After the Interview – Personalized Thank You Note

January 21, 2011 in PA Educators, Prospective PAs

On the way to my office this morning I walked by my mailbox. Therein sat a small card about 3×5 inches. What was it? A thank you note! At UW-Madison, we are in the midst of interviewing applicants for our upcoming class of students. As expected, I opened up the card to discover that it was sent by one of the candidates I recently had the privilege of interviewing. Upon finishing the final few words, having sat in my office chair during the brief read, I reclined back and reflected a bit about the candidate who’s signature lay neatly at the bottom. In my mind’s eye I could see his face. I could also remember the sound of his voice. I even began to recollect, albeit vaguely, some of the dialog that was exchanged as we sat across the table from each other ten days prior. I smiled. The thank you note had fulfilled its purpose!

Having recently launched the BETA version of PhysicianAssistantED.com, I began to think about Prospective PA Students who have been invited for an interview at a PA Program. Surely the question arises within their minds, “Should I send a Thank You note following the interview?” It was definitely something I thought about when I went through the process several years ago. This question naturally leads to other related questions: If I should send a thank you note, when? And what exactly should I say? Should I send it by email or should it be handwritten?  Will it even make a difference anyway?  They probably receive thank you notes all the time, perhaps I shouldn’t send one at all.

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8 responses to After the Interview – Personalized Thank You Note

  1. I’ve always wondered how interviewers really felt about thank you notes. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Some really good observations in this post! Yes, it is valuable to hear how interviewers feel about thank you notes. I think they are essential to completing the interview process and coming away with that feeling of “I completed my interview, I put my best foot forward and now it is in their hands.”

  3. A friend told me to send both an email thank you and follow up with a snail mail thank you too. Is this a good idea or would they feel that I was pestering them with too many thank you’s?
    I was also told to send a thank you to the director. However, I was not interviewed by the director. Should I send a thank you to the person who interviewed me, the program director, and the admissions director? Or would they be thinking, “what’s this?”

  4. Thank you notes are a good thing. Faculty, including the program director, will not think it’s weird that they were sent thank you notes.

  5. How personal do you suggest getting in the thank you note? I read another post where the person said to write a personalized touch ie. “I really liked when you asked me about this”. The interview I attended was pretty formal and the questions were not so personable. Is it okay to write – thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview for your program… add in some details about why I like the program… is it too forward to say I hope to join the program in the fall?

    I would like to send a thank you note to the 3 people I interviewed with, the program director, and the admissions director. I just want to make sure I don’t sound “desperate” for a spot but rather just a really nice short letter. Thank you!

  6. Given that you are typically not interviewed by only one person, would you send a card to each of the interviewers or to the director of admissions only, etc ???

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