What is the proper protocol for sending thank-you notes after a campus interview? Is an email to the faculty you met with enough? What about any deans/provosts/etc. you met with? Should they be individualized to each person or is a group thank you enough? Want to express my gratitude without being overbearing… Any advice?
Date: 27 Nov 2013 00:07
Number of posts: 12
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Well, I'm no expert (I've only had one interview), but I just sent a "thank you" to the head of the committee and also to my faculty "host". I asked them to pass my thanks to the other faculty members. Not sure if that was the right move, but at my interview I met with every single faculty member plus like 5 administrators. I'm sure the "best" thing to do would be to send a note to all 20 or so of them, but that just seemed kinda crazy.
This has come up a lot in the forums - if you search the forum archives for "thank you" you'll find a number of threads on the subject - and there really seems to be no consensus on the matter. In the end, I think you just have to do what feels right and natural for you. Personally, I just thanked people in person during my visits. I thanked individual faculty at the end of my meetings with them and thanked the search committee chairs at the end of my visits, but never sent any thank you notes/emails post-visit, and I got offers from every place I interviewed. If you want to send emails, then anontimes2's advice of emailing a few key people (search chair, dept chair, faculty host, etc) seems like a good one, particularly if it's a large department.
I agreed with both anon and anontimes2 . You may send a short thank you notes to the people you have met. Try to personalize a little; they may forward the emails to the colleagues. I served on SC before and one thing I find strange (even offended) when a candidate did not send a letter to some people (who met in person for dinners even picking up from airport) but to others. The faculty members of course discussed about the emails and always remember, if the final decision is made by the whole department, offending one senior person can completely stir the decision to "unfavoring" you.
Emails are the norm, to every faculty member with whom you met during your visit.
I normally send thank you emails to everyone I met during the interview. Most of the emails say the same thing, but I do try to personalize it for everyone as best as I can (even if it is a sentence long). You may have met close to 20+ people on interview day, but I would hate to make the mistake of choosing to send to some people emails while the whole department may have a say in who gets hired. Everyone spent the time to talk to you, a quick email would be nice.
As for your other question @anon2, don't expect to hear back from the search committee (I don't think I ever have). I did get some nice response emails from others in the departments. I am, however, still looking for a job
Anon2 asked about expecting a reply from the thank you emails. As a faculty member on a psych search, my HR directly recently told me that I couldn't correspond with candidates unless my response had been approved through them. Despite having a great candidate email me to follow up about some things that we discussed during the phone interview, I had to wait over a week to respond because of the HR rules. I'm fairly certain that other places don't have these sorts of rules, but if you don't get a response, don't assume the faculty didn't like you; sometimes we just have stupid rules to follow.