Real Talk: If a Candidate Doesn’t Send a Thank You, Is That a Deal Breaker?

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Leah Thomas866
June 23, 2024 at 9:25PM UTC

Certain job interview etiquette that used to be the norm has come into question lately for the modern-day office setting. One woman wrote into the FGB Community to ask about such a practice: post-interview thank you notes. Are they still seen as standard by hiring managers? Will a manager not offer you a follow-up interview if you fail to send one? Should you send an email rather than an actual letter, or is an email less professional? 

Thank you note practices are definitely evolving — or even being eliminated altogether, according to some FGB'ers. Based on the discussion within the community, it's evident that one's opinion on thank you notes varies from field to field and even from person to person. 

Several other FGB'ers wrote in to offer their own opinions on the matter.

1. "I would never disqualify someone for not sending a thank you letter."

One FGB'er who identified herself as a hiring manager has only ever received four thank you notes after an interview in her entire career. Certain people may view thank you notes as old fashioned, and they seem to be phasing out of job interview practices. This hiring manager believes so, at least, and says she would never disqualify someone for not sending one, especially in a time where they are no longer standard. 

2. "A thank you note is pivotal to whether a person gets a job offer."

Another FGB'er expressed her strong believe that she would absolutely not offer a candidate a job without a thank you note or email. She even cited character as the reasoning behind this. A thank you note can mean more to a hiring manager than just a simple gesture. It can show them that you follow up, that you care more about the position than another candidate, or that you enjoyed speaking with them so much that you wanted to reach out again.

3. "It depends on one's field."

Several of the respondents mentioned their fields and why they believe sending a thank you note indicates a strong candidate for the position. This woman in particular is in sales and believes sending a thank you note shows a candidate will be good at following up with her clients in the future, more so than a different candidate who did not follow up with a thank you note. 

4. "It's simply personal preference."

One FGB'er responded that her choice to send a thank you note is based on etiquette, not on hoping to increase her chances of being offered the job. She even said she does not agree with using it to decide a candidate’s fate. 

As a hiring manager, although you may prefer a candidate send you a thank you note after an interview, it is important to remember that some candidates may not be aware of this expectation or practice. Sending a thank you note is a learned interview behavior that certain job applicants may not have been taught. Choosing to disqualify a candidate for not sending a thank you note could lead to disqualifying those from certain backgrounds, educations, locations, and more that were never told to send a thank you note after an interview but could still be desirable candidates otherwise. 

For all other career and job interview questions, reach out to the Fairygodboss Community to receive advice and opinions from other FGB women everywhere. 

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