, especially if what you gave is of high value. They will want to do something back for you. Not just out of politeness but of gratitude. It’s a subconscious process.
In our case, you’ll want to give something back to the hiring manager. It could be a research paper, an event attendance, an Amazon book gift…whatever it may be, think of something creative that is of value to them so they would feel the need to reciprocate.
But, wait! It has to happen on a subconscious level. You don’t want the hiring manager to feel you are forcing a decision or that you are bribing him.
Ideally, the process would go like this:
Voila! Before you know it, you’ve just established reciprocity in the most natural way (or maybe unnatural…)
However, if you are reading this guide after you have already had your interviewed. It’s not too late yet.
If that’s the case, there are essentially 2 starting points for you. You may have either opened up a topic in the interview that you can further leverage in your thank you letter…or you have not.
Scenario 1: You were able to engage in various conversations in the interview. Great. Can you think of a topic related to that conversation that the hiring manager may want to know more about? Go ahead and research more about it. Don’t send anything yet. Just research. Don't write the thank you email just yet. We will get there later.
Scenario 2: You haven’t talked about anything that you can research and give value to. No problem. In this case, what does the hiring manager do, specifically? Let’s say he's a partner in government consulting. Can you perhaps research a thought leader paper in that domain? Again, just research and don’t send an email yet.
The next thing you’ll need to do is go to your best friend Google and research more about your potential ethical bribe. I know I know. The ethical bribe or the word bribe has such a negative connotation to it. I just couldn’t come up with an alternative term for it – yet! Let’s just call it “EB” from now on.
Alright, now what I am about to share with you is very important.
If you are like me and sometimes have difficulty understanding when someone says this is important, then let me put it this way…
You need to spend a lot of time finding the ultimate EB that is worthy to be attached to your thank you email. A link to an online article won’t be any good. That’s just lazy.
Here are a couple of tips you can employ while Googling:
- Look for a reputable source. I suggest you search articles from PwC, other big four or major consulting companies. Pretty much all consulting firms have thought leadership articles on a particular topic. These articles are free, to start with, and incredibly valuable. I've taken part in developing a couple of PwC papers and you can’t imagine the resources we commit to in delivering these documents for public use. They are immense.
- While searching, try using the company name + topic + pdf format. Most of those thought leadership pieces are in pdf format. And this format will help you generate quality results quickly.
Once you finished your initial research, you’ll want to create something similar to below and fill it out with at least 10 options. To get the highest value from your thank you email, you need to find topics that are strong enough and that you are sure will add value to the hiring manager’s life.
Then, start empathizing. Ask yourself these questions:
If I am on the receiving end of this content, will it make me better educated, more informed, more intellectual, smarter, or will it yield more opportunities?
If you can answer “Yes” to any of these questions, then you are on the right track.
This next bit is the easiest one: drafting the interview thank you email.
Here is just one example I wrote for you:
Hi Joe, (I prefer Hi, but you can use “Dear” if you wish to)
Thank you very much for your time to interview me today. I highly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about [the job].
I am definitely excited and looking forward to learning from the best while delivering to the best of my abilities. [It’s always good to pamper their ego a bit.] This opportunity is exactly what I have been looking for: a fast-paced multinational environment with highly intellectual [consultants]. Frankly, I have been dreaming about working for [PwC] for quite some time. I hope I was able to show my enthusiasm and skillsets in the interview as well. [Don’t try to be cool. Be enthusiastic and show it. Who knows, maybe he is about to sign your 6 figure offer]
Once again, thank you for considering me for this wonderful opportunity. I am confident I will be very successful with your leadership.
Having said that, I took the initiative to research more about [EB topic] and thought to share with you [EB]. I have gone through it and found it really informative when it comes to [This. Talk a bit more about that content here and tell them why it’s great]. ***You may please find attached [the EB] and I hope you find as useful [beneficial to “this” etc].
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
You can use a simple subject line for your thank you letter, such as; “Thank you for your time”. You don’t need to spend an hour thinking about it.
*Don’t copy the words between [brackets]. That would probably be the end of your career with the firm… Also, the template above can also work wonders not just for a job application but also for scholarship applications or even after a regular meeting. You just need to customize it to your objective.
The above template is 95% good to go. But it’s still missing one critical element.
And that is the Call to Action.
You need to tell me and your audience your desired action. According to research, emails with clear CTAs have 80% higher likelihood of receiving that desired action.
So, make sure you pick a call to action for your thank you letter. Maybe something like below:
- Could you please let me know if you’d like to attend that event together? [Assuming that you included an event attendance as your ethical bribe]
- Could you please let me know if you would like to see my reference letters from my former employers?
You get the idea. A question that will trigger a further engagement is what you are looking for. But even if they don’t respond, don’t worry. You have just collected those sweet ol’ “reciprocity points”.
Finally, there is one more step. This is entirely up to you whether you’d like to do it or not. I would, but again it’s entirely optional. As I’ve talked about in another article, it’s always good to know whether the hiring manager has seen and read your messages. This will allow you to know when to follow up.
So, in this case, you can use a free service from Hub Spot which allows you to track if someone has opened your e-mails.
This has been a long post, and I congratulate you for sticking to the end and wanting to learn as much as you can in increasing your chances by at least 20%. Don’t just leave this last step in the application process to chance. With a properly executed, professional, and strategic thank you email or letter, you’ve basically secured a foot in the door.
Alright, so up to now I have delivered all I promised to you. If you follow what I taught you in this article, you will significantly increase your chances with that job. But, I thought to go extra mile and share with you one more awesome tip.
I suggest you attach a 3-4 slide presentation deck of your background to that thank you email. It should be a very nice looking deck of slides and something that is so good that the hiring manager will pass it along in the company.
I recommend you use these slides;
this one is perfect to demonstrate your problem-solving ability. Talk about what challenges you have faced and how you solved them. Keep it very brief.
this slide is great to present your employment record in a very creative way.
You can download the editable ppt version of the slides once you register here.
While you are there, make sure you watch the training videos properly for a lot more advanced tips.
If over 2,500 people have transformed their careers with this training, so can you.
One quick disclaimer here; These templates are a good starting point. But, I urge you to customize them to suit your own background.
If you are interested in further training, I strongly recommend you check it out. This is where I teach you how to prepare, pass, but most importantly land interviews with multinational companies.
Here is what I say about it:
P.S. Here is a quick infographic of the process for your thank you email after an interview, summarized in one image.