Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do following an interview?  How should you thank the interviewer?  Should you send a follow-up thank you note by email or should you handwrite it?  Have you been trying to find the answer on the internet but find yourself only more confused?  The answer to all of these questions is likely “yes.”

The first thing to realize is that etiquette is always evolving and changing.  Many people will have opinions on this topic and many of those are not entirely accurate.  Despite what you read, it is still important to show effort on this last step of the interview.  Many business insiders will say they are “ok” with receiving the thank you note through email.  So, this option is not wrong.  However, if you really want to make a good impression, then a handwritten thank you note is still the best option. 

People commonly state they send a thank you email when the company is making the hiring decision within 48 hours.  They feel an emailed thank you note is better than nothing since the posted note could arrive after the hiring decision has been made.  Is this how we should be thinking, though? I think not.  Especially, since writing an email and generating a handwritten thank you note probably take about the same amount of time. 

It is perfectly fine to ask the interviewer, at the close of the interview, when they will be making their decision.  If it is not within the next forty-eight hours, then you have time to write the handwritten note.  In fact, even if it is going to be a quick decision, you can sit down immediately after the interview, write your thank you, and hand deliver it back that same day.  It only takes a little planning on your part.  If this option is not for you, however, you could go the route of the thank you email with a mention to the handwritten note that is forthcoming.

No matter what course you take, the most important thing to remember is to write the note.  You will never go wrong by sending one.  It concludes the interview process and makes an impact.  It is also acceptable to say, both verbally and in written form, that you really want the job.  Express how you think you will add great value to the company.  Some may think that stating what you want and expressing your gratitude are small insignificant acts.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  In some cases, a thank you note can be the determining factor for hiring you versus another candidate.