Job Interview Tips: ONE Tip You Can Use to Create a Powerful, Lasting Impression

You know that you are competing with hundreds of job applicants. And, you want to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the competition.

You've done your preparation. You know the company, the industry, the competition, the hiring manager, the position. You have prepared questions to ask the interviewer. You know what to ask and what to stay away from. You know what can and cannot be asked of you (legally).

You have carefully thought through how to talk about yourself in a way that meets the company's needs. You can articulate your value. You've thought about how to position yourself for the job being offered. You know your "elevator speech," or what to say in the answer to the question Tell Me About Yourself.

You've considered your physical appearance...what you are going to wear...and all the little details of making a positive impression on the interviewer. You've made extra copies of your resume to bring along.

What can you do to make sure that you leave a lasting impression on the interviewer?

Write a handwritten thank you note.

It sounds counterintuitive. Why wouldn't you send an email from your Blackberry or iPhone written in the coffee shop right after the interview? After all, it shows that you are prompt with your follow-through, right?

Well, you could do that. You definitely do want to follow up on the interview with some kind of communication back to the interviewer. And, in this age of lightening-speed connectivity, where you have so many different options ranging from voicemail to text messages to Facebook messaging to email to snail mail, why on earth would you want to send a letter, and a handwritten one at that?

Because no one else does. It sets you apart from the competition.

Some career advisors will disagree with this recommendation. Some will say it looks unprofessional, like you don't have today's business tools. Others will say that it takes too long to receive a letter and that you want to reinforce a connection with the interviewer quickly.

But, consider this: the reason to write a handwritten note is that it creates a more emotional connection with your interviewer. People like to receive handwritten notes. It seems more personal. When someone puts pen to paper, it creates the impression that more thought went into the letter. Taking the time to handwrite something implies that more of an effort was made than simply cutting and pasting a form letter. You will want to show that you have taken the time to be thoughtful and to prepare a letter that is a one of a kind.

Having a successful interview means creating a kind of emotional connection with your interviewer. Basically, what that means is that to ace the interview and get the job, the interviewer will have to like you. Writing a handwritten note can contribute to the sense of positive connection with the interviewer. Try it and see what happens. (Just make sure that you are genuine and sincere. Don't be disingenuous and fake in trying to create the connection.)

And, if speed is an issue for you, here's another option: you can send a quick email to acknowledge the interview and follow up that email with a longer, handwritten letter. Never underestimate the impact of the personal touch.

And for more tips, I invite you to download two FREE Interview Mini-Coaching sessions -- to help you answer two of the toughest questions. Just go to

You can listen online or receive MP3 files that you can download onto your iPod so that you can listen anytime. Each coaching session lasts about 15 minutes. And, it's FREE! Enjoy.

From Leslie Evans Thorne -- The Virtual Career Coach

Published At: Job Interview Tips: ONE Tip You Can Use to Create a Powerful, Lasting Impression