The traditional post-interview thank you note is falling out of favor, with a whopping 83 percent of interviewers seeing them as obsolete. So how in the world do you express your appreciation? Simply take the more modern thank you email and give it a little upgrade by making it a video version.
Why is video now the way to go?
Video thank you emails can win out over a regular thank you email because they show that you're tech savvy. They also are environmentally friendly, which many companies take very seriously. Video also can give a brief reprieve to eyes that are tired from focusing for hours on fonts.
But the biggest benefit to a video is that research suggests videos are more engaging than other forms of media. Experts think this might have to do with the fact that your brain gets more than one type of sensory input (audio and visual) at the same time, and because it can process visual information much faster than text. Plus, video content can seem more novel in the sea of text emails, and the brain likes and seeks out what's different. With this in mind, your recipient gets nonverbal cues about your excitement and sincerity. They see your face and hear your voice again, and that can do a better job of helping them remember you than words that look the same for every other candidate.
How to create the video email thank you that works
1. Consider the technical elements. While most devices handle video content well, slow networks can cause hiccoughs. Not all email clients support email embedding either, which means you might have to ask the recipient to download a file or click a link. That one extra step can turn people off, particularly given security concerns. Including video chapter tags and preview thumbnails can make the video more interactive and easier to navigate.
2. Keep it brief. A typical video in an email is around 2 minutes and 15 seconds, with a decent number of executives (36 percent) reporting they prefer video content to be 1 to 3 minutes long. (Longer lengths were OK, but best reserved for needs like training.) That said, 2 minutes and 15 seconds is an eternity compared to the roughly 11 seconds people spend on other emails. While you don't need to memorize or read from a script, plan out what you're going to say ahead of time so you don't ramble.
3. Record in a well-lit, quiet location. Because the thank you video is really an extension of the interview, your interviewer should be able to see your face clearly and easily make out what you're saying.
4. Avoid awkward angles and movement. Yes, it's fine to record the video with your smartphone or tablet. But don't make the interviewer strain their neck or get cybersick just to hear your appreciation. Use a stand or prop the device so it's stable, and sit centered and tall in the frame.
5. Begin and stop the recording naturally. Nothing looks less professional than somebody reaching over and making their armpit the last thing the viewer sees. Have someone control the video recording for you, or find an inconspicuous way to start and stop the recording that can stay in your hand.
6. Show enthusiasm! Let your voice and eyes sparkle authentically at the idea of a fantastic opportunity. Smile naturally as appropriate and give attention to your posture.
7. Start with thanks. Remember, your interviewer might not see the entire video if they're pressed for time, so lead with your thanks just as you would in text. Mention everyone you interviewed with.
8. Include calendar details. Just the day and time of the interview as a tag to the thank you is sufficient. The point is to jog the interviewer's memory of when your meeting took place.
9. Mention how the position at the company is going to help you grow and why it excites you. Hiring managers aren't just looking for skilled workers. They want to know you've got potential and a sense you can do more.
9. Briefly detail why you fit the company. This is your chance to reiterate your skills and experience as discussed in the interview and tie them to the vision or goals of the business. Make it clear you line up with what the interviewer is after.
10. Give your information. Rather than mention all your contact options in the video, simply mention to the interviewer that they're listed in the email body for convenience.
11. Point to the future. While you should think of a more creative closing than "Looking forward to hearing from you," get the idea that you anticipate future communications and feel good about the prospect of them across.
Videos in email are a contemporary way to show hiring managers you're taking your opportunity seriously. Just remember, the faster you send the email out, the better. You also should think about the industry and culture when deciding to use one. Industries that rely heavily on tech tend to be happier with email thank yous than creative or "soft" industries like nonprofits that respond well to a personal touch. No matter how you say thanks, the critical point is that you do!
This article was originally published in Inc.