If you have just finished your job interview and think your work is over, you’re wrong. You now need to craft an interview thank you letter.
The interview is just part of the first impression that you are giving to a new employer. Whether or not you have the manners and professional courtesy to now write a thank you letter for their time is the next part of your test. Many employers will wait to see if they get an interview thank you letter, and if not, it will be points off of your overall performance impact.
Thanks to the advent of the internet, these letters can be sent faster, and be received more quickly than in the old days of snail mail, through e-mail. But don’t think this gives you a reason to be lazy about what is in the letter and the way it looks.
It’s best to write your thank you letter somewhere other than in your e-mail program. Most people choose to open a document program like Word for this duty. Complete the whole letter and check it before copying and pasting it into your e-mail program.
Here are the things you need to know to craft a proper e-mail interview thank you letter.
- Timeliness – Don’t wait a few days to get this letter together. This needs to be sent within 24 hours of your interview. It is best if you write it and send it out the same day, or at the latest, the next morning.
- Customize – This is not a ‘Dear John’ letter, this is a thank you letter to someone who just took a portion of their time to consider giving you a chance at the career you want. Address the letter to the person who interviewed you, personally.
- Repeat – This is your chance to make sure they heard all the great reasons they should hire you for their job, without sounding like you are repeating yourself. You should mention the company’s issues and concerns and how you hope to be able to help them solve or overcome those issues in the future. You can also do a bit of a reminder of your past experience and skills that, if they hire you, will help them overcome those problems or be able to make it to new levels in the future.
- Sell Your Position – Make sure you somehow remind the interviewer you are looking forward to a chance to work with their company. This is just one more reminder that you really want this job.
- Forgotten Details – It always happens. You walk out of an interview, to your car, and then remember something that would have been really helpful in the interviewing process. Now is the time to mention that something. If there is anything you think can help sell you a little better for this job, this is the time to bring it into the spotlight and make sure it’s seen.
- Double-Check – Nothing is tackier than sending an interview thank you letter full of typos and grammar errors. Make sure to go over the thank you letter a few times. In many cases you can use your Word program to spell-check, and do a simple grammar-check, but this program will not catch all mistakes. Make sure to read each sentence carefully before you consider it finished.
Once you are happy with what you have written, put your signature on the bottom and copy and paste it into the e-mail to be sent.
Interview With A Meal – If the potential employer took you to lunch or dinner during the interview, make sure to thank them appropriately for the meal you were allowed to enjoy as well as the opportunity to interview for the position.
Group Interviews – Some interviews are with a number of people, instead of just one. Does this mean a number of thank you letters or a group letter? This depends on the company and your perception of it. You should have a feel for the environment of the office by now. If most of the people had the same kinds of things to say and questions to ask, a group letter may do. If they all had a very different role in the interviewing process, you may need to pen individual letters to each of them.