There’s one part of the MBA interviewing process that is so basic, and so easy, and so often overlooked.
Will it turn a negative interview experience into a positive one? Will it absolutely guarantee that you’ll get in? Will it have any impact at all in this process for you?
But it will let you stand out from the crowd and it might make a difference in your life.
This advice is the most basic of the basics, and it’s yet again in the category of good manners.
“Oh no EssaySnark, not again!”
Today we’re suggesting that you consider sending a thank-you note to your interviewer after the MBA interview.
Is this earth-shattering advice? Is it going to change the trajectory of your life?
When was the last time you got an actual letter?
Like, in the mail, from someone who delivered it on foot, or in a little right-hand drive Jeep that goes around the neighborhood?
When you got that letter, what did you do? Did you stop in your tracks with the pile of junk mail and bills in your hand to rip it open then and there?
How did it make you feel?
What if you sent a hand-written thank-you card to the person who took time out of their day to interview you for the purpose of applying to their school?
Sure, you could whip off a quick email to say the same thing.
But what if you actually went to the trouble of sending a real note? On paper?
Yes, you need to put forth more effort.
Yes, you need to actually buy the silly thing. You need to go out and shop for some type of note card or some plain stationery paper of some kind.
You need to actually find a stamp somewhere.
These things are why it would be impressive.
Your interviewer knows that these things are not easy. That most people don’t have a nice thank-you card sitting there.
They will know you took the time and were thoughtful.
The first objection we always get is, “But if I send it in the mail, then they will get it too late. They will already have submitted their interview report. It won’t matter.”
And that’s where we have to issue a correction.
Since when do good manners not matter?
This suggestion isn’t about only trying to convince someone to think a certain way about you, so that they will be inclined to issue an “Admit” recommendation for you.
It does not matter at all if the card comes in after they have sent in their report. Who cares if they receive your thank-you after they have already written up whatever they wanted to write up about you?
The act of thanking them, and being gracious, is where you will gain the benefit.
It’s not like a thank-you will be a bribe of some kind.
It’s not like your thank-you will convince them that you’re admit-worthy now, if that’s not how they thought about you at the time of your meeting.
But if they were on the fence about you, then it surely would be a nice touch to help them see you in a different light. With a new perspective.
And even if they did not think you should be admitted, you at least have left this interaction with a complete stranger on a positive note.
It’s a real bother to do this and most people don’t.
It’s not going to change the outcomes for you if you do it, or skip it.
But if you want to be a class act in life…. well, this is one small way you can be that.
If you can’t be bothered to go to all this trouble to actually put a note in the mail, then bare-minimum, send the email.
Here's what others have said about this:
Assuming you can’t send/give a gift or take them out for a meal, this is probably a good practice for all the folks that wrote letters of recommendation as well.
YES! Some applicants seem to wait till after they get in before formally thanking their recommenders, but in our book, a better practice would be to do it NOW, since it’s not the recommender’s fault if you don’t get in! Then when you DO get in you can have another gesture with them (perhaps involving wine! or whiskey!). You seem to be on top of this already, KingAir — excellent reminder!!