Did someone take the time to share information on his or her career with you? If you've just conducted an informational interview, it's always a good idea to send a thank-you email message or note.
An informational interview can help you learn more about a job, employer, or career. But it can also help you grow your professional network—if you follow up the right way.
The most important thing you can do for your career after an information interview is to write a thank-you letter. In addition to being polite, saying thank you will ensure that the person you interviewed will be willing to help you in the future. It will also make certain that this contact will have positive things to say about you if they’re ever in a position to recommend you for a job.
Learn more about how to send an informational interview thank-you letter, view sample letters, and get guidance on the best things to include in your note.
Tips on Sending an Informational Interview Thank-You Letter
To leave a positive impression, your thank-you letter should follow these guidelines:
- Use business letter format: An informational interview thank-you letter is a formal piece of business correspondence. Use standard business letter format for your note.
- Include specifics: Everyone likes to know that their help was genuinely useful. Be sure to call out specifics from the conversation when thanking your contact for their time. For example, if they suggest joining a professional association or getting a certification, mention that this advice was helpful.
- Send your message promptly: Send your thank-you letter within 48 hours of your informational interview. This will emphasize the importance of the interview and your gratitude.
Consider sending your thank-you note via email to ensure that the recipient gets your message quickly.
Informational Interview Thank-You Letter Examples
Review a sample thank-you letter and email message following up after an informational interview.
Informational Interview Thank-You Letter Example
2341 Main Street
Center City, Iowa 55240
July 21, 2021
Senior Vice President
4 Office Park Boulevard, Suite 100
Center City, Iowa 55240
Dear Ms. Rodriguez:
Thank you for speaking with me today. Your insights were truly helpful and have confirmed my decision to gain additional work experience in the field before applying to graduate school.
I will regularly check the websites you suggested for job leads, and have already contacted the North American Marketing Association regarding membership.
I will follow up in the near future to let you know about my progress. Thank you again for your assistance.
John Smith (hard copy letter)
Email Example: Informational Interview Thank-You Letter
When sending your thank you as an email message, put your name and "thank you" in the subject line of the message:
Subject: Sara Yang - Thank You
Dear Mr. Johnson:
Thank you for meeting with me to discuss graphic design and all the exciting things you’re working on at J3 Creative. I’ll keep my eye on Instagram for the new campaign. It so kind of you to show me the work in progress!
I’m especially grateful for the heads up about the internship program. I’m going to start working on my application today. I’ll drop you a line when I submit my portfolio and be sure to let you know when I’m back in town on break.
Thank you again for your help and support.
If your informational interview leads to a good job lead or a job offer, you should send a follow-up thank-you letter to the person who gave you the interview.
How to Get the Most out of an Informational Interview
Sending a thank-you note after an informational interview is just the first step to making sure you get the most out of the experience. You should also set aside some time to think about how you would like to move forward given what you've learned.
Remember, the goal of the interview is to learn more about whether or not a particular company, job, or industry is a good fit for you. Setting aside time to reflect upon the interview will help you decide if it is a career path you want to pursue.
Contemplate the interview as soon as possible afterward, when your impressions are still fresh. Consider writing down answers to some of these questions. Even if you only write down brief notes, writing may help you process your thoughts.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your takeaways from the interview.
- What are the most important new facts and understandings that you have acquired?
- Do you think you would be satisfied with the situation your contact described?
- Do you think you would be dissatisfied with the same thing(s) your contact described as dissatisfying?
- What is your reaction to the number of hours and type of schedule (set/flexible) described?
- What is your reaction to the stresses and anxieties of this occupation? Do you want to deal with them?
- What do you think of the culture of the occupation and company (the work environment, the relationships between employees, etc.)? Does it sound like an environment in which you would like to work?
- What do you need to do to make yourself a competitive candidate?
- Have you changed your opinion of the occupation as a result of your interview?
- What misconceptions did you correct?
- Did any other big red flags come up about the occupation?