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Great advice from The Lawyer Whisperer

February 10, 2019
Question

Is it too late to send thank you notes a week after a job interview?

answer
Julie Q. Brush

The thank you note is an essential part of a top-notch candidate’s repertoire during the interview process. And without question, it is a must after each and every interview. Why? Because it’s an expression of appreciation, courtesy and professionalism. And is a positive reflection of You to an employer.

In the world of thank you notes, handwritten and email are both acceptable forms in today’s market and are, ideally, sent within 24 – 48 hours of an interview. But at times, there are circumstances that cause a candidate to procrastinate or…forget to make the follow up effort. So time passes – and the question arises as to whether too much time has passed for a thank you to be effective or worthwhile.

In your situation, it has been a week since your interview. Is this too much time in the rearview mirror to extend your appreciation? No. There is no statute of limitations on a thank you. Granted, I don’t advise to let too much time pass, but to an employer…a late thank you is better than none at all. The key in dealing with the tardiness is to be genuine and express your apologies for the delay. Then, proceed with your additional sentiments. Below are a few examples:

“Susan,

Apologies for the delayed note of thanks. I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for your time to discuss the Counsel/Partnership opportunity with your company/firm last Tuesday. The role is very appealing to me and I believe I could add a lot of value to your team. I look forward to continuing our conversation.  Best Regards, Richard”

“Bob,

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to meet with me about the VP of Legal Affairs role with your company. I apologize for the delay in sending my note, a few critical matters arose at the office and I am now resurfacing – I appreciate your understanding. The position you described during our conversation sounds like terrific opportunity and my interest is high. I would welcome next steps in the process.  Many thanks again, Barbara”

“Lee,

Apologies for being a bit tardy with my note. I wanted to thank you for spending so much time with me last week in our interview. I greatly enjoyed learning more about the firm as well as the partnership opportunity. It sounds like there are exciting developments at Firm XYZ and I am very interested in continuing our discussion regarding a possible fit.  Best, Joan”

When it comes to building a successful career, the best professionals attend to the smallest details. This includes sending thank you notes after interviews. While it’s best to act immediately with this communication, don’t worry or hold back if you find yourself behind. It’s not the end of the world. So send the note now and look forward to your next round of interviews.

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