How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview [With Samples]

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

Many colleges include an admissions interview as part of the application process, which is a great way to further demonstrate your interest, learn more about the school, and get answers to your questions. It’s a good idea to send a thank you note via email after you’ve been interviewed. Not only is it a good practice, but it helps keep you top of mind and gives you one more opportunity to make your case for admission. Keep reading to learn more about how to craft a good thank you email.  

Why Does It Matter to Send a Thank You Note After an Admissions Interview? 

College admissions interviews are “a good primer for entering into the real world,” says IvyWise counselor Eric. The same is true for thank you notes, since it’s also common to send them after job interviews. Sending a thank you note after a college admissions interview is important for several reasons: 

  • Professionalism and politeness: It’s a common practice in professional settings to express gratitude after an interview. Sending a thank you note demonstrates your professionalism and manners, which can leave a positive impression on the admissions committee. 
  • Acknowledgment of time and effort: Admissions officers and interviewers invest time and effort in getting to know you during the interview. At many schools, your interviewer will be an alumni volunteer or current student — someone who chose to take time out of their day to talk with you. A thank you note is a way to acknowledge and appreciate their time. It shows that you value their attention and the opportunity to discuss your application. 
  • Reiteration of interest: A well-crafted thank you note allows you to reiterate your interest in the college or university. You can express your enthusiasm for the potential to contribute to the campus community and highlight specific aspects of the institution that appeal to you. 
  • Clarification or additional information: If there were points you wished you had emphasized during the interview or if you want to clarify or provide additional information, the thank you note provides a platform for this. It allows you to reinforce key points and address any concerns that may have arisen during the interview. 
  • Differentiation: In competitive admissions processes, you may have similar qualifications to other applicants. A thoughtful and well-written thank you note can help you stand out from the crowd. 
  • Building a positive relationship: The thank you note is not just a formality — it’s a way to begin building a positive relationship with representatives of the school. Your note can set a positive tone for future interactions, and it may be remembered when the committee reviews your application. 
  • Gratitude for the opportunity: Expressing gratitude is a fundamental aspect of good manners. By sending a thank you note, you show that you appreciate the opportunity to interview and are grateful for the chance to be considered for admission. 

 

This guide to college admissions interviews is a helpful resource for the entire interview process, including sending thank you notes.  

When Should You Send a Thank You Email After an Interview? 

The timing of sending a thank you email after a college admissions interview is crucial. Ideally, you should send the email within 24 to 48 hours after the interview — the earlier, the better. This time frame allows you to express your gratitude while the interaction is still fresh in your mind and in the mind of the interviewer. If possible, send the thank you email on the same day as the interview. This promptness demonstrates your eagerness and appreciation for the opportunity.  

If you can’t send the email on the same day, aim to do so within the next 24 hours. Waiting too long may diminish the impact of your message, as the interviewer likely moved on to other tasks. 

What to Include in a Post-Interview Thank You Email 

Your post-interview thank you email should include these six elements: 

  1. Subject Line 
  2. Personalized Greeting 
  3. Note of Appreciation 
  4. Recap of Your Qualifications 
  5. Prompt to Take the Next Step 
  6. Contact Information 
  7. The template below demonstrates how you can put all these elements together.

 

Subject: Thank You for the Interview Opportunity 

Dear [Interviewer’s Name], 

I hope this email finds you well. I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview for admission to [College/University Name]. It was a pleasure meeting with you and learning more about the institution and its values. 

I was particularly impressed by [mention something specific that stood out during the interview, such as a unique program, the campus culture, or a faculty member’s research]. This reinforced my belief that [College/University Name] is the perfect place for me to further my education and personal growth. 

I appreciated the chance to discuss my academic and extracurricular achievements with you and to share my enthusiasm for [your intended major or area of interest]. Your insights into the program and your willingness to answer my questions were invaluable in helping me gain a deeper understanding of what [College/University Name] has to offer. 

I would like to reiterate my strong interest in [College/University Name]. I am excited about the possibility of joining [mention any specific clubs, organizations, or initiatives that align with your interests] and am committed to making a positive impact during my time at [College/University Name]. 

Thank you once again for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to continue this conversation and, hopefully, to join the [College/University Name] community.  

