Post an interview, the applicant’s ‘Residency interview Thank you communication’ certainly matters. Studies conducted across different fields suggest that the chances of an applicant moving up in ranking are higher if they take the time to thank the interviewer after their residency interview. Similarly, an applicant can be moved down on the basis of the lack of their thank you etiquettes. Therefore, a strategically timed and well-written thank you note can certainly give the applicants an edge. So, what is this specific content in a thank you letter that is vital for good communication? Read on to find out more:
What is a residency interview thank you letter?
Everyone works hard before their residency interview and is nervous about performing well. However, your work is not over once the interview is done. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that you make an unforgettable impression. This is where the residency interview thank you letter comes to your rescue.
A thank you letter once your interview is done can help you achieve many different purposes. It can help you acknowledge the various nuances of the procedure in front of the interviewing committee. It will also be a token of your appreciation for the members in the interview panel who can be your future mentors and peers. Including these personal details in your thank you letter will show the interviewers that you were attentive throughout the interview process.
Even though this letter is not a necessary requirement, but writing a residency interview thank you letter depicts your determination to succeed. It shows your dedication towards being a part of the program. This will certainly put you in the race to success.
When to send a residency interview thank you letter?
Regardless of how good you were at your interview, you have to remember that the other candidates are just as good as you, if not better. So, other than making a great impression on the interview panel, it is important that you let them know how eager you are to join the program in rank time.
The rule of thumb suggests that it is best to send the letter within a period of 48 hours after your interview. This is ideal since it will make sure that your letter arrives within a week of your interview date.
How to write a residency interview thank you letter?
There are two primary ways of writing a thank you note- by email and by post. Which should you choose?
If you are privy to the information that the interview panel will come to a decision shortly, then it is best to write an email. This is because they are quicker. Emails also have an advantage as they allow the possibility of getting a reply. However, one must keep in mind that even though emails are fasters, they come with the risk of getting lost as spam among the many emails a person receives each day.
On the contrary, if you have enough time, then writing a handwritten thank you letter is a more suitable option. For this, you need legible handwriting. If your handwriting is difficult to read, then type out the letter instead. Use clear formatting to make it look formal.
We have discussed this in even greater detail in the following sections-
Things to say in your residency interview thank you letter:
It is paramount that you keep the thank you letter precise and formal, ensuring that it has only one or two paragraphs at the most. Longer letters are more likely to be ignored in the sea of letters received by the interview committee. Take the opportunity to describe the highlights of the interview while insisting on how interested you are in being a part of the program. Furthermore, do not forget to thank the interviewer for giving you the opportunity and for giving you their time. Reaffirm how you would be keen to see them again.
Mentioned below are some topics you can discuss in your thank you letter:
- Remind the interviewer of your date of the interview and thank them for their time
- The people you met during the interview
- Remind the interviewers of your area of interest in the program
- The positive experiences you gained from the interview
- Interesting topics discussed during the interview
- Address questions you might have about the program
- Ask questions about the specialty of an interviewer that interests you
- Convey with utmost sincerity how you will be a good fit for the program
Things to avoid saying in your residency interview thank you letter:
Since this is a formal thank you letter there are certain things you must avoid mentioning in order to avoid rubbing the interviewers the wrong way.
Mentioned below are some of the things one must not bring up in their residency interview thank you letter-
- Avoid negative comments about the interview or the program
- Avoid making complaints
- Do not mention the benefits of the program such as the fewer working hours or paid leaves etc
- Avoid talking about rankings in the letter
Who to send the residency interview thank you letter to?
The thank you letters must be addressed to everyone you met during the interview, including the program directors, the administrators alongside any residents who were a major part of the interview process. You can begin by saying, “I would like to begin by thanking all the faculty members who interviewed me.”
Remember to ask the program administrator for the contact information including the email address of each member in the interview panel. In case that you do not have the contact information of somebody present during the interview process, you can seek that information from the program administrator via email. You can even ask the program administrator to forward your email to that interviewer. Follow the template for this- “Dear (Program Administrator), I enjoyed my conversation with Dr. (Name of the interviewer) on the day of the interview. I would be glad if you could please forward my email to them as a token of my appreciation for their time.”
