Interview Follow-Up Letter: When Promptness Matters

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An interview follow-up letter thanks a prospective employer for providing you with an interview. Most importantly, it shows that you follow through and are both courteous and efficient. All of which makes it more likely you are offered a position. Aim to have an interview follow-up letter in the mail or sent via email as soon after your interview as possible.

The main points of an interview follow-up letter

When writing an interview follow-up letter, keep the purpose of it in mind, but also add value by incorporating the right information. A good letter of this type hits three main points:

  1. It expresses that you are still interested in the job opportunity
  2. It expresses your gratitude for the interview.
  3. It shows what you specifically can add to the company—the benefits of hiring you.

Format of an interview follow-up letter

An interview follow-up letter is formatted like a general business letter. It should be 2-3 paragraphs in length. Include the date at the top. Address the letter to the person who interviewed you, including his or her position, followed by a work address. Directly address that person in the salutation.

Example start of an interview follow-up letter:

June 11, 2012

Mr. Hiring Manager
Personnel Director
Hiring Company
123 Hire Me Lane
New Job City, IL 45993

Dear Mr. Manager:

First paragraph:

The first paragraph expresses your gratitude for the opportunity and the interview. Make sure to thank the person who interviewed you for the time he or she spent with you. Likewise, express thanks for learning about both the position and the company.

Second paragraph:

The second paragraph contains mostly optional information. You can give your analysis of the interview process, mention anything new you learned about the company, offer your impressions of the company or mention some of your qualifications not listed on your resume. You want to avoid repeating the exact information on your resume. If there are any new skills, qualifications or educational attributes that are new or were not included on your resume or in your initial cover letter, mention them in this paragraph.

Third paragraph:

Your third and final paragraph should stay positive. Restate your appreciation. This is also a good place to state why, based on your interview, you think you are a good fit for the position. Above all else, always stay courteous. An interview follow-up letter is a tool to create goodwill—to show prospective employers that you are courteous and pay attention to the details.

End your letter with “Sincerely” or another professional closing. Leave room for your signature. Type your name, and remember to sign the letter before you send it.

Your overall interview follow-up letter should stay brief, to the point and positive. While it is similar to a cover letter, the details included make it distinctly different. Your professionalism should stay obvious with every word you write. Remember, this is likely your last chance after an interview to make an impression. When you write an effective follow-up letter, you make yourself stand out from other applicants—which translates into a higher likelihood of having the position offered to you.