After An Architecture Job Interview: Say Thank You!
“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”
― Jacques Maritain
A recent CareerBuilder survey showed that 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate who does not send a thank you!
This is often an overlooked element of the architecture job interview procedure but it is the finishing touch on the entire process. Given the fact that few people send a thank you it will further help you stand out from the crowd and give you a little extra name recognition.
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I generally recommend sending the thank you as an email since it can be sent the same day. Immediately after the interview is acceptable.
If you had a morning interview send it that afternoon. If you had it in the afternoon send it by the following morning, since you want to keep your name fresh in the mind of the interviewer(s).
I am generally against snail mail thank you’s as it simply takes too long. Often a hiring decision can be made within a couple of days, if not sooner, depending on the firm structure.
According to the CareerBuilder survey referenced above, “email is acceptable to nearly 90% of employers.” Larger offices are usually slower since there are more hoops for management to jump through.
Get their email
Make sure you get the names of ALL of the people in the interview. Remember: the people who actually interviewed you may be different than who you were told before the interview.
Obviously you don’t want to send a thank you to the wrong person. This is essentially a test of your competence so it is preferable to get it right.
The best option is to get their business card.
If you have their names but forget to get emails you can often figure it out based on the firm email structure. Such as: firstname.last email@example.com. When in doubt just call the office and ask for their contact information.
You may be in a situation with multiple people asking questions. In this case be sure to send a thank you to each one separately. Don’t just put three people in the TO: box.
Don’t just send one thank you to who you think is the decision maker. The quiet guy in the corner might be making all the decisions.
Try to make the letters different to show you specifically addressed their individual questions or concerns. Be careful to make sure you don’t get them confused!
If you are not completely sure, err on the side of a more generic thank you. This is a sample of a short (as it should be) thank you email follow up after your architecture interview.
Thank you for taking time this morning to speak with me about the potential role, current projects and office culture. After our discussion I am confident my experience and qualifications would be a great fit. Let me know if I can provide you with any additional information.
Please expect my call on Tuesday morning to speak with you about the next step.
James M. Smith
Notice it does not say, “I look forward to hearing from you” or “Please call me at your earliest convenience.” You need to be firm and show initiative at this stage.
Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, you might want to have someone read it over. I often prepare my thank you letters as draft emails before the interview, then I add a few details that might have come up in the interview. This way it makes it easier to send a quick response and the formatting and structure is already setup.
You can include any positive facts about yourself that you may have forgot to mention in the interview. Feel free to add any additional information that may have been discussed in the interview. For example if you were asked a question you didn’t know off the top of your head.
A simple thank you can go a long way following your architecture job interview. Don’t forget it.
For further reading on applications, portfolios, interview preparation and more see The Complete Package.
Thanks for reading, see also my posts on:
Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
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