Q. I recently had a phone interview and would like to send the person a thank-you note, but I don’t have his address or even his email because the phone interview was set up by the company’s HR department. Is it creepy if I look up his address and send a handwritten one, or should I stick with an email? Also, what are your thoughts on sending a handwritten note and then following up with an email? I always worry that the handwritten note will get lost in the mail!
A. Using the Internet to find information is not creepy. It’s standard, and someone’s work address is public information that is easy to find.
Yes, send a handwritten thank-you card. Always do this, even if you think it will get lost or opened by someone else or take weeks to arrive. People love to get mail: real, handwritten, addressed-to-them mail that comes in an envelope.
But you are right — a handwritten note does not always come on time. And it can make it hard for your job contact to follow up with you directly. So go both routes — email the person a thank-you note that has your contact information and any other details that might be pertinent to the job (i.e., a writing sample, a list of references). Then follow up with the handwritten card, something a bit lighter and friendlier thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest.
And what if even in the era of Internet over-sharing, you can’t find the address online? Ask the HR contact. Explain that you want to follow up with a thank-you note. Even if HR refuses to disclose such information for whatever HR-esque reasons, ask if they will forward a thank-you email from you. Your contact is likely to respond to that directly. And if your best efforts still yield nothing, then perhaps your next question to Hill Navigator should be about the interview process.
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.