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I've just finished a technical phone interview. I would like to send a thank you note to both of my interviewers, as well as discuss some of the mistakes I made during the technical questions.

The situation is; I only had the junior interviewer's email. I sent the email and addressed all my thoughts regarding the interview. Within the email, I mentioned that:

I didn't get a chance to get the other interviewer's email address. I was wondering if you would be willing to pass it along so I can send a thank you note to him as well.

I thought "pass it along" means "forward my email to the other interviewer". I got my interviewer's response right away says:

Thanks for your email. I am not sure I am allowed to pass his email address to you.

My question is:

  1. I didn't get the chance to have the senior interviewer's name and email, but I want to say thank you to him. Is it polite to send email to senior interviewer without name?

  2. Is it polite to ask junior interviewer to forward my email? Would that be overdo at this point?

Disclaimer: I searched suggestions when people face the same situation before this post. Unfortunately, the "it" confusion was starting from there...

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    I'm not sure why this has been downvoted as it appears to be on topic. My guess is that it's a little hard to read, so I've edited the formatting slightly to make it easier. If I've over-edited it and the question no longer states your intent, please feel free to roll it back. – trashpanda Dec 18 '17 at 16:28
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    PS. I've removed your "English isn't my native language" apology. Your English is really good, and you shouldn't ever apologise for trying. – trashpanda Dec 18 '17 at 16:30
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    You are probably getting down votes because your title asks if it's polite to ask someone to forward your email, but most of your question text is about how you already did so and were misunderstood. I don't understand how your question follows from your described situation. I think you should be asking about why your email was misunderstood on a stack that deals with language. The fact that the answer you accepted is explaining why your English is confusing rather than answering your question about politeness reinforces my thoughts. – Kat Dec 18 '17 at 18:55
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    It's better to ask them to forward the email internally. I, for one, would not feel comfortable with people randomly sharing my email with people outside the company. – AndreiROM Dec 18 '17 at 20:41
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    So I'm wondering ... you know the first interviewer's name, and their email, and I'm guessing you're capable of identifying the pattern in their email addresses, and surely you have the names of both people you were interviewing with (because either they sent it to you first, or at the very least, you wrote it down in your notes so you couldn't possibly forget it during the interview) - the fact that you need to ask anyone for the second interviewer's email is a negative reflection. – corsiKa Dec 19 '17 at 2:03
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The problem isn't in your use of the phrase "pass it along", it's with the following bit that says "so I can send a thank you note to him as well".

That last bit sounds like you are asking for the senior's email address. This put the junior into a difficult position of not knowing whether it would be appropriate to share that email address with you.

You would have been better off saying:

I do not have the other interviewer's email address. Please share this message with him.

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    The "pass it along" bit sounds like asking for the email address as well. In context, the "it" can only refer to "the other interviewer's email address". The second sentence then rather reinforces that reading. – T.J. Crowder Dec 18 '17 at 17:39
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    Yeah, it's not grammatical to use "it" as OP intended. "it" has to refer to something mentioned previously. It doesn't mean "this". – Blorgbeard Dec 18 '17 at 18:36
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You don't need to request the other interviewers email address.

Say something like

Please pass on my thanks to xx

That should be enough. There's no need to overcomplicate this.

  • Thank you for your help! Does "pass it along" the same as "pass my thanks"? – Ying Dec 18 '17 at 16:13
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    It's ambiguous, which is why the interviewer was confused and thought you wanted the other guy's email address. If you just say "please pass my thanks onto xxx", it will be understood. – Snow Dec 18 '17 at 16:16
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    It needs more complication. Someone very smart said things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. In the case, requesting that your personally written thank you be forwarded, could result in a more positive impression on the other interviewer, as compared to “pass along my thanks”. In fact, I would bet that the latter request is not even granted as often as the first request would be, because the latter request is more easily dismissed as a figure of speech or insignificant formality. – whitneyland Dec 18 '17 at 19:04
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The way you’ve written the sentence “it” refers to the other interviewer’s email address when you are trying to make “it” refer to your message that you’ve sent.

The way to resolve this is to directly ask them to forward your message OR restructure the sentence.

“Pass it along” sounds more casual and friendly. If you choose to stick with that you would need to make it obvious that you are asking him to pass along your message.

“I don’t have an email address for the other interviewer. Would you please pass my message along to him as well?”

Whenever you use a pronoun, make sure it is clear which noun it is substituting.

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    I think it's actually unambiguously a request for the email address. There's no way "it" can refer to "this message" since "this message" has not been mentioned before. If he'd said "please pass this along", it would be ambiguous as to whether the the "this" referred to "this message" or "this email address". – Blorgbeard Dec 18 '17 at 18:35
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    @Blorgbeard you’re right. I think I was trying to give it more credit because I was swayed by the other content of the post. Editing – Preston Dec 18 '17 at 18:42
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It is perfectly polite to ask for him to do that. Unfortunately, as others have already said, your request wasn't worded as well as it could have been and it did come across as if you were asking for their email. That's not necessarily a faux pas, but it's reasonable for him to have declined your (perceived) request.

But what's done is done. There's no use now in agonising over the wording or the level of ambiguity in what you said (as some other users seem to be doing).

What I would do now is send a very short email just to clarify. Something like:

Apologies for the misunderstanding. What I meant to ask was whether you would pass along my thanks on my behalf.

If you encounter yourself in a similar situation in the future, you can say:

Blah blah blah. Thank you for your time on Tuesday.

I do not have his email address so please also pass along my thanks to Mr Foo.

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