Should I Call After the Interview to Say Thanks?

Your thank-you call could make or break your chances of hire.

Your thank-you call could make or break your chances of hire.

A little manners can go a long way when you're on the hunt for a job, and following up with your interviewer to thank her for her time could help you stand out from less polite candidates. While formal thank-you notes were once the norm, a 2012 survey conducted by Accountemps found that 81 percent of polled employers prefer thank-you calls from interviewees. Before you pull out your phone and punch in the interviewer's number, know what you plan to say and make sure you're in a quiet place free of distractions.

Purpose

Everyone enjoys being appreciated, and a hiring manager is no exception. A thank-you call tells her that you recognize that her time is valuable, and can help you demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. A phone call is more personal than a note, email or other communication method, and takes only a few minutes, making it a quick and easy way to express your thanks and follow up following your interview.

When to Call

If the interviewer told you she'd be in touch with you by a certain date, it's best not to pester her about the job until then, but it's appropriate to simply call, tell her "thank you" and leave it at that. Accountemps recommends that job seekers reach out to thank hiring managers within 24 hours of their interviews. Calling sooner rather than later will help ensure you stay at the forefront of the interviewer's mind -- and will showcase your professionalism and manners. Wait to call until you're in a quiet place free of background noise and other distractions so you can focus entirely on what she says and she can clearly hear you on your end of the line.

What to Say

First and foremost, tell the hiring manager that you appreciate that she took the time to interview you, and tell her that you enjoyed having the opportunity to meet her. If she engages in conversation with you and seems open to having a short discussion, take the time to reaffirm your values and interest in the position. If your thank-you call is doubling as a follow-up call, it's okay to ask her if the job has been filled or if she has an estimated timeline for when her decision will be made. Don't be pushy or overly eager, and allow her responses to set the tone and pace of the conversation. Remain professional and polite for the duration of the phone call.

Tips and Considerations

One of the disadvantages to calling to say "thanks" rather than sending an email or letter is that you have no way of knowing if you're posing an inconvenience to the hiring manager. You may be catching her during the busiest part of her day or in the middle of a meeting. If her phone goes to voice mail, leave a short message to say "thank you" and allow her to get back to you when it's convenient for her. If she answers, ask her right away if you're catching her at a bad time or if she has a moment to chat. Smile while you're on the phone. Even if she can't see it, it will be reflected in your voice and your tone will be warmer and friendlier. Practice your phone call with your partner or a friend so you know exactly what you plan to say and to minimize your nervousness when you place the real call.

 

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