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Writing Interview Thank-You Letters
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Writing Interview Thank You Notes

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Companies differ in their expectation of post-interview thank you notes. In some offices, interviewers will take offense at the absence of a thank you note and will consider an interviewee who doesn't send one to be negligent. In other offices, such politeness is superfluous rather than a central part of the culture.

Regardless, instead of spending your time deciphering the expectations of your interviewers, invest in making your thank you note clinch your candidacy.

Consider the content of your thank you note as carefully as you considered the content of your cover letter. In other words, use your thank you note to market yourself.

In addition to showing appreciation for the interviewer's time, include a reaffirmation of your value to the company in your thank you note, now that you have more information about the job after your interview.

By referencing specific concerns and needs of the company as expressed by the interviewer, you'll show the interviewer that you paid close attention to what he or she said.

By citing particular ways in which you can address the company's needs and concerns, you'll connect the job requirements with your particular skills. Making connections between yourself and the job not only fortifies your aptness for the position, but it also demonstrates your interest in the position.

The greater care you take to customize your thank you note, the more personally it will affect the interviewer and make you stand out in his or her mind. For this reason, it is also helpful to comment on something specific that you appreciated about the interviewer, or what he or she said. But, be sure that your comments are appropriate and professional.

If there is something important that you forgot to mention during the interview, you think there might have been a point of miscommunication, or the interviewer indicated concern over some aspect of your qualifications, address it in your thank you note. But, be certain that your tone is positive, forthright, and confident.

Sample Thank You Note

Below is a sample thank you note that incorporates the elements indicated above.

Dear Mr. Thompson:

Thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday. Your dedication to ensuring that clients receive what they need from Svens Consulting in the timeframe they need it is admirable, and makes me confident that I would fit into the culture.

After speaking with you, I reflected on some of the skills and qualities that you indicated are the most important in this position: analytical acuity, project management, flexibility, and the ability to establish strong relationships with clients.

In my experience as project manager overseeing the delivery of complicated knowledge management systems to five major clients, my success depended on these same skills.

You mentioned that miscommunication between Sven's and your clients periodically causes glitches in providing services. Since I am adept at developing a strong rapport with clients, understanding their objectives and expectations, and keeping communication lines open, I would immediately add value to the team at Svens.

In short, I am convinced that the Director position would be a good career move for me and that I would contribute to the success of Svens. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Signature]

Roger Wallace

Thank You Note Reminders

  • Send your thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. By email is the quickest way and it's perfectly acceptable these days.
  • Send a tailored thank you note to each of your interviewers. The interviewers will likely compare your notes, so tailor each one to a specific interview and the interviewer.
  • Personalize your thank you note, but keep it professional.
  • Make your tone positive and confident.
  • Keep it brief. Use your words economically.
  • Refer to specific things that your interviewer said during your interview.
  • Reaffirm how you can add value to the company.
  • Address anything of importance that occurred during your interview, such as an issue your interviewer raised or a qualification that you forgot to mention. (But don't say that you forgot.)
  • Be certain that there are no spelling and grammatical errors in your thank you note.
  • If you don't hear from one of your interviewers (or a hiring authority) in a week, follow up your thank you notes with letters or phone calls.

For more sample thank you notes (also referred to as thank you letters) including those you may download for free, see Thank You Letters.

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