Wishing you a wonderful day, 

Sincerely, 

[Your Full Name]  

[Your Contact Information] 

4 Tips for Sending a Thank You Note After an Interview 

As with every other aspect of the college admissions process, the thank you note is worth your time and attention. It is essentially the finishing touch on your applicant profile. Consider these four tips to help you craft an effective and authentic thank you email.  

#1 Tailor It for Every Interview 

As you’re writing your thank you note, mention specific details that were brought up in the interview, such as classes, student organizations, or campus traditions — aspects of the school that you especially like. If you were interviewed by multiple people back-to-back, you should send a separate email to each one — though change each email slightly to personalize it. You can do this by mentioning something you spoke about only with that person.   

#2 Keep It Short and Sweet 

It’s truly the thought behind the thank you email that counts, so limit your note to a few short paragraphs. Ideally, your email should be between 250-350 words — any longer, and it may not be read in its entirety. Whether the person who interviewed you is a volunteer or an admissions officer, they are likely very busy. Chances are, you aren’t the only applicant they are interviewing. So, it’s important to be thoughtful, concise, and respectful of your interviewer’s time.  

#3 Be Authentic 

It’s important to be authentic in your note. It reflects genuine gratitude, demonstrates your personality, reinforces your fit, strengthens your case for admission, builds trust, and encourages positive relationships. Remember, the goal of a thank you note is not just to check off a box but to genuinely express your appreciation and interest. Admissions officers are not only evaluating your academic qualifications but also seeking students who will contribute positively to the campus community. An authentic thank you note contributes to this holistic evaluation process. 

#4 End It with a Bang 

Did you make small talk with your interviewer? It’s perfectly fine to include some of those details, too. If they mentioned they were going on vacation soon, wish them safe travels. Did they recommend their favorite student dining hall? Tell them you can’t wait to try the pizza. 

Since you are sending an email, we advise you to add the email address after you write your note. This will prevent you from accidentally sending a working draft! Review your email before you hit “send” — you don’t want any grammar or spelling mistakes. This includes the spelling of your interviewer’s name! 

Learn more about writing college admissions thank you notes.  

Sample Interview Thank You Email 

 Subject: Thank You for the Inspiring Stanford Interview 

Dear Jennifer, 

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the enlightening conversation we had during my recent interview for admission to Stanford University. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with you and discuss the opportunities that Stanford offers. Your own experiences and insights as a Stanford alumna added a unique perspective to my understanding of the university. 

Our discussion about Stanford’s commitment to innovation and its role as a catalyst for groundbreaking research resonated deeply with me. I was particularly captivated by your mention of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute and how it’s shaping the future of artificial intelligence. This aligns perfectly with my passion for AI and its potential to make a positive impact on society, and I can’t think of a better place than Stanford to nurture that passion. 

Furthermore, hearing about the close-knit Stanford community and the collaborative atmosphere on campus left a lasting impression. The emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and the chance to engage in projects like Rewired Digital Magazine truly excite me. I am eager to be part of such an intellectually stimulating environment where I can learn from and collaborate with bright minds from diverse backgrounds. 

Thanks again for your time and the valuable insights you shared. Your description of the dynamic Stanford experience has reaffirmed my desire to be a part of this exceptional institution. I am eagerly looking forward to the possibility of contributing to the Stanford community and forging lasting connections with fellow students, faculty, and alumni. 

I hope to continue this conversation and, ultimately, have the privilege of calling myself a Stanford Cardinal. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further advice or questions.  

Warm regards, 

[Student Name] 

[Contact Information] 

P.S. Thanks for the tip about the chocolate croissants at CoHo! My mouth is watering just thinking about them!  

Learn how to ace your Stanford interview

As this example demonstrates, you can convey genuine enthusiasm and authenticity in a few short paragraphs. This note provides specific details about Stanford that were brought up during the interview, and the P.S. ended the note with a bang.  

From helping you build your profile to finalizing your applications and preparing you for interviews, IvyWise college admissions counselors are here every step of the way. No matter where you are in the college admissions process, we have a spot for you. Schedule an Initial Consultation to learn how we can help you achieve your academic goals.  

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