Friday, June 24, 2011

following up after an interview

There's no hard and fast rule about sending thank you notes after an interview. Often, interview committees make decisions quickly - they conduct interviews in a day or two, make reference calls on the finalists the next, and make their decision and extend the offer within a few days. Therefore, it is sometimes unlikely that the interview committee would see the thank you letter until after they've made a decision.

BUT (and this is a big but) sending a thank you is not only proper etiquette, and it can be a way to distinguish yourself. Depending on the turn around in the decision, sending a thank you might not end up influencing this particular decision, but the interview committee will likely remember you if you've followed up with them, reminding them one more time of who you are and what you have to offer the school and district. If another position opens up, they'll think about you. You might be the only one to have done this, and any way you can set yourself apart is a good thing.

If you are going to write a thank you, do it as soon as possible - even the same day. It still could influence a decision if you could get it in the mail quickly enough. Send the letter addressed in care of the panel's chairperson.  Here's how you can structure your thank you letter:
  • First paragraph: thank the interviewer for considering you for the position. Mention something specific you appreciated about the meeting.
  • Second paragraph: briefly review your qualifications and the ways you think you are a good match for the position.
  • Final paragraph: thank the interviewer for their time, and express your continued interest in the position.
The letter can be brief and should be typed for neatness sake. It can be an important step in getting a job!

References: Warner, J. & Bryan, C. (2006). Inside secrets of finding a teaching job (3rd Ed.). Indianapolis, IN: JIST Publishing.

Job Search Handbook for Educators (2010), 45th Ed. American Association for Employment in Education, Inc.

Have you sent out thank you notes after interviews?


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