Sealing the Deal After the Interview: Say Thank You!

Posted: November 6, 2014

You just walked out of your first interview for a summer internship. You did all the right things to land the interview: you tailored your resume to the job, you networked with company reps at the career fair and info session, and you prepared thoroughly; you think you nailed it!  The interviewer said that you could expect to hear from them in two weeks regarding next steps.

So, now what???? Do you just sit back and wait to hear from them? No! It’s time to write a follow-up note or email.

While a handwritten note is still nice and will certainly make you stand out, email is now the appropriate format in which to thank an employer for an interview opportunity.  Employers will appreciate that you did at least send thanks.  In fact, if you know the person is traveling a lot (this is very common for recruiters), they may see your email before getting back to the office to receive a letter via “snail mail”.  Also, if the hiring decision will happen very quickly after the interview, a hard copy note may not arrive in time.

Following an interview, promptly (within 2 business days) write the interviewer a message expressing appreciation and thanks for the interview. Collect business cards so that you’ll have your interviewers’ contact information and send a separate, personal email to each person that spoke with you.

Your post-interview thank you message should meet the following objectives:

  • Thank each interviewer for his/her time
  • Mention specifics from your interview, e.g., “I enjoyed our discussion about [topic]” or “I appreciate the information you shared about your organization’s [describe something you learned].”
  • Reiterate your interest in the position and remind the interviewer of the top skills you would bring to the job

Login to CareerEngine to view a sample thank you email in the “Document Library."

Note: You can also follow up after speaking with an employer at a career fair or company info session. The employer may have given you instructions to do something (research, follow up later, apply on the employer’s website, etc.).  A letter/email to follow-up is a good way to show initiative and continued interest.  You can also simply thank the employer for his/her time in speaking with you; especially if the advice they gave you was helpful.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
William Ward