Awkward Thank You Notes

It is often suggested that a job applicant send a thank you note to a prospective employer after an interview.  While there are some modern discrepancies about whether this should be via e-mail or through the US Postal Service, it is nonetheless a good idea.  For many people, however, this presents a new challenge: Writing a thank you note that isn’t awkward.

It can be difficult to come up with more than a line or two in thanks for an interview, especially if you only had brief 5-10 minute interview conversations.  Your thank you note doesn’t need to be a formal letter, but should encompass at least 4 or 5 sentences.  Here are a few tips on how to beef up the post interview thank you note:

  1. Take notes during your interview and ask questions that elicit more than yes or no answers.  These answers can be referenced in your thank you note about a particularly interesting topic during the interview.
  2. Jot down some of the interviewer’s personal items that may be lying around their office.  These offer great fodder for a sentence or two about something important to them.  (Stay away from complementing on family photographs.)
  3. Note an interesting feature of the office space and make sure to complement that feature to add a sentence or two.
  4. Jot down the receptionists name and take an opportunity to praise his/her friendliness and professionalism in a thank you note.
  5. If the company has a well designed business card and/or website it would provide an excellent sentence in a thank you note.

What have we missed?  Any other ways to avoid an awkward thank you note?