A post interview thank you letter is only sent by a small percentage of job interviewees. For those willing to take the initiative, this is an easy way to stand out from other candidates and impress your interviewers.
In most cases you will likely be one of several candidates being interviewed so it’s important to differentiate yourself – in a good way.
A post interview thank you letter is a quick and easy way to differentiate yourself from the competition and give yourself an advantage.
Here’s 12 tips for the post interview thank you letter:
1. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.
2. Reiterate your qualifications and skills and why you make the best candidate for the job. You are marketing yourself so take the opportunity to reinforce your message.
3. Follow up promptly while you are fresh in the interviewer(s) minds. Its good practice to send a post interview thank you letter or email within a day of your interview. It’s good etiquette and it shows your professionalism and attention to detail. Refer to information from the interview and use it to connect with the letters recipient.
4. Personalize the post interview thank you letter. If you met with more than one person, try to send a post interview thank you letter to each individual who interviewed you. So remember to get the name and contact information of everyone involved in the interview process. Don’t use the same letter for each person – make them individual for each person. If there are multiple people conducting the interview (a panel interview), make a point of getting everyone’s contact info before you leave.
5. Make important points you forgot. If there were any questions you felt you didn’t answer well or points you would like to reinforce this is the best opportunity to do so. How many times have you left an interview and realized you forgot to make an important point? Or you felt you didn’t do an effective job of answering a question of making an important point. The post interview thank you letter is a great opportunity to make any points you forgot to make and to counter any objections that occurred during the interview.
6. Send additional info. If you committed to send any additional information, send it with your post interview thank you letter.
7. Remind them you look forward to getting a response. If you feel it’s appropriate to follow up with a phone call, tell them you will call to follow up and when you will call.
8. Show your enthusiasm for the job. I’ve seen assessments of interviews and one of the most common critiques is that the candidate never really indicated they wanted the job or showed enthusiasm. Excitement is contagious and gives you more “buzz” or “pop” than a low key candidate.
9. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Most hiring managers have a lot on their plate. They appreciate a note that can be quickly read and don’t want to get bogged down with a “wordy” letter to read. When most people see a long letter, they sigh and roll their eyes and usually just end up scanning the letter to pick up the important points.
10. Check your letter or email for errors. Nothing can be a turn-off to a prospective employer like bad grammar and misspelled words. Read your letter or email thoroughly before you send to make sure there are no typo’s or bad grammar.
11. Use a nice clean font like Arial or Times Roman. Use a font size of no smaller than 10 or larger than 12.
12. Put a space between each paragraph. Don’t make the paragraphs too long. You want something that can be read quickly and easily and that will leave a good impression.
A good general format for the interview thank you letter is:
Name of Interviewer(s)
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
First paragraph – thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.
Second paragraph – restate your case as the best candidate – your strengths, skills, experience, etc. that makes you the best choice. How your skills relate to the job.
Third paragraph – this is a good chance to mention anything you forgot to make during the interview or provide follow-up info you promised to provide in the interview.
Last paragraph – restate your appreciation for their time and consideration. Let them know you look forward to hearing from them soon. If you feel moved to contact them, this is a good place to give them a specific date when you will follow up with them.
Here are links to some interview thank you letters samples that may be helpful to you.