Career Coach, Professional Resume Writer, Freelance Writer
Job interviews are an inevitable part of any job search. So, handling them well is key to building a fulfilling career. Regardless of whether you’re looking at a more junior role or strive for a role as a business executive, you need to maintain your professionalism every step of the way in order to stay in the game.
Your invitation to a job interview is your first chance at establishing a professional one-to-one rapport with the company. At this stage, you already know the company liked your resume and your cover letter. Now, you just need to build on that by responding to their interview request promptly and professionally.
Here we discuss how to respond to an interview request and how to make the best possible impression in the process.
Why Responding to an Interview Request is Important?
You’re probably one of a dozen, if not more, shortlisted candidates who got invited to an interview. You have to use every opportunity to stand out from the crowd and build on that good first impression.
When hiring, companies assess every interaction they have with a candidate. Even though the job interview is key when it comes to your assessment, the way you interact with the business outside of the interview process also plays a big role in how you’re perceived as a candidate.
What Should be Your Interview Request Response Time?
According to SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, it usually takes 36 days for a company to fill a position. That’s a big investment on the part of the business to find the right person.
In this context, responding promptly to the interview invitation not only leaves a good impression on your potential employer, but it also speeds up the recruitment process. When you receive the coveted job interview invitation, try to respond within a few hours. If not in a few hours, definitely be sure to respond on the same day.
7 Steps to Respond to an Interview Request
Prepare Your Reply
Before replying to the interview invitation, read through the job description once again. You’ll want to make sure you have all necessary information at hand. Keep your reply courteous and to the point. Add your name and the job title you’re applying for in the subject line so that the hiring manager can easily see what your email is about.
Don’t Forget to Ask Follow-Up Questions
Follow-up questions aren’t necessary if you don’t have any, but make sure that you ask thoughtful questions if there’s anything you’re unsure of. For instance, if you’re doing an in-person interview, you could ask what materials you should bring to the interview or if you need to prepare anything in advance. You can also ask about the next steps in the hiring process or when they’re looking to make a decision.
Follow Appropriate Guidelines
This is the time to show off your attention to detail. Make sure that you follow any guidelines you’ve been given in your response. For instance, sometimes companies might add a keyword in their guidelines. Then, they’ll ask candidates to add that keyword to their subject line to test their attention to detail. Make sure you read through all materials you’ve been given and follow any instructions to the T.
Sign Off Professionally with Your Contact
Some companies might be more informal, whereas others might follow a very formal code of conduct. Here it’s best to err on the side of caution and observe all formalities in your reply. Make sure you sign off professionally with “sincerely” or “kind regards”, followed by your full name, telephone number and a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile.
Confirm Your Every Detail
When confirming your interview details, don’t assume that the date format or time zone is the same as the one you’re used to, especially if you’re applying with an international company. Unless this is clearly stated, always confirm these details in your response. Likewise, if the hiring manager hasn’t offered any specific time slots, reply with a few slots that work for you to avoid email ping pong. Finally, if the interview is on-site, then make sure you are clear on the exact location where the interview is taking place.
Confirm Interview Logistics
Depending on whether it’s an online or in-person interview, confirm all the details you need to get to the interview on time. Do you need to use a specific software for the interview? Is there a code you need to use to gain access to the parking lot of the building? Interviews can be stressful, so don’t leave anything to chance here.
Try to Reply as Soon as Possible
Prompt response is a key ingredient of professionalism. If you’re late responding to a job interview invitation, how would you handle client emails if you’re hired? That’s the thought process the hiring manager would go through.
If possible, try to respond within the first few hours upon receiving the invitation. This will also give you a chance to choose a time slot that’s most convenient for you and perhaps get a job offer in record time.
Best Three Interview Request Email Respond Template
Let’s look at a few examples of what your response might look like. Please be mindful of what salutation you use. For example, in countries like Germany or Austria, more formal salutations would be a normal part of their written communication. Also, remember that whether you decide to open your email with “Hi [First Name]” or “Dear Mr./Mrs. [Last Name]” depends on the company’s corporate culture. The easiest way to decide how to address them is to see how they’d addressed you in their email and mirror that.
Subject: [Your Name] - [Job Role] Interview Confirmation Hi [Recruiter’s Name], Thank you for reaching out. I’d love to interview for [job role] at [company name]. This week I’m available at [time and date] or [time and date] if any of these slots work for you? Could you please let me know if this would be an online or in-person interview? Also, please let me know if you need any more details from my end ahead of our chat. Thank you once again and I look forward to discussing the role with you in more detail. Kind regards, [Your full name]
Dear Mr. [Last Name], Thank you very much for your invitation to interview for [job role]. I would be delighted to proceed with the next steps, so please let me know what’s the most convenient time for you. This week I’m available at [time and date] or any day after [date]. As per your request, I’m also attaching my resume for your review. Please let me know if you need anything else from my end. Sincerely, [Your Full Name]
Hi [Recruiter Name], Thank you for your consideration. I’d be happy to join you for a video call to discuss the position further. I’m available this week at [time and date] or [time and date] if any of these are convenient for you. Otherwise, please let me know what works for you and I’ll try to accommodate that. As per your request, I’m sending you the contact details for my references. My notice period at my current job is one month. Please let me know if you need any additional information. Kind regards, [Your Full Name]
Frequently Asked Questions on Interview Request Respond
How to respond if an employer asks you follow-up questions
Sometimes employers might use the invitation to an interview as a way to get more information from you, like your salary expectations, notice period or particular work experience. It’s important that you’re honest here, but also strategic about how you respond.
For instance, if you’re asked about salary expectations you might shoot yourself in the foot if you ask for a lower salary than what they were prepared to pay. Depending on how you feel about the position, you can either leave out answering this until the interview or offer a salary range.
How to respond if an employer asks you to email to schedule an interview
The samples provided above should give you a good roadmap for drafting your email response. In general, make sure that your response moves the conversation forward as much as possible without being too wordy. When responding, add a few time and date suggestions for the interview, provide any additional information they might have asked you for and confirm the logistics around the interview process.
How do you respond to a request for a phone interview?
Phone interviews are an important screening step before companies decide to invest in an in-person interview. You can reply to the invitation for a phone interview similarly as an in-person interview and confirm the time, date as well as the best telephone number to reach you at.
Getting an invitation to a job interview can be an exciting part of your job search. It not only affirms that you’ve made a good first impression in your application, but it gives you a glimpse into your potential, new career.
It’s important that you take the time to respond to the invitation promptly and professionally. Things like your availability and enthusiasm for the job should be enough to get you to the next phase. Don’t forget that, when hiring, employers are assessing your every little interaction so make sure that this one counts!