I'd say have one all written up prior to the interview, then go straight to the mailbox after the interview and mail it. Being in the same town, it should get there the next day that way. Or, drop it off with the receptionist on your way out the door to go straight to the interviewer's v-file.
If that won't work because you don't know the names of those on the interview board in advance, take your laptop/memory stick/floppy disk and some nice paper and envelope with you when you go to the interview, then find a nearby Kinkos afterwards and tweak it before printing and mailing. Either way, it gets there next day at the latest.
Faxed correspondence has gained more mainstream acceptance as a communication medium...it's okay today to fax back a response in lieu of other means, in many cases.
Regarding a thank you note, however, you're being counter productive. The whole idea of the thank you note is a personal address. This is best done using a card; a simple generic thank you card works quite well.
Offering a note of thanks for an interview, or a job offer, or even a job rejection, is always appropriate.
Resume Writer would be a good one to comment here.
By Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com
It's one of the simplest things you can do. Your mother told you to always say it. By expressing it -- or not -- you can change a person's mood and perception of you in an instant. Who knew two words could be so powerful?
Writing a thank-you letter after an interview doesn't just showcase a candidate’s manners - it can also make or break their chances of landing a job. Nearly 15 percent of hiring managers say they would not hire someone who failed to send a thank-you letter after the interview. Thirty-two percent say they would still consider the candidate, but would think less of him or her, according to CareerBuilder.com's recent "How to Get in the Front Door" survey.
Although most hiring managers expect to receive a thank-you note, format preferences differ. One-in-four hiring managers prefer to receive a thank-you note in e-mail form only; 19 percent want the e-mail followed up with a hard copy; 21 percent want a typed hard copy only and 23 percent prefer just a handwritten note.
No matter which format you choose, it’s crucial to act quickly when sending a thank-you letter to your interviewer. Twenty-six percent of hiring managers expect to have the letter in-hand two days after the interview, and 36 percent expect to have it within three to five days. Sending the letter quickly reinforces your enthusiasm for the job, and helps keep you top-of-mind for the interviewer.
Here are some tips to make the most of your thank-you letter:
Stick to three paragraphs.
In the first paragraph, thank the interviewer for the opportunity. Use the second to sell yourself by reminding the hiring manager of your qualifications. In the third paragraph, reiterate your interest in the position.
Fill in the blanks.
Thank-you notes are a great way to add in key information you forgot in the interview, clarify any points or try to ease any reservations the interviewer might have expressed.
Double-check to be sure your note is free from typos and grammatical errors. Don't rely solely on your spell-checker.
Don't send out a generic correspondence. Instead, tailor your note to the specific job and the relationship you have established with the hiring manager.
...it depends - sometimes on things you can't discern on your own. This is one reason why it's nice if you have an "in" at the company.
There is a school of thought that postulates that it is never a good idea to fax or e-mail something that you can put in a mailbox. In my opinion this is an antiquated view that is out of step with the times in which we live. Faxing is a commonplace event nowadays and should be thought of as a viable business tool that saves time and effort on everyone’s part. I would suggest that a follow up sooner than later is most appropriate a majority of the time.
Having said that it should be noted that companies that are hiring a lot of folks are usually not in a hurry to make decisions. In fact, they’re probably putting off decisions until everyone can meet and have a chat about their impressions. You might have more time to get a letter in the mail before anything is ever considered, let alone decided.
But, while it may be true that companies engaged in hiring large numbers of people all at once might not appreciate their fax machine turning into a smoldering melted heap after several days of continuous use, the same cannot be said for smaller companies that have a tough decision to make and need a tie breaker. Smaller companies looking for smaller numbers might be looking not only for a good fit but also someone who is both courteous and enthusiastic. Taking the time to jot something down and get it back to the person you interviewed with satisfies the former. Faxing it satisfies the latter.
Make no mistake though, a follow up letter is essential. Many smaller companies will not even consider applicants who do not follow up with a note or letter of some kind. A follow up that refers to the interview itself is preferable. A canned note prepared before the interview usually fails to take advantage of one of the most powerful aspects of a follow up letter – the ability to make them remember you.
By writing the letter AFTER the interview you may have an opportunity to cite specific events or lines of conversation that happened during the interview that will be recalled by the interviewer when they get your letter. Moreover, you have the opportunity to do all this after the din of the interviewing day has died down and the interviewer can think more clearly. That’s a connection made in that person’s mind that might not be possible in any other way. Such iron is usually best struck while hot. In other words fax your note!
But as I said at th beginning of all this, how you best convey your appreciation for an interview opportunity depends mostly on the culture of the company. Nothing I have said here may fit your target company well at all. This is the reason it’s a good idea to know something about the folks who might be able to give you a job in advance. Understand who you are dealing with and you might understand enough to answer the fax question without having to ask anyone else.