Thank You Notes

After every interview it is appropriate to send a thank you letter within 48 hours of your interview. It is not necessary for the letter to be long and elaborate. If you feel you should address something you "missed" in the interview, you may do this in your thank you letter.

Format

Employers have different preferences in terms of how they like to receive thank you notes. Some individuals prefer to receive handwritten notes, others typed formal letters or by e-mail. But all generally agree: It is better to receive thank you notes in any form, then not at all.

Content

Address the letter to the person who invited you for the interview initially. If you saw more than one person, you can write to each of them, or refer to them in your letter to the primary interviewer. (Note: Ask for a business card during the interview, this way you can assure you have the right name and address as well as proper spelling.)

Unless you have acquaintance with your interviewer through prior experience (i.e. you have worked for them in the past or met with them on more than one occasion outside of Thayer School), you should address your letter formally. For example, say "Dear Mr. Popascle" instead of "Dear Johnny."

Mention the title of the position for which you have interviewed in your letter.  If you are interested in the position, express your enthusiasm and reiterate your desire for the job and your qualifications for it. If possible, add value by referring to a specific aspect of their work that was particularly interesting or appealing to you. (This should be related to the job or the environment, and should not include discussion of salary or benefits.)

If you are not interested in the job, you can still express appreciation for the consideration extended to you. Don't feign affection. It is better to be sincere and simply say thank you for the interview than to add "fluff" that gives the potential employer false expectations about your interest. (Remember that interviewing is a two-way street: Employers are just as nervous about finding good employees as you are about finding a good job.)

To close, if you are interested in the job, express thanks for the interview and the date (specifically or generally) that you expect to hear from the interviewer.

If you are not interested, repeat that you enjoyed talking with the interviewer.

Sample Thank You Notes

Thank You Letter if Interested in Position

119 West Wheelock Apt. 2G
Hanover, NH 03755

February 22, 2002

Joolie Etta Dally
ATO Sustainability Initiatives Manager
Nugo Automotive
42 Henry Ford Drive
Dearborn, MI 48124

Dear Ms. Dally:

I sincerely enjoyed meeting with you yesterday and learning more about your need for Assistant Design Engineers.

Our conversation confirmed my interest in this position and in working on one of Nugo's design teams. I was particularly pleased at the prospect of being able to work on design teams and gain exposure into the financial side of the work that you do. I feel confident that my engineering and quantitative coursework and work experience would enable me to fill the job requirements effectively.

Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any further information. I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you again for the courtesy you extended to me.

Sincerely,

Brown Barbaloot

Thank You Letter if Not Interested in Position

119 West Wheelock Apt. 2G
Hanover, NH 03755

February 22, 2002

Dr. Lorax Lulu
ATO Sustainability Initiatives Manager
Nugo Automotive
42 Henry Ford Drive
Dearborn, MI 48124

Dear Dr. Lulu:

I sincerely enjoyed meeting with you yesterday and learning more about your need for Assistant Design Engineers.

I found the interview both interesting and informative, and left with a much clearer picture of what the position entails. It was helpful to learn more about the ways in which your design team and project managers work with one another.

Thank you again for your consideration, I was pleased to have had a chance to talk with you.

Sincerely,

Brown Barbaloot