One of the most important and valuable parts of the informational interview does not take place on the day of the interview itself! It’s also the area that is most often overlooked – which can be one of the most detrimental aspects to skip!! Don’t forget to send the person a thank you note after the informational interview. The following guidelines should assist you in preparing your follow up thank you letter.
Guidelines for Creating a Powerful Thank You Note for an Informational Interview
If someone meets with you regarding your career search, you should send him or her a thank you note. Even if you did not find the meeting particularly helpful, always send an enthusiastic follow-up note.
- Send the thank you note within two days of your meeting. This prompt letter conveys you have a good sense of business protocol. If the person is inclined to recommend you to someone else, your timely response will indicate that you will repeat the behavior and not embarrass him or her.
- Tailor and customize the note to the person with whom you met with. If they gave you help in a specific area, be sure to mention this, and be sincere. Here are some sample phrases you can use:
- Thanks for your help.
- I sincerely appreciate your assistance.
- Your help is greatly appreciated.
- Your advice on XYZ is greatly appreciated.
- Keep your note short and sweet.
- Focus on content. Remind the person why you met, what you gained from the meeting and the steps you plan to take from the recommendations.
- Make sure they have all your contact information in case they need to reach you (i.e., a JOB!).
- If the person indicates they would like to be kept in the loop regarding your career moves, then by all means send them a note when you find a job. You can even follow-up with them at interim points in your career search.
- The closing. You can add another thank you again in the closing paragraph. Some suggestions include:
- Thank you again for all you have contributed to strengthening my career.
- Thank you again for providing additional contacts to my referral network
- Thank you for introducing me to Mr. X, I greatly appreciate it.
- And finally as you already know by now – do NOT under ANY circumstances ask for a job or an interview for a job. Keep the focus on informational issues!
With the tips from all three articles, you should be very well equipped to plan for, conduct and follow up with any informational interview you set your sights on. For practice with these and other useful work search tools, come in to your local Work BC GT Hiring Solutions today!
If you missed The “Not An Interview” Interview Part I, The Preparation – click here, and The “Not An Interview” Interview Part II, The Actual Interview click here. These will give you some valuable insight into how to prepare yourself for an informational interview, what questions you should ask and what you will gain from conducting one.
Arpita Monahan is the Resource Centre Coordinator at our Saanich WorkBC Centre