Interview Thank-You Letters Have Impact
“Sending a well-crafted and timely thank-you note can add a positive impression to an already positive connection,” says Jennifer McClure, president of Unbridled Talent, a Cincinnati firm specializing in talent acquisition, recruiting and staff development. “While it won’t likely make the difference in getting hired, it can help them to remember you in the sea of people that they interact with on a daily basis.”
Ken Goldman, a partner with ImproSells, a Jersey City, New Jersey-based communication training company, agrees. “If you’re not going to take the extra steps to get the job, what will you be like six months in? I think it reflects poorly on the candidate.”
The extra effort on the part of one candidate made a difference to Carol Galle, president and CEO of Special D Events, an event-planning firm in Royal Oak, Michigan. “I recently filled an open position for which I had two highly qualified candidates, but it was a thank-you note that made the difference,” she says. “[One candidate] took the time to create a custom two-dimensional note card with our company’s logo and a sincere, handwritten message of thanks. I want to hire people who genuinely want to work for my company, and it was clear from her effort that was the case.”
Counterpoint: Notes Don’t Make a Difference
“A thank-you note is seen as good taste and polite, but I’ve never seen it come close to making a difference in a hiring decision,” says Sharon Siegel, a recruiter and career coach with a 140,000-employee organization in the New York City area and owner of SharonCC, a career-consulting company. “If someone meets the credentials and has a great interview, we’re not going to change our minds on making an offer if a thank you isn’t received. On the other side, if someone has a terrible interview or would not be able to do the job, sending a beautiful thank you doesn’t make me change my mind.”
Some folks feel sending a thank-you letter after an interview can actually hurt your chances under certain circumstances. “It is better to not send one, especially if you are not a good writer or [if you] have really poor handwriting,” says Kristine Dunkerton, an attorney and executive director of the Community Law Center in Baltimore. “Even if you are a good writer with good handwriting, I don’t think it is a great idea because it makes you seem a bit desperate.”
The Final Word
While a thank-you letter may or may not make a difference in hiring, it’s still probably a good idea to send one. “While many recruiters and hiring managers say they don’t care about thank-you notes anymore and don’t pay attention to them, you never know if the person that you’re interviewing with does care,” McClure says. “So it’s best to make sure that you check the box and send the note. If they don’t care about it, then it didn’t hurt. If they do, then you met their expectations.”
Benihana Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to go private in a $296 million deal with the New York-based Angelo, Gordon & Co. Private Equity Group.
Angelo Gordon agreed to acquire Miami-based Benihana’s common stock for $16.30 per share in cash, a 22.6-percent premium over Monday’s close of $13.30 per share. Benihana’s shares had traded between $6.76 and $16.59 in the past 52 weeks.
The company had announced in mid-March that it was looking at strategic alternatives, including a sale. Under the terms of the Angelo Gordon agreement, Benihana can solicit and consider other offers through July 1. However, the company said it would expect the Angelo Gordon deal to close in the second half of this calendar year.
“Benihana has a great brand heritage and delivers a unique customer experience across its three restaurant concepts,” said Richard Leonard, a managing director at Angelo Gordon. “We believe the market for Japanese cuisine is significant and expanding, and our plan is to help the company realize its growth potential over the next several years.”
Benihana has considered pursuing a sale twice in the past two years. In July 2010, the company said it would explore strategic options and put itself on the market that fall, following shareholder battles that reportedly resulted in the removal of concept founder Rocky Aoki’s family trust among top shareholders.
“Our management and restaurant professionals have done a tremendous job of accelerating and strengthening performance through our renewal efforts,” said Richard C. Stockinger, Benihana’s chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement.
Jefferies & Co. Inc. is serving as exclusive financial advisor in the current deal and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is serving as legal advisor to Benihana. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as Angelo Gordon’s legal advisor.
Benihana reported sales of $91.9 million in the quarter ended April 1, up from $81.4 million in the year-earlier quarter, which had one less operating week. Backing out the extra week put sales growth at 4.8 percent for the quarter, or $84.7 million. Same-store sales increased 6 percent at Benihana, 2.1 percent at RA Sushi and 2.4 percent at Haru, the company reported.
Benihana owns and operates 95 Japanese and sushi restaurants with 62 Benihanas, eight Haru sushi restaurants and 25 RA Sushi units. Another 16 Benihana restaurants are franchised in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.
SAN FRANCISCO — Williams-Sonoma’s net revenues increased 6.1% to $818 million from $771 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended May 1, 2011. Comparable brand revenue increased 5.4%. Diluted earnings per share was 30 cents versus 29 cents in the first quarter of 2011. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS for the quarter increased 13% to 34 cents versus 30 cents in the same period last year.
Laura Alber, president and CEO commented, “Our first quarter fiscal 2012 financial results represent the best first quarter in the company’s history, exceeding our expectations on a non-GAAP basis for both operating margin and diluted EPS, on revenue growth of 6%. We drove this earnings growth while simultaneously investing in our future growth strategies. We are pleased with this performance – both in terms of operational execution and progress against our long-term growth initiatives.”
For the second quarter, the company expects total net revenue to be between $850 and $870 million and comparable-store sales growth between 4% and 6%. For the full year, total revenue is expected to be between $3.9 billion and $4.02 billion, and comparable-store sales are expected to increase 1% to 3%.