You’ve just finished an interview and you feel like it went really well. The next step is to write an interview thank you letter. While many people today simply forgo this important step, employers will tell you that it can sometimes be what tips the scales in a close decision. Why take the chance that the job is going to someone else, simply because he or she wrote a thank you letter?
When You Should Send This Important Letter
Ideally, you should send an interview thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview. If you have communicated via email before the interview, send it as soon as you are able after the interview. Some companies only schedule a few interviews for an open position. You do not want the letter to arrive after a decision has already been made. If you haven’t communicated through email, then you will need to send the thank you letter through snail mail or drop it off in person. In many cases, it is best to drop it off in person to make sure it arrives in a timely manner.
What to Include in the Thank You Letter
You obviously want to thank the interviewer for their time; however, the main purpose of an interview thank you letter is to remind the interviewer of your skills and qualifications. You want to reiterate why you are a good choice for the position and what you can bring to the company. Be sure to mention one or two things that were discussed in the interview, as well as a quick summary of your experience. This letter should not be more than three or four paragraphs.
Be sure the letter is addressed to the interviewer. If you are not certain of the name, don’t guess. Instead, check the company website or call for verification. If you interviewed with more than one person, send each individual an interview thank you letter. You never know which person will actually make the final hiring decision.
Include your email address and phone number at the end of the letter. If you’re responding by email, make sure the subject states the purpose of the email. For example, it might read “Project Manager Interview – Thank You.” You’ll have a better chance of the interviewer actually reading the letter. You should also make sure the interview thank you letter is proofread carefully. Mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation will not be received well. In some cases, it could cost you the position.
Finally, if you are printing off your interview thank you letter, make sure to use a good quality paper. Take the time to print the addresses, instead of just writing it on the envelope. This will create a polished look for your letter and it will be noticed.
An interview thank you letter is almost a forgotten art. While only ten percent of all interviewees send this letter, employers are quite emphatic when they say this is an important part of an interview. Make sure you send it in a timely manner, as this may have an impact on whether or not you get the job offer.