2 Critical Items To Conclude Your Interview Process

From years of experience of executive recruitment and more, here's what you should know about the end of an interview process.

Today I want to share, in my experience of executive recruitment and more, two of the most important things you can do after your interview has ended.  Both will be elaborated on in this blog.  Even when you read these two things, you may say, “I know that already.” But how many really do it?  First and foremost is the thank you note. Secondly is the “leave behind.”  The thank you note will obviously be written after the interview; whereas, the leave behind is prepared before the interview and given at the end of a final interview.

For Executive Recruitment And More: Basic Thank You Note Etiquette

Let’s start off with the basics of the thank you note.  No matter how the interview went (even if they say you are going to be hired), do not forget this important step.  I have had candidates tell me they were told they were going to be hired and did not send out a thank you note. For one reason or another, they were not hired.  Can I confidently say the reason they were not hired was the lack of a thank you note? No, but I can surely say from my experience in executive recruitment that it was a cause. Maybe not the predominant one, but still a cause.  I always get the questions, “Can I send an e-mail thank you? Will that be held against me?”  Today I am confident to say yes you can.  However, since the speed is instantaneous waiting a couple of days will certainly distract from the message you are trying to convey.

Who Am I Thanking?

Next question with executive recruitment and beyond that I typically get is, “To whom do I send this thank you note? Can it be the same note to different people?”  Simply answered: everyone and no.  Let’s start with everyone. What exactly does that mean?  It means anyone, no matter what their position in the company. Send a note to whomever you interacted with extensively during your interview process.  For example, if there was an admin person that coordinated all your flights, transportation & hotel accommodations, I would not forget that person. 

From experience with executive recruitment, you never know who anyone is or their relationships with others in the company.  It could be a significant other of the main hiring manager.  More importantly, it shows that you are appreciative of their assistance, which always goes a long way. This is especially true since work culture and “being the right fit” means so much these days.  As for the main players that interviewed you, it goes without saying that they should get a personalized note. Recap a part of your conversation and shared what was meaningful to you.  Always end your note with a desire to move to the next level, if you believe you want to. On the converse if you are not enthralled, state something to the effect, “I do not believe this is right for me, but thank you for your consideration…etc.” 

For Everyone From Executive Recruitment And On: The Leave Behind

I am only going to touch lightly on this document as this is an extremely personalized report that you leave with the hiring manager as you close the interview.  The leave behind is not only critical for executive recruitment, but many other positions. The document is a summary of everything you believe a firm would want to know about you and your experience.  It should also include a marketing or a business plan with detail on how you can transition your current business to a new firm.  This document should leave the hiring manager confident and without a doubt that you want to join their firm, ensure that you have a plan, and are ready to implement it upon starting a new position. 

It must be personalized to that firm.  This is not the place for a boilerplate document.  From years of executive recruitment experience, I promise you that this document will be read from cover to cover, digested and shared with management. It must be incredibly specific to the hiring firm.  The leave behind is not given at the first face to face interview. That is unless you are dealing with a situation on a small company and are meeting with the CEO.  The leave behind is used after you have had a series of interviews, and they are bringing you in for what you believe is the final interview at their corporate headquarters.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected].

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.