Q: I recently interviewed for a job which is an ideal fit for me. The responsibilities I discussed with the hiring manager are perfect. The location is convenient. The company culture seems like it would be compatible. I have had two interviews. If they plan to offer me the job, when do you think a decision will be made? Additionally, how do I thank them? Is a verbal thank-you enough? Should I send a letter?
A: Congrats on your success. It sounds like you have found a role that would work well for you. It also sounds like your two interviews were positive.
Regarding when you should expect an offer, I would suggest asking the question, “What are the next steps?” or “When do you anticipate extending an offer?” Even early in the interview process, it is acceptable to ask about a company’s timeframe and interview process. You can ask how many interviews they expect to schedule, and who will be part of their selection process. If you get the names of the interviewers, you can visit their profiles on LinkedIn to understand a bit more about their backgrounds and tenure with the company.
Regarding a thank-you, a verbal thank-you is a must. At the end of a face-to-face interview or a Zoom interview, you should certainly offer your verbal thanks. Additionally, in most environments, a follow-up email thank-you note is acceptable. These workplaces typically include tech, biotech, life sciences or e-commerce. In some environments (though far fewer), a written thank-you letter is expected. A typed thank-you letter is recommended for the more formal environments, especially when these employers may have a longer hiring cycle. The environments where a more formal mailed letter may be preferred, include senior-levels roles in higher education or law firms. You also want to understand the timeframe for a hiring decision. If the employer signals a quick decision will be made, email is definitely the best bet. In your email or your letter, reinforce why you think you would be a strong hire.
One additional tip: you should have professional references ready to send to an employer. Organize your reference on one page with the same format and font as your resume. It will send the message that you are well-prepared, organized and a serious candidate.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.