You made it through your on-campus interviews. Hopefully, they went well and you can now relax. But before taking the evening off, should you send out thank you emails to all of your OCI interviewers?
The following article discusses thank you emails in the context of the OCI law firm recruitment process. First, I will walk you through the merits of sending thank you emails. Next, I will explain the basic elements of an OCI thank you email. Finally, I drafted four sample emails that you can copy to send to interviewers.
Should You Send OCI Thank-You Emails?
There are many benefits to sending a thank you email after OCIs. One of the most basic reasons for sending a thank you email is to genuinely show respect and appreciation to the lawyers and/or recruiters who took time out of their day to meet with you. Some people consider thank you notes to be a common courtesy and respect. I’ve heard that some law firms keep a record of what students send thank you emails, but I haven’t seen any evidence of this.
Another benefit to sending a thank you email is that it gives you an opportunity to keep your name fresh in your interviewer’s mind. You can confirm your continued interest in recruiting with that law firm, and develop your relationship with the interviewer (which can be helpful if you see the interviewer again at an in-firm interview).
Finally, a thank you email can help you separate yourself from the other candidates. Robert Half, a recruitment agency, reports that only 24% of job applicants send thank you notes after an interview, but 80% of human resource managers find thank you notes to be helpful in making their decision.
I should note that there are risks to sending thank you emails. Thank you emails present another opportunity to make a mistake, which could work against you. Calling a lawyer by the wrong name, making a grammar mistake, etc. can hurt your chances of getting an in-firm invite.
The Basics of Writing Thank You Emails
When writing your thank you emails, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:
- Use email: Some people may recommend sending handwritten letters. Those people probably aren’t lawyers and don’t understand the law firm recruit. Traditional letters take a few days to reach the recipient, by which time in-firm invites will likely have already been sent out. Personally, I would find it strange if I received a handwritten thank you email.
- Be concise: Lawyers can receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails in a single day. Lawyers do not want extra, unnecessary emails. If you send a lawyer an email, keep it short. Your email should be short enough that it can be read on a phone screen without any scrolling.
- Stick to the point: OCI thank you emails are not the place to make a sales pitch. Keep your thank you email to the point. Say thank you and not much more.
- Proofread: Check your spelling and grammar, then double check it. You don’t want to send a thank you email with a mistake. Pay particular attention to the names and make sure they’re right.
- Don’t expect a reply: Lawyers are busy. By attending OCIs, they missed a full day’s worth of emails. Your thank you email can easily get lost amid all of these other emails. If a lawyer doesn’t reply to you, don’t take it personally, and don’t follow-up.
- Don’t read into a reply: If a lawyer replies, don’t read into it too much. They probably spent a few minutes at most writing it and didn’t think about how you might interpret their email.
Sending One Email to Multiple People
Most OCIs are conducted by a team of two. If you want, you can send one email to both interviewers. That said, it doesn’t hurt to send custom emails to each interviewer. There’s really no right or wrong answer here.
When to Send Your Thank-You Email
Send your thank you emails within 24 hours of your interview. Generally, the window for sending thank you emails is after all interviews are done for the day, but before noon the following day.
Most people send thank you emails the evening after OCIs. This can be helpful because some law firms decide who to send in-firm invitations to mere hours after OCIs finish. A quick thank you email, in such circumstances, can have the greatest impact. However, thank you emails sent the next day can help you stand out at a time when the previous day’s interviews will have started to blur together in the interviewer’s mind.
Sample Thank You Emails
I’ve drafted four thank you emails and included them below. Make sure that you customize them to fit your situation.
1. The Short and Sweet Thank You Email
The following email is a simple thank you note that you can send to your interviewers. This email may be short, but it’s simplicity and conciseness help make it effective. Remember, lawyers receive a lot of emails in the course of a day; you can stand out by keeping your email short and concise.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to meet you yesterday and learn more about Big Law LLP. Our conversation confirmed my interest in Big Law LPP.
I look forward to meeting again later in the recruitment process.
2. The Personal Thank You Email
If you felt a connection with your interviewers, consider making your thank you email personal. For example, you could refer back to something specific from the interview. If you and the interviewer bonded over sports or a current event, you could mention it in your thank you email.
Good evening Stephen,
I hope you made in home in time to catch the Ottawa Senators game tonight!
I’m glad I got to meet you and Kiera today. The warmth that you showed me made me feel welcomed and helped put me at ease, which I believe allowed for a dynamic conversation.
I was impressed by the strong emphasis that you put on Big Law LLP’s quality of files, which really piques my interest in the type of work your firm does.
Please let me know if there is anything further that you require from me as part of the Big Law LLP recruit. I look forward to staying in touch.
3. The “I-Want-More” Thank You Email
Sometimes, you just can’t get enough of a law firm after a great OCI. If that’s how you feel about a firm, consider asking the interviewers for a follow-up phone call or a warm introduction to a colleague who could speak with you.
Be careful asking interviewers for a follow-up chat. Ask sparingly, and only in cases where you are genuinely interested in learning more about the firm. You are, effectively, asking the interview for a favour. Make sure you don’t ask them anything that could be too time-consuming.
I greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet you yesterday. As anticipated based on my interactions with other members of your firm, both you and Sabrina put me at ease and created a welcoming environment. I believe that this experience is indicative of Big Law LLP’s positive and friendly culture.
I enjoyed our discussion on corporate law and would like to learn more about it. Is there anyone in particular, including yourself, that you would recommend I reach out to if I have further questions about corporate law at Big Law LLP?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
4. The Thank You Email For When You’ve Already Been Offered an In-Firm Interview
Sometimes you’ll know that you’re being invited to an in-firm interview before you can send thank you emails. Congratulations! That’s a great position to be in. In such circumstances, you should still send thank you emails. This is because you’ll likely re-encounter the interviewers at the in-firm interviews, so you’ll want to stay on friendly terms with them.
I really enjoyed meet you and Vivian yesterday. You both put me at ease and made me feel welcomed. I believe that this experience is indicative of the culture at Big Law LLP.
Lauren emailed me earlier today to invite me to an in-firm interview. I look forward to continuing the recruitment process with Big Law LLP. I hope that we can cross paths again in a few weeks!
Saying “thank you” to your interviewers is a basic part of the OCI process. Thank you emails show that you appreciate your interviewers taking the time to interview you. This tiny act of appreciation can help you stand out from your competition. Using the templates included above, you can prepare thank you emails for all of your interviewers in minutes.