After interviews | thank-you letters | follow up
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Following an interview, promptly (within 2 business days) write the interviewer a letter expressing appreciation and thanks for the interview. The purpose of this letter is to:
Show appreciation for the employer's interest in you.
Reiterate your interest in the position and in the organization.
Review or remind the employer about your qualifications for the position. If you thought of something you forgot to mention in the interview, mention it in your follow-up / thank-you letter.
Demonstrate that you have good manners and know to write a thank-you letter.
Follow up with any information the employer may have asked you to provide after the interview.
See samples below:
You can also follow up after speaking with an employer at a career fair. The employer might have given you instructions to do something [research, follow up later, apply on the employer's website, etc.]. A letter/e-mail to follow up later at an appropriate time is a good way to show initiative and continued interest. You can also simply thank the employer for her/his time in speaking with you; perhaps s/he gave you advice you found helpful.
Hard copy, handwritten or e-mail?
Thank-you letters can be hard copy typed, handwritten or e-mailed.
Hard copy not-handwritten are most formal and are appropriate after an interview.
Handwritten are more personal, and can be appropriate for brief notes to a variety of individuals you may have met during an on-site interview.
E-mail is appropriate, particularly as a supplement (i.e. do both e-mail and hard copy) when that has been your means of contact with the person you want to thank, or if your contact has expressed a preference for e-mail, or you know your contact is travelling and will not have access to hard copy mail in a timely fashion.
What to do if you don't hear from the employer
Before your interview ended, your interviewer should have informed you of the organization's follow-up procedures from whom (same person who interviewed you, someone else), by what means (phone, e-mail, etc.), and when you would hear again from the organization. If the interviewer did not tell you, and you did not ask, use your follow-up / thank-you letter to ask.
If more than a week has passed beyond the date when you were told you would hear something from the employer (and barring some major event in the news like a merger or acquisition or other event that would be taking employees' attention), call or e-mail to politely inquire about the status of the organization's decision-making process. Someone (or something) or an unexpected circumstance may be holding up the process. A polite inquiry shows that you are still interested in the organization and may prompt the employer to get on schedule with a response. In your inquiry, mention the following: name of the person who interviewed you, time and place of the interview, position for which you are applying (if known), and ask the status of your application.
Sample 5.4 - Thank you for initial interview
400C Hunter Ridge
October 26, 201X
Sample 5.5 - Thank you for on-site interview