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June 03, 2020
Tips and Guides

How to Respond to an Employer Interview Request

Interview Sample hero

By Calendly

When you're job hunting, impressions matter.  You dress the part. You update and polish your resume. You research every hiring company and tailor your cover letter for each application.

If you'd like to jump to some examples of good interview request email responses, be our guest.

And you know that each communication with a recruiter or hiring manager matters — even one as seemingly minor as an email.

The email communications you send to a hiring professional are crucial to securing a position, especially in the interview phase of the hiring process. 

Why? Because it can take as little as seven seconds for recruiters to form an impression of a candidate. Your initial email response to an interview invitation might be the first time the company has a direct, back-and-forth exchange with you, so you want it to count.

You want your email response to set you up in a positive light before your interview. Below are useful tips to help you remain professional when replying to an interview invitation through email. Two sample outlines are also provided to help you get a better idea of how to craft your own interview invite response.

Tips on replying to an email interview invitation

The most effective ways to stay professional in your email response to an interview invitation are to reply promptly and politely while keeping your email formal and error free.

Be timely with your response

The interview process takes an average of nearly 23 days to complete. Time is money for businesses. Employers want to be able to move through an already lengthy interview process as quickly as they can. Make it easy for them by responding promptly to any communication they send your way.

Respond as soon as you receive the invitation. Your response should be sent in a matter of hours — not days. Take the time you need to check your schedule, write out a polite response and read over your email to catch any errors. Then send your reply to the interview invitation as soon as possible.

A prompt reply shows employers that you're serious about the position, and it will help them in speeding along a tedious process on their end.

Be courteous but concise

You always want to show gratitude for being selected for an interview. 

Do this by remaining formal in your reply and thanking the recruiter within the first sentence of the body of your email. You can also add a sentence near the end that echoes your gratitude, e.g., "Again, I appreciate this opportunity to meet with you."

One thing to keep in mind, however, is not to gush. You want to keep your response short, as hiring managers have to get through many emails and scheduling tasks at this point in the process. This gives you only a sentence or two to work with when it comes to thanking the employer.

A concise and gracious email response is always noticed by an employer when they're searching for someone to represent their company in the future. 

Use proper formatting

All email replies to interview invitations should follow formal formatting and include:

  • A salutation

  • Body

  • Closing

  • Email signature with contact information

When considering the salutation and closing, remember to err on the side of formal. "Dear" and "sincerely" may sound standard, but they get the job done. They also eliminate any guesswork when you're uncertain about how to address your contact.

Another important point to remember with the salutation is to always address the right person (not just the company's general email address, for instance) and to use the correct title before your contact's name.

Next, you'll want to keep the body of your email brief and to the point, writing only around two short paragraphs in total. Confirm the appointment with your appointment manager time or suggest alternative times if you absolutely cannot get out of a scheduling conflict. This is not the time to bring in extra information or questions — that can all be addressed at the actual interview.

Finally, after the closing, be sure to include your full name and an email signature. Your signