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December 14, 2017

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The Interview Thank You Letter

Why you must send a thank you letter after interview

You’ve just come out of a grueling interview, or set of interviews, and you might want to put your job search out of your mind for a few hours – perhaps to concentrate on something at home, or a loved one, or your current job. Well you’ve deserved some time off! But just 10 more minutes could make the difference between your dream job and interview rejection!

In my experience, very few candidates are using the interview thank you letter. For some the reason is sheer laziness on their part, for others because they think it might come across as desperate. For most, though, it is simply that they haven’t been shown the right way to write and send the interview thank you letter. That’s GREAT for YOU! Because few people are following up with a letter or note after the interview, your letter will set you apart from all the other candidates.

So what does the interview thank you letter do? Well that’s the beauty of it – it can do a number of things!

Of course, its core function is to thank the interviewer for the time they gave you, but this will also mean that he/she remembers you much more than if you were just one of the ten or more people they interviewed that day.

But the interview thank you letter can do so much more! It can remind the interviewer of some of the great points you made during your interview, again making you stand out from the competition. If you think that there were a few points which you made less clearly than you would have liked (or missed out completely), again the interview thank you letter can come to your rescue.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that if it is done correctly the interview thank you letter certainly does not come across as ‘begging’ or ‘creeping’. The best follow-ups come across as a genuine and professional communication, perhaps with a hint of familiarity (and I mean a hint – that is ALL).

So what difference can a thank you letter after interview make? Well quite a lot actually. Different employers come to their decisions after interview in different ways and take different lengths of time. If the decision is being made by a single person, they are far more likely to remember you and your strengths if they have had TWO communications with you (one being the interview, the other the letter) than just one. If the decision is being made in a group, then quite often you will need a ‘champion’ in the group – someone who is going to fight your corner because they think you’ll be a great hire. Again, they are far more likely to care about you if they feel that there is a connection there.

Job interview thank you letter – what to include

So what do you include in your thank you letter after interview? Here are a few tips:

Click here for sample interview thank you letters.

- Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis is the founder and CEO of the Careerfriend website (www.careerfriend.com), committed to helping people succeed in their dream careers. The site provides a wealth of free articles and resources covering career and employer selection, through resume and cover letter writing, to interviewing, salary negotiation and ongoing career development.

Jonathan's extensive experience of attracting, recruiting, retaining and developing exceptional people in management consulting and investment banking allows him to offer clear, actionable advice which has a great impact on people either looking for new jobs or looking to succeed further in their existing jobs.

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