You’ve finally finished your b-school interview and are looking forward to heading home, crossing this experience off your MBA application to-do list, and waiting to receive your acceptance letter. However, before you file the day away, it’s appropriate to send thank you notes to all of the people who helped you during the day.
Gratitude is key
A thank you email starts and finishes with gratitude. It follows a lot of the same rules as other correspondence – a greeting, a reason why you’re writing, body content, and a farewell. However, unlike other emails, a well-written thank-you can elicit an emotional response, create bonds, and nurture the development of relationships…and in this case, give you one more way to become a memorable b-school candidate.
How to create a memorable MBA interview thank you letter
Follow these 9 tips to write a post-MBA interview thank you note that will be remembered:
- Start with the right greeting.
Be sure to address the person formally. Use their appropriate title, like Dr. Smith, or Prof. Jones, or Ms. Johnson. Unless the person encouraged you to use their first name in the interview, show respect and use the more formal form of address in written correspondence
- Note the reason why you’re writing.
This comes right after the greeting. Make sure you state your reason for writing clearly.
“I’m writing to thank you for speaking with me on Monday.”
“I’m writing to thank you for the tour of the campus. ”
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- Explain how their help or thoughtfulness affected you personally.
Show your appreciation by illustrating how you benefited from the experience, for example by pointing out one thing that you learned.Write about the positive interaction you had with the person by specifically describing what it meant to you. If you do this well, the reader will value your honesty and take your compliments to heart.
- Show how you learned more about the program from the conversation.
Explain how the interview helped make your interest in the program even stronger. Give specific examples of how their contributions helped you better understand your target program and your goals. Did you discover something new about the program that you hadn’t known before? Did you find out about an exciting opportunity? Did the person share something in common with you that influenced how you now view your own positions or goals?
- Follow up with information you offered to provide or with any questions you have.
The adcom has noted any follow-ups needed. This is your opportunity to provide this information. Providing this data in your thank you note shows initiative and that you are truly interested in the program. You don’t want the adcom to have to run after you to get the necessary information.
This is also the place to ask any questions that occurred to you after your interaction with the person. Don’t make up a question to have something to ask – you don’t want to appear insincere.
- Provide relevant or necessary updates.
Squeeze in a last-minute point. If there’s something you wish you had said during your interview but didn’t, then you can make this point in a succinct paragraph at the end of your thank you note. This should be reserved for significant information.
This can include new publications, awards, or grades. Although you want to send your thank you note as soon as possible, if you have to wait a day or two to send a thank you that includes meaningful updates, it’s better to do so.
- Restate gratitude.
Be sure to state your gratitude in a different way at the end of the email.
- Make it short and sweet.
This is a thank you note, not a rehashing of your interview. Like all other documents, the adcoms will first skim your thank you and mentally note that you sent it. Make sure it’s short, sweet, and to the point.
- Check your spelling and grammar!
Be sure that your thank you email is grammatically correct. Check for spelling and grammar errors before you send it off. The goal of this letter is to impress the adcom, and poor grammar and spelling will NOT sit well – no matter how sincere your note is.
NOW you can wait
But while you’re waiting, please don’t dwell on the mistakes you may have made during your interview (or in other parts of your MBA application for that matter). You’re only human – yes, even you – and you may not have answered every interview question perfectly. You’ll probably think of better ways you could have answered the questions, a more sophisticated outfit you should have worn, or a more confident “Goodbye” you could have expressed as you turned to walk out of the interview.
Well, now you need to say goodbye, with as much confidence as possible, to your “could haves” and “should haves.” What’s done is done. It’s time to look ahead to the future and hope for the best.
Following these tips will assure that your thank you email is read, appreciated, and remembered, and will hopefully bring you one step closer to receiving that acceptance at your top choice MBA program!
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