Writing a “thank you” letter should be as much a part of the interviewing process as showing up for the interview itself. Written in the right way, it can be more than a common courtesy. It can lead to an offer.
The letter should accomplish three main things. The following outline describes the ideal “thank you” letter format. The letter should be concise and efficiently convey your message. A letter that is too long may not be read or just skimmed.
The first part of the letter should express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview with the company. This is why it is called a “Thank You” letter. The company and interviewers have taken valuable time and possibly incurred considerable expense to conduct the interview with you. Thank the interviewers for the meeting.
The next part should have three to four sentences illustrating your strengths. In the interview, you should determine what each manager desired in his or her ideal candidate. Ask them if they do not mention it voluntarily. Then, once you write your letter, you can mention that your strengths satisfy their criteria. Support your claims with examples and/or data from your career.
Finally, ask for the job. Let them know that you are interested in working with them and also for the company. Be sure to mention both of these points. Let the interviewer know that you enjoyed meeting with them and that you would like to work with them. Let the reader also know that you respect the company and would be proud to be a part of the team.
Another benefit of the letter is that it keeps your name in front of the company — especially if you interviewed early in the process among several other candidates.
- Write a letter for on-site interviews and for phone interviews. A well-composed letter after the phone interview could lead to an on-site interview. A similar letter after an on-site interview could lead to an offer, especially if an equally qualified candidate interviewed about the same time as you did but did not send a “thank you” letter.
- Send a letter to each interviewer. Customize your letter to the particular manager that interviewed you. That is, you may interview with a finance manager and also and marketing manager. Tailor your letter so that each manager sees your strengths through his or her own eyes, not through another department manager’s eyes. Emphasize the points in your career that would appeal to your reader.
- Write the letter before the interview. After the interview, customize it further and then mail the letter.
Ms. Jane Smith
Fortune 500 Company
Capital City, ST 12345
Dear Ms. Smith,
Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you this morning. I sincerely appreciate the chance to interview with you for the position of Department Manager.
I feel that my background has made me uniquely qualified for this role. For the past four years, I have gained extensive experience in developing the identical systems used in your department. I lead a team that was able to improve efficiencies to double-digit increases four years in a row in my current position. It was very satisfying to observe what a team can do when motivated by a goal and encouraged by performance results.
I welcome the opportunity to join your company. I enjoyed meeting with you and hope to be able to work with you. Your company is an industry leader and has earned a reputation that I have long admired. It is my ambition to be a part of your company.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.