When you land a second interview for a job, it means you're likely going to be interviewing with higher-ups in the company, or someone more directly related to the position for which you're applying. For the first round of interviews, many companies do a "meet and greet" with human resources staffers or a hiring manager, followed by another interview in which the staff determines how you'll fit in with future co-workers. If you're able, take short notes during this second interview, so you can remember the players involved and be able to communicate with them directly later on. Better yet, ask each person for a business card during the interview, so you'll have a direct address to send your thank-you note. Whether it's the first, second or fifth interview, thank you's are always appropriate.
Purchase a thank-you card for each person with whom you interviewed. A box of stock thank-you cards is sufficient, or you can purchase one for each person to better suit personalities. Be sure it is fairly conservative and in good taste, with no bad jokes, comics or other off-color subject matter.
Address each thank-you note using the person's formal title, or at least "Ms." or "Mr.," followed by the last name. While you may have gotten to know the players better by the second interview, you don't want to presume familiarity and offend someone.
Use the first line of the note to thank the person for allowing you to speak with them, then provide the date location where the interview took place.
Personalize the second line of the thank-you note. If you've interviewed with several people, this is your chance to remind each person of any personal connection you may have had. If you talked with one person about a sport you both like, mention it again here, saying you look forward to speaking to that person again about that topic. If you spoke with another person about an idea you have for the company, mention it, again saying that you look forward to discussing it further. Let each thank-you note contain a tidbit that you discussed that will remind the person who you are and why you should be the one hired.
Use the third line of the note to bring up something you may not have discussed or that you forgot during the interview. If you've recently completed training that will further your expertise in a subject, say so. If you've just discovered something you didn't know about the company before, mention it -- this can show continued investment in the company and a commitment to bettering your life and career position.
Write a fourth line that invites the person to contact you at any time, then close the note with your signature -- clear enough to be legible -- and your email address and phone number.
- It can also be appropriate to send a thank-you note via email, though since a handwritten note is rare in the world of electronic communication, and may be more noteworthy when it lands on a hiring manager's desk. If the company directly states that its preferred method of communication is email, however, follow the instructions and send the thank-you via email. If you do choose email, the University of Minnesota recommends writing "Thank you from (your name)" in the subject line.
- Send the letter the same day or the day after the interview. Since you've made it to the second round of interviews, company staffers may remember you by name or face by now, but it's best to send the letter while the interview is still fresh in their minds.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.