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For an engineering class I'm taking, I've been interviewing experts in the field. The goal of these interview is to learn important information on our potential customers, find out more about the terminology to use, discuss previous solutions to the potential problems my group is tackling, and to find narrower problems within this field to design our solution around.

I recently finished an interview with an expert, so I want to follow up with them. During the interview, I was told that some questions I asked should be asked again in an email, so they can get back to me on the information.

How do I remind them of these questions while thanking them in the same email?

closed as too broad by Tinkeringbell, NVZ, JAD, Magisch, A J Dec 5 '17 at 1:39

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hi, SnowingSlightly, welcome to IPS! I'd recommend breaking this into two questions, one about how to add in those questions and one about addressing the interviewee. – HDE 226868 Dec 3 '17 at 1:51
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    I don't want to vote to close as "too broad". @SnowingSilently: can you please break this into separate questions? There's a lot of good info here for others. – baldPrussian Dec 3 '17 at 2:19
  • @baldPrussian do not hesitate to put a question on-hold. Temporary closure is a good thing, both for the OP and the community, to improve a question to meet the site standard. We just need to keep reminding that closure is temporary and is not the end of the world. – Vylix Dec 4 '17 at 3:27
  • I've edited your question to remove the "how to address ...", which will make this question too broad. I kept the first question because there is already an answer written to answer that. For your last question, this is a related question. – Vylix Dec 4 '17 at 3:34
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Don't make this hard. Be polite, but assume the person is busy and doesn't want to wade though 500 lines of pleasantries. So be terse and get to the point quickly. I'd write email, sit on it for a day and reread. Polite? terse? Ambiguous anywhere?

Start off email formally...

Dear Dr. XYZ,

Thank you for meeting with me on (date) about (whatever). yada yada

As per our conversation I'd like to follow up with you on the following questions which you couldn't answer off the top of your head.

Of course depending on the context of the original conversion different text might be necessary here. Did the expert say he'd have to look a number up, think about it in more detail, or did the interview simply run out of time? The point is to try to politely remind the expert of the how/why of the email being agreed upon. If you asking a new question so state. Don't assume because expert agreed to look up one number that he is obliged to answer 25 new questions.

  1. (list questions - I'd do it with numbers so that it would make reference easy...)

Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
John Smith


Regardless if they sign off the email with just their first name stay formal unless specifically asked to use first name in subsequent emails.


Point about numbering questions is to be able to say I didn't quite understand you answer to question 4. (whatever you didn't understand...)

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    Since the expert asked the OP to email the questions, I'd suggest saying that instead of the "which you couldn't answer..." language, which could come across wrong if he's forgotten. It's worked for me (on both sides of the email), for what that's worth. – Monica Cellio Dec 3 '17 at 4:16
  • @MonicaCellio - Yes, I'd agree that might work better depending on the context of the original conversion. Did the expert say he'd have to look a number up, think about it, or did the interview run out of time? – MaxW Dec 3 '17 at 4:36
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    Max, that sounds like something you might want to edit into your answer. – Monica Cellio Dec 3 '17 at 4:42
  • Perhaps add that you should check whether someone is a doctor first before addressing them as such. Completely agree about being to the point, no one wants to read through paragraphs when they're short on time - makes it much more likely that they'll say "I'll come back to that when I'm less busy..." and then you'll either have to pester them for the answers or wait until they retire. – Lio Elbammalf Dec 3 '17 at 8:27

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