The interview process is not over when you walk out the door or hang up the phone—sending a thank you letter within twenty-four hours is essential. Many interviewers rely on thank you letters to judge your written communication skills, interest in the position, and ability to follow up.
Immediately after your interview, write down the following information to help you with your thank you letter:
- What are the names and titles of the people you met? It is important to ask for business cards near the end of your interview to ensure you spell their names and titles perfectly, and in order to have the correct email and mailing addresses.
- What did you learn about the position and organization?
- Are there any points that you wish you had expressed more clearly? Did your interviewer have any concerns?
- When should you expect to hear back from them?
When you sit down to write your thank you letter, decide upon the most appropriate format. While a snail mail letter will seem more personal, an email will reach a potential employer more quickly. Consider sending a short email followed by a lengthier snail mail letter.
If you met or spoke on the phone with more than one person, you’ll have to decide whether to send just one thank you letter, or multiple. If your interactions with each person were fairly similar, you may send a thank you letter to the principal interviewer for distribution. On the other hand, if you have different messages to express to each person you met, send individual letters to each.
In your thank you letter, you’ll want to emphasize each of the following ideas:
- You have great written communication skills and an eye for detail—it is essential that your letter is very well-written, and without any typos.
- You listened during the interview, and have reflected upon what you discussed with the interviewer.
- You are even more enthusiastic about the position after the interview.
- You are confident that you are a great fit for the position.
- You are grateful for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
- You heard the interviewer’s concerns, if there were any. For example, if an interviewer seemed uneasy about your lack of experience with a computer program, emphasize that your enthusiasm to learn and hard work ethic will overcome your inexperience.
At the end of your thank you letter, state the agreed-upon next step in your correspondence. If your interviewer mentioned that they will contact you in the next week, let them know you will be waiting to hear from them. Alternatively, if you plan on following up with them within the week, let them know to expect a call or email.