When your job application gets a response from an employer, you must get back to them quickly and with enthusiasm.
Here are a few examples of how to respond to an interview request:
Gina Curtis, SHRM-CP, aPHR
Executive Recruiting Manager, JMJ Phillip Group | Executive Trainer, Employment BOOST
Here are a few points:
- When you are applying for jobs, make sure to check your email regularly.
- If you get a request for an interview, reply promptly and try to make yourself available for any times they suggest, if possible.
- Keep the email professional, to the point, and confirm the time, phone number, or address so there is no confusion.
- Double-check your spelling before sending and always make sure to include a greeting and salutation at the end.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am available for a phone interview on Tuesday, September 10th at 4 pm. I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I am looking forward to speaking with you then.
Career Adviser | Hiring Manager, Resume Companion
The smaller parts of the email matters
The initial email you send to a hiring manager about a job is always the most stressful, so sometimes the smaller parts of professional correspondence — like the all-important interview request-response — fly under the radar. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as important.
Employers look at every step of the interview and hiring process when forming an opinion about you as a candidate, so sending an impolite or overly delayed response can leave a bad taste in their mouth, and potentially hurt your chances of being hired.
In order to nail it, here’s a quick overview of everything that should be included in a professional interview request-response email:
- Formally address the email (i.e. Dear Mr./Mrs.).
- Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity.
- Confirm the date and time for the interview (or propose a different time if need be).
- Inquire about any additional materials you should bring.
- Close with a proper salutation (i.e. “sincerely,” “regards”).
- Reiterate your name and phone number.
The response should be brief but polite
Ultimately, your interview request-response email should be brief — no more than a couple of short paragraphs — but polite.
For reference, here’s an example of a professional interview request-response email:
Dear Mr. Tambor,
Thank you for inviting me to the interview for the Brand Strategist position at RedFin Media. I appreciate your consideration and I look forward to meeting you soon!
As per your availability, I would like to schedule the interview for Thursday, the 16th at 2:00 pm. Please let me know if that time works for you as well.
Aside from my resume, are there any additional materials I should bring with me to the interview?
I look forward to learning more about the opportunities at RedFin. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Send a response immediately
The other thing that makes a great interview request response is promptness. Hiring managers typically have to schedule numerous interviews each week, so any delays or loose ends can be highly inconvenient.
Responding quickly (typically within a day) makes their job easier, and guarantees that you get the best choice of interview times.
Keeping them waiting on your response, however, not only inconveniences the hiring manager but makes you look unreliable and aloof as well — not good qualities for a potential hire.
Alex R. Strathdee
Solutions Consultant | Co-Author, Experience Over Degrees | Podcast Host, Practically Passionate
You did it. After months of revising that resume, attending career fairs, and creating countless connections on LinkedIn, the interview request arrives.
But what do you say back? Do you go with a more formal approach? Do you keep it casual? Do you pretend to be busier then you are? All fair questions. There are 100 ways to overthink this so don’t, and just keep it simple!
Tailor your response to the company culture and your relationship with the individual who emailed you
Today there is a trend to hire for character and train the skills later so if you’ve built your brand on being personable, don’t sound robotic in your reply. Stay true to the brand you’ve built with them.
If possible, be always available
There’s no need to write a paragraph if two sentences will do the trick. If they’ve suggested times and you’re able to make one, simply reply that it works for you. Then finish with a kind sentence that shows you’re excited to speak with them.
Tuesday the 17th at 3 pm works great. I’m looking forward to getting to learn more about company X and your role within.
If none of the times work for you and there’s no flexibility to move your schedule around then just say that and be polite.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to make any of the suggested times. I am excited to interview with your company so please let me know if there are any other times available for next week. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience!
Be nice and enthusiastic
Lastly, niceties cannot be stressed enough. Make sure you’re showing your excitement to speak with the firm and be respectful of their time. That’s it. Now go kill that interview!
Founder, Byte by Byte
Ask about next steps and understand exactly what is expected of you
Often times, I see people not clarify any details because they’re nervous to ask. However, when someone reaches out to you, this is your opportunity to learn more about what will be expected from you. Likely the person reaching out will be your point of contact, so ask them any relevant questions.
Hi (First Name),
Thank you for reaching out. I’m super excited to have the opportunity to interview with (Company Name). Here are the days/times I’m available: X, Y, Z.
Before I come into the interview, I’d love to know a little more about what I should prepare. Are there any specific sorts of questions I should plan to answer during the interview? Is there any particular experience of mine that I should plan to focus on?
I look forward to working with you through this process.
Job Search Coach | Owner, Briefcase Coach
The best way to respond to a recruiter request for an interview is quickly and professionally
If you wait too long (even 48 hours in some cases), the recruiter could have scheduled all of the candidates and moved on.
It’s also important to inquire who you will be interviewing with so that you can properly research the opportunity and the individuals interviewing you.
You want to be able to prepare a meaningful small talk and having their names will give you the change to review their online presence.