The Interview

Writing a thank you note

It is very important that you conduct follow up after every contact made, whether it be an email or phone call from an employer, or an interview. What makes the follow-up so important is that each contact is an opportunity to build your relationship with a potential employer or network contact. With each step in the process you should continue to highlight the value you will potentially bring to the employer.

Performing well in interviews is 90% of the battle, but if you want to solidify your chance of getting the internship, send a thank you letter within 24 hours.

Thank you letters accomplish the following:

  • Provide a great way to summarize your strengths and the benefit you bring to the company
  • Address any skill area that you did not cover during the interview
  • Express your increased interest in the position as a result of your interview

Content of a thank you letter

A thank you letter should be no more than one-page. A hand-written thank you is only appropriate if you are on a first-name basis with the interviewer, a formal letter is always preferred. An email thank you is only appropriate if the hiring decision will be made within 24 hours from the interview and you cannot mail a formal thank you letter in time.

Your thank you letter should consist of four paragraphs.

  • First paragraph

    Communicate your appreciation for the time that the company's staff spent with you during the interview process. Also, state that you are confident you have the necessary qualifications and are the best candidate for the position. Finally, express your increased interest in the position now that you have had the opportunity to learn more about the company.

  • Paragraph Two

    In the first sentence of the second paragraph, note an important issue or topic the interviewer brought up that impressed you or stands out about the position or company. Your second sentence should describe how your skills or experience will add value to the company related to this issue or topic. The third sentence should show an example that describes this point.

  • Paragraph Three

    Address any skill you have that you feel was not presented effectively in the interview. For example, if the interviewer asked about a certain computer skill that you did not know, take time here to address what you will do to become familiar with this computer skill. Also, explain how you have learned new computer skills quickly in past positions. If possible, give an example of your ability to overcome this obstacle.

  • Paragraph Four

    Express your interest in being an intern for the organization and offer to provide references that relate to the skills the company or hiring manager is seeking. Indicate that you will follow-up within the week to learn about any next steps in the interview process.

Thank you letters are a very valuable part of the interview and follow-up process. It's important to craft a note that will build on the information you presented during the interview, and keep the lines of communication open between you and the company. Follow this link to view an example of a thank you letter.