Why is it important to write a residency interview thank you letter?
Some people might be bewildered as to why writing a thank you letter after your residency interview is such a big deal. Well, the simple answer lies in the fact that those who travel the extra mile are usually the ones who ultimately succeed. In an interview, there are multiple factors that can determine whether or not you get selected during the interview. Therefore, it is important to stand out. Additionally, thanking the interviewing committee for the pains taken by them in conducting the interview sets you apart as a compassionate individual apart from being a dedicated candidate.
Each candidate wants to succeed and the competition is tough. Hence, you ought to grab every opportunity you can to get selected. After all, these programs add a great amount of merit to your professional life and are also worth a lot of money. They are also an investment that you make towards your future, making the need to excel in them a necessity. A simple thank you note like this one can help you travel the distance between a mere candidate to an individual who gets to be a part of their dream program.
Templates for the residency interview thank you letter:
Hello, Dr. [NAME of the interviewer],
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview at [THE PROGRAM NAME]. From yesterday’s resident social event to today’s presentations, I’ve been completely impressed by what [THE PROGRAM NAME] has to offer. In particular, I find [the program specifics] extremely appealing, and will be using that as a yardstick for viewing other programs during this interview season. As someone with an interest in______________, I can easily imagine myself here.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the interview season, and look forward to hearing back from you!
[Your Full Name]
Hello, Dr. [Name of the interviewer],
It was great meeting you on Thursday. I am really excited about the numerous opportunities for______________ in your program. ________is a skill I’ve been extremely proactive about acquiring in my time at the med school. It is also something I would like to further devote my time to developing during my residency training.
I had a couple of questions about the ____________program:
- Are there opportunities to teach medical students _______skills?
- OTHER SUCH QUESTIONS______________
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you!
All the best,
[Your Full Name]
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on__________ (interview day) last week. It was such a pleasure getting to know you and your team. I particularly enjoyed hearing about [specific thing you talked about]. This, along with the [another specific attribute to this program], has really influenced me regarding my decision of the _________________ University’s ____________________ (The Residency program).
Thank you again for the opportunity to interview with you. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the future.
[Your Full Name]
Dear Program Director:
I wish to thank you for the invitation to interview with _______________ PROGRAM on _____________(Date). Since our meeting on __________________ (Date), I have completed my interview procedure. I would like to seize this opportunity to convey my gratefulness for your time and express my sincerest interest in your program.
Your program has all the elements of an excellent residency – a ______________( describe and individualize the strengths of the program for you here).
After my conversation with you and the faculty, I have had the opportunity to take a deeper look at your program. I am delighted to say that I will be keen on joining the___________________ PROGRAM. [Here is just an example but there are many other ways to express your interest in a program].
I am hopeful that during my interview process I was able to express my desire to become a highly successful and motivated member of your_____________________. I wish that you will consider me for a residency position. If you require any additional information, please let me know. Again, thank you very much for the invitation.
(You full name)
Dear Dr.(Name of the interviewer),
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity on _____________(Date) to sit for the interview. I was very delighted with the residency program at___________________(Name of University). Other than being a huge admirer of the program’s commitment towards teaching, I also have a deep appreciation for _________________. It would give me the opportunity to pursue my interest in ______________________through the various aspects of the program. I also enjoyed comparing notes on (details from the interview)_______________, and I hope__________________________________________________. I think I would really enjoy living in (the city of the program)____________ and feel I would be a great fit for your program. It would be honor for me to train with you and I hope we can work together in the future. [This is just an example. Personalize the letter using details of your conversation during the interview process with different members of the interview panel].
(Your full name)
In a Nutshell
A residency interview thank you letter is perhaps the easiest and the best way to follow up with an interview experience. It gives you an opportunity to express your genuine excitement to be a part of the program. It enables you to show the interview committee how eager you are to join their residency team. A few simple and honest words are all you need to show your enthusiasm, as well as your gratefulness to the interviewer. A thank you letter is certainly the ideal way to send that message across.