written by: Marjory Pilley•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 8/14/2010
If you finish an interview and wish you had responded to a question differently or if you need to get back to the interviewer with an answer, then the perfunctory thank you letter may not be sufficient. Review a sample interview follow-up letter and learn how to customize it.
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An interview follow-up letter (also known as a thank you letter) is a polite and professional way to thank someone for an interview and reinforce why you are the best candidate for a job. Instead of sending a generic letter, take time to write one that will make you stand out.
In order to write a good letter, jot down notes during your interview such as projects and responsibilities you would have and questions that you answered. Once the interview has concluded, review your notes so you can tailor your letter to the job. Often you will find that you could have answered a question with more detail. The interview follow-up letter is the perfect opportunity to reinforce and expand your interview answer. Try to send the letter within 24 hours of the interview.
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A sample interview follow-up letter can be downloaded from the Media Gallery at Bright Hub. In the example provided, the applicant is applying for an accounting position with a food services company. Use the following guidance to customize the template for your unique situation.
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Address the letter to the main interviewer. If you met several people during the interview process, mention the names of the various company officials you met in the body of your letter. Or, send a brief thank you note to each of them as well.
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The opening paragraph reminds the interviewer of when you met and the position you applied for. Include the following items in this paragraph:
Thank the addressee for the interview.
Acknowledge the interviewer's busy schedule if this seems appropriate.
Include the date of the meeting, position name and company name.
Convey the enthusiasm you feel about the job opportunity.
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Highlight relevant experience and accomplishments in the second paragraph. If the interviewer discussed specific attributes or skills needed for the job, outline how you meet these requirements. Show that you were listening by referencing projects or responsibilities that you would perform and how you can meet the challenge.
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Use the third paragraph to follow-up on any questions that may not have been answered to the best of your ability. Upon reviewing your notes, did you forget to mention relevant training? If you did not have specific figures available to support a claim such as cost savings or sales goals, then provide the detail here. There may also be instances where you can't answer a question. For example, you may be required to travel to a two week training seminar. It is perfectly acceptable to let the interviewer know that you need to check your schedule first and answer the question in your follow-up letter.
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Close the letter with a statement of your desire to work for the company. The interview follow-up letter is a sales tool and it is important to let the interviewer know if you want the job. Include contact information, even though it is provided elsewhere, so it will be easy for the interviewer to call with any additional questions.