The Cherry On Top: A Thank You Note

Whenever I know a student I’m working with has an interview coming up, I try to email them at least one of two prime times: right before their interview to boost their confidence, or right after their interview to see how it went.  Many students will take the time to tell me “oh, it went great! They gave me a tour, I felt good about my answers, etc.” Almost inevitably, there’s a follow up question.  “When do I send them a thank you note? What do I say?” To answer the first question, I say NOW.  Send them an email while you’re still fresh in their minds.  If you know you still have some time before they make a decision, take the time to send an addition thank you by snail mail.  It’ll make you stand out, and truly shows your appreciation.  For the second question, a lot of that depends on each individual interview and what you discussed.  I’d also like to highlight our friends at the Cultures and Manners Institute (, because their email tip last week was especially timely! Check out what they have to say about what to include in a thank you note:


Etiquette is about being attentive to the people around us.  Whether writing a follow up thank you letter for an interview or a client meeting, personalize it.  Include details of what you talked about in the meeting. It’s a mistake to write a generic thank you that looks like it could have been cut and pasted with different names and companies: “Thank you for telling me more about the position at (fill in the organization).  I feel like my skills would make me a valuable member of your team.”

 Make the person feel like you are talking to him/her and not just anyone:

“I was inspired by your story about how you started out in manufacturing…”
“You are interested in a greater online presence for your athletic clothing line, and I have proven experience in growing several student organizations through social media.”
“Attached is the online advertising information we talked about.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me.”

“I enjoyed meeting you and Manny Products, your Vice President of Consumer Research.”
“I will follow up with you on the week of June 8th.  Congratulations on your first grandchild and enjoy your time off.”

The most valuable part of personalizing a business letter?  It says to the person, “I was listening.”


Taking the time to highlight a specific moment within the interview will go a long way, and shows you were truly engaged in the interview! Who wouldn’t enjoy reading a thank you note like that?

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