Tip 9 – Last Impressions Last – Pt. 3

After the Interview, Are You Thoughtful?
(Part 3 of 3)

Expressing Thankfulness – Benefits and Examples

Dear Readers, in Tip 8,  you read about using a closing statement to end the interview with strength and confidence. In Part 3 of this series, we explain why you should follow-up and send a Thank You email.

Sending a Thank You note after the interview is always a good idea if you want to differentiate yourself from those less thoughtful candidates who don’t send a thank you email. Although the interview process has under gone many changes, such as interviewing online, one thing hasn’t changed. Interviewers are humans who want to be appreciated, and when you send a thank you note or email expressing your appreciation for them meeting with you, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness in return. Here is proof that a thankful email will help you stand out even more from candidates who aren’t thankful.
  • 57% of interviewed candidates won’t send a note of thanks
  • 91% of employers like to be thanked in a follow-up email…it makes them feel appreciated
  • 68% of hiring managers report that thank you emails influence their hiring decisions

Ways to Use a Thank You Email

  • Remind the interviewers of your related skills, accomplishments, and attributes
  • Hyper-link your LinkedIn profile, on-line portfolio, etc.
  • Expand on or mention something that you wish you had said during the interview

When to Send the Email

Time your Thank You email to reach the interviewer(s) while the interview is still top of mind and before the hiring decision is made. If the hiring manager indicated that a decision was imminent, be sure to send the email within 24 hours. Sooner is better than later.

Example Subject Lines for the Email

The best approach to ensure your follow-up email is opened is to respond to the latest email thread between you and the hiring manager. If this is impossible because your prior correspondence has been with HR, just include your name, date and time of the interview and position title in the subject line. Examples of other possible subject lines:
  • Follow-up regarding ______________  (position title)
  • Thank you for your time, ___________ (interviewer’s name)
  • Great talking with you today!

What to Include in a Thank You Email

  • If you’ve become that familiar with one another, it is acceptable to open using the interviewer’s first name
  • If things with the interviewer are more formal, open using their titles (e.g. Ms., Mr., Mx.) and last names
  • If the interview involved multiple people and it is at all possible, send a separate email to each of them
  • Express your gratitude and reinforce your continued interest in the position
  • Refer to the organization’s (or department’s) objectives and suggest ways your background and skills will help them succeed
  • Offer to provide the hiring manager with additional information
  • Confirm next steps for a final decision to be made (or when)
  • Include your contact information (email, phone, and LinkedIn profile, if you have one)

Thank You Email Example

Please note, any examples we provide are intended to give you ideas for formatting your own Thank You email, and to show what kind of information should be included. You will want to tailor your email(s) to your circumstances.

Subject Line:
Thank You – Certified Educator Interview – Julia Jones
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I enjoyed speaking with you today about the Certified Educator opening with Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center. The job seems to be an excellent match with my experience and skills.
The creative approach to curriculum development and program expansion that you described deepens my desire to become a contributing member of your spiritual care team.
Beyond my recent certification as an ACPE Educator, I come to the organization with a record of developing a robust student recruitment strategy that improved both the quality and quantity of applicants. Additionally, I welcome an opportunity to support your vision for growing virtual CPE program offerings.
The time you spent with me is much appreciated. I am very interested in working with you and look forward to hearing from you soon regarding a decision.
With Gratitude,
Julia Jones
555-555-8888

TIP 2 – For Candidates

Tip 2

One key to successful interviewing is preparation. Think through and practice how you’ll respond to frequently asked questions, such as:

“Tell me about yourself” and “What is one of your growing edges?”

 It is important to practice responses to these anticipated questions — not to simply memorize your replies, but in order to respond comfortably, easily, confidently, and thoroughly.

In addition to preparing for and practicing your responses to Frequently Asked Questions, you’ll likely be asked a number of behavioral interview questions:

“Tell me about the most difficult…” 

Or

 “Describe a situation in which…” 

Or 

“In the past, how have you typically handled…?”

 

Respond to these questions using the CART Story format:

Circumstance – Specifically, what did you encounter?  Where and when did this happen?  If possible, quantify who and what was involved.

Action – What particular action(s) did you take to respond to and resolve the issue, or to overcome the challenge?  If other people were involved, what interaction did you have with them?  You may even include a description of your thoughts and/or decision making process.

Result – What outcome was achieved?  Think bigger than how you alone were impacted; think about how others (e.g., boss, other staff, and the patient) were impacted.  If the outcome was a “crash and burn” experience, what positive lessons were learned?  You may compare your performance to a common metric where it places you in positive light.

Tie-In – Use a statement or question to apply the CART story to important competencies or experiences that the hiring organization is seeking.  For example:

    • “My manager said I provide a calming presence for others in stressful circumstances.”
    • “How does my story fit with similar situations you’ve experienced here?”

It’s impossible to anticipate every interview question that may be asked. Prepare and practice. Enlist the support of your professional connections to help you with your research.  Ask hiring authorities:

“What are the Top 5 most challenging questions that you ask candidates applying for this sort of position?”

These questions may be about the position or the industry.

Now it’s your turn!

Develop five to six CART stories.  (If more come to mind, go ahead and write them down.  You may also be able to use them when networking or writing your resume.)  Develop stories going back 5-7 years with an emphasis on the last one or two employers.

One thing is fairly certain—under the stress of the interview, you’re much less likely to come up with your best stories to illustrate your capabilities and contributions.

Prepare yourself now, and you will be ready then.

TIPS For Employers

Plan to hire the right person—because a bad hiring decision can be very costly in terms of time, money, culture, and credibility. As Dr. Stephen R. Covey says:

“Begin with the End in Mind!”

Knowing the result you want will help you create and manage a process that rewards you with the best available match. This may not come easily.  In fact, it will likely require hard work, creativity, perseverance, teamwork, and focus. All while doing your day-to-day work.

Here are 10 steps that work well:

1.     Know who you’re looking for.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But without clarity, hiring managers often fail right here. Don’t forget cultural fit.

2.     Know what you’re recruiting to.
Accurately define the job, the interview process, the final hiring authority, and the total compensation package. If you need any outside help, define that too.

3.     Identify strategic recruiting strategies and resources.
Employ a variety of networking techniques to find prospective candidates. Network directly to identify passive candidates.

4.     Directly share your opportunity with candidates.
Share the history, opportunities, and meaning of the position in alignment with the larger goals of the department and the organization.

5.     Thoroughly screen prospective candidates.
You not only need a good cultural fit. You also need a person who has a history of achieving the outcomes you desire. Screen thoroughly.

6.     Pre-close prospective candidates.
Select candidates who will improve their professional and personal lives by accepting the role. It is also wise to pick ones who possess a real passion for the day-to-day functions and challenges of the job.

7.     Manage a comprehensive and efficient interview process.
Put all decision makers on the same page, and communicate honestly and fully with candidates.  Dig deep and learn who they are. Confirm that you have a match.

8.     Keep in touch.
Maintain communications. Let candidates know you truly remain interested —so they also remain interested. Good candidates will have more than one choice.

9.     Make an offer the candidate can’t refuse.
Make a complete offer that addresses every detail of total compensation.  In addition, it is important to confirm the job title, work week, flexibility of the role, and opportunities for advancement.

10.  Initiate the On-boarding process.
Confirm the offer in writing and complete pre-hire activities.  Then orient your newest employee so that they can quickly transition toward near-term productivity.

Beginning with the end in mind ensures a strong recruitment plan and greater success in hiring the best available spiritual care leader or CPE supervisor for your organization.

For an expanded version of these 10 steps, please contact Thorne Consulting.