Last week the executive hiring manager for Insider, Inc., Jessica Liebman, wrote an op-ed for Business Insider simply titled, “How to write a thank you letter”, but the story took a drastic turn. Liebman said, “When I first started hiring, I came up with a simple rule: We shouldn’t move a candidate to the next stage in the interview process unless they send a thank-you email.” Right on cue, the internet freaked out — probably because most humans can’t remember the last time they sent a thank you letter to someone they interviewed with.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never sent a thank-you note after an interview. I don’t consider myself to be a rude person. I send thank-you cards for gifts, condolences after a death and cards for every holiday. I try to stay on top of birthdays, call my grandparents, the usual stuff. But after reading this article, I contemplated if this was the reason why I haven’t been hired by my dream job, and determined that it made no difference.
Saying thank you is like saying sorry. You don’t realize how often you say it, because it’s a social norm to constantly say “thanks” and apologize. Half the time I say “Thanks, you too” when the movie theatre usher says “Enjoy your film.” It’s an automatic response that has been conditioned due to the extreme expectation of being polite and proper at all times.
Most people thank their interviewer for their time on their way out of the office, which should be enough since you’re probably just a moving face to your interviewer. When I’m leaving an interview, I’m not thinking about when I’m going to send a thank-you email to who I interviewed with. I’m thinking about whether or not I have a good shot at landing that job and analyzing every single word I’ve said. This doesn’t make me self-centered or rude. Throughout a normal job interview, you describe yourself well, talk about your experience and as a rule of thumb you’re usually humble and gracious for the opportunity. You plead your case as to why a company should hire you and you’re what they’re looking for, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t make it to the next round. As someone who tends to interview well, sometimes I don’t feel like it’s necessary to follow up with a thank you.
Liebman’s ultimatum of not hiring qualified candidates if they don’t send a “thank you” seems almost egotistical and petty. Egotistical in the way that Liebman automatically assumes that she deserves a thank you for doing her job of hiring people, and petty because you’re throwing away qualified candidates because of a simple, personal stipulation. Also, hiring managers never write thank you notes to people who applied to the job, they’re lucky if they get a response at all in regards to the available position.
If you want to send a thank-you email, then go for it. If you think it’ll boost your chances of getting hired, then I hope you apply to all Insider jobs for the next decade. If you’re like me and you don’t feel like sending empty thank-you emails, more power to you.
The bottom line is, your career shouldn’t hang in the balance of sending an informal thank-you email, and if it does, maybe you should reconsider your company of choice.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Jacey Gonzalez is a student at the University of Nevada and studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.