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I was interviewed today by a three member panel and I'm preparing to write them all thank you notes. The member of the panel who coordinated the interview and who would make the decision whether or not to hire me mentioned on multiple occaisions before and after the interview that his mother was sick and in the hospital and that he was leaving today to tend to her.

Maybe this sounds silly but what I'm debating about is whether or not it would be appropriate to include a kind word for her in the note and, if so, where I should do it. It might look something like:

[quote] Thank you for interviewing me on Monday.

The preparation you afforded me prior to the interview, it helped me enormously. Also, I hope everything turns out well with your mother. I am keeping her in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you again for this opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,[/quote]

or

[quote] Thank you for interviewing me on Monday.

The preparation you afforded me prior to the interview, it helped me enormously. The opportunities for growth you described sound fantastic and I would love to be a part of it.

Thank you again for this opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

P.S. - I hope everything turns out well with your mother. I am keeping her in my thoughts and prayers.[/quote]

If it's appropriate at all to say anything, I'm leaning towards the latter version of the note.

Let me know what you think.

--Andy

tomw's picture

[quote="aasloan"]The preparation you afforded me prior to the interview, it helped me enormously. [/quote]

I would avoid this phrasing. "Affording preparation" is an odd choice of words and the "it" is redundant (and possibly even grammatically incorrect). "Your advice really helped me prepare for the interview", or some other variant, is a lot more direct and easier to read.

I'd also avoid the "hope to hear from you soon." A thank you note isn't a place to request further action.

I'm not sure about the issue of his mother in the hospital. As a sender, it feels like a natural intention. As a recipient, I'm not sure if it comes off as genuine.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I agree with Tom on the 'affording preparation' phrasing, it feel unnatural.

Personally, as he raised it, I feel that it would be appropriate to include best wishes to his mother and a hope for things to work out well. This may be a cultural thing but, unless you know for a fact that he is strongly religious (i.e. he made reference to it or used faith based language), I think you should avoid reference to prayers. Even if meant with the best intent reference to prayers or faith can evoke a strong negative visceral reaction.

Stephen

kklogic's picture

I agree with both previous posts.

You can certainly just keep it at "I'll keep her in my thoughts" to avoid the situation Stephen refers to.

aasloan's picture

Perfect - thank you.

bflynn's picture

Wow, almost everything already said.

The only time I would use the reference to prayer is if you know beyond any doubt that the person or position is strongly religious. For example, if you had interviewed for a job at a church or the interviewer made reference to having been a minister in a previous career, then it might be appropriate. Actually, in those situations, it might be thought of as inappropriate NOT to.

If you have a doubt...no.

Brian

tomw's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]This may be a cultural thing but, unless you know for a fact that he is strongly religious (i.e. he made reference to it or used faith based language), I think you should avoid reference to prayers. Even if meant with the best intent reference to prayers or faith can evoke a strong negative visceral reaction.[/quote]

Stephen makes a really great point here. It's closer to what I was thinking but could not articulate at 6 AM ;-)

You may mean very well but accidentally get a bad reaction from the interviewer.