When you walk away from the college interviewer with the goal of transferring universities or applying for the first time, you may breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s not over. Yes, you may have more interviews, but I mean, it’s not over with this interview either. You need to have follow-up, follow-through, the last word!
Follow up is polite and it demonstrates that you have a surety and confidence that allows you to stand out from everyone else. Also maintaining contact with an agent of the college you are applying to can give you a leg-up.
The Thank You Note
You have made a visit with someone. Etiquette requires that you write a thank you note.
Start with the essentials, and then you will be set up to write these notes after any interview you may have. You should make sure you have the person’s name and their address before leaving the interview. Keep a list. Then you should acquire a box of 20 note cards and envelopes which are plain and either white or ivory. Hand write your thank you note. Use either black or blue ink.
Wait—can you email a thank you note? In today’s world it is acceptable to email thank yous, but it is a little classier and more personal to write. It is more likely, too, that a note will be placed in your folder, making you a little more interesting when the admissions people review your application!
What does a thank you note look like? Here’s a sample:
August 23, 2007
43 Grand Avenue
Deluth, MN 06604
Office of Admissions
430 Stetson Hall
Albequerie, NM 77302
Dear Ms Cranston,
This note is to thank you for our interview last week. I appreciated visiting campus and seeing the grounds and buildings for myself. Everyone was very helpful. I also enjoyed meeting you; you really helped me through one of my first interviews and put me at ease. It was nice to find out someone else likes a good horror film once in a while.
I am very interested in Dinsmore College. It seems like a good fit for me, especially the small classes and personal attention students seem to get at Dinsmore. I think that kind of community atmosphere will be a good learning environment.
Thank you again. Perhaps we will meet once more if I am lucky enough to be a student at your college next fall.
Obviously this note would fit for an on-campus interview. What if your interview was with another student or a recent graduate of a college and took place in a town near where you live? Then the note might look something like the following:
August 17, 2007
53 N Street
Bolton, CO 99760
45 Michigan Ave
Denver, CO 99660
It was nice of you to meet me so close to my home. Luckily, after visiting the University of Ohio campus last spring, it was helpful not to have to travel that far again. I enjoyed talking with you, and you gave me some good information about your experience at Ohio U.
I am strongly considering going to Ohio U if I am accepted. I like the feel of the campus and the diversity of people and programs it offers. Maybe I’ll even meet some of the professors you mentioned.
I hope the rest of your summer gores well.
NOTE: If you write an email, you can eliminate the inside address (the address of the person to whom you are writing) and the salutation (Dear Ms So-and-so), and put your address and telephone number after your name at the end of the letter.
Every letter (or email) will differ, but there are three elements should have: a thank you, a personal note, and an interest expressed in the college the interviewer represents.
Further Follow Up
It is also a good tactic to keep the person you interviewed with as a future contact for further information or another line of communication.
Why? What if you want to know something about the school after you have been accepted. What if you are deferred? What if you need another person to help you plan your course schedule? There are any number of possible times you might want another person to call upon to underline your interest in the school or to find out about something that is not easy to get information about.
People are what helps anyone cut through red tape or make a lasting and favorable impression. You may even want to ask the interviewer to help you improve your interview skills in general. You never know, and if you don’t ask, you won’t get any help.