It’s crucial after you attend a college interview that you follow up, and sending a thank-you note shows manners, as well as cements their impression of you.
Sending a thank-you note can make a huge difference in the admissions process, and can make you stand out from the crowd – a very important factor in college admissions!
Make notes about the interview.
Immediately after you finish the interview, make a few quick notes while it’s fresh in your head. Write down what the interview told you to call them – Mr. X, or their first name, or a different title, such as doctor or general if appropriate. Take note of any important topics that were discussed – about the school, their experience in the school, questions you had that the interviewer was able to answer. Writing about a specific part of the conversation shows that you were paying attention, and gives you one last bonding opportunity with the interviewer.
Choose a format.
It is perfectly acceptable for thank-you notes to be emailed, but if you noticed that your interviewer embraces traditional matters, you may be better served by a physical note. If you send a physical note, choose a clean and simple notecard, write neatly in blue or black ink, and mail it as quickly as possible – you want it to reach them within days. For a thank-you email, wait a day or two, send it from a professional-appearing address, avoid internet slang, and double-check that there are no typos.
Thank them in the first paragraph.
The first paragraph should consist of a thank-you for the interviewer meeting with you. Mention one or two small factors about the interview that made the college look good – if you were on campus, were people helpful? Did the interview put you at ease? Did the interviewer show you the town near the college? Also, point out that you enjoyed the meeting and learning more about the university. This is a great place to recall a specific talking point, like how nice it was to meet a fellow Firefly fan or talk about the university with someone who appreciates the importance of the school’s tennis team.
Explain how the interview helped show that the school is a good fit for you in the second paragraph.
Use the second paragraph to explain why you think the school is a good fit for you and cement the idea that you’d be good for their school. Maybe you met with an alumnus who happens to know the first-chair cello player graduates in a year – bring up that you had hoped to continue playing the cello in college, and you’re excited to have the chance to try out for a spot in the orchestra and fill the hole left when the other student leaves. Did your interviewer tell you how the small and intimate class sizes led them to a deeper understanding of and passion for microbiology? Write how those smaller classes would be beneficial for your own pre-med studies and dream of becoming an infectious disease specialist. Use this opportunity to explain why this school is special to you, and how you’d fit into the campus community.
Wrap it up.
Just one more paragraph to wrap it up. Say thank you one last time, and mention that you hope you will run into them in the future, when you are attending the college. You don’t want to sound overly arrogant about your chances, but instead, hopeful because you genuinely believe you’re a good fit for the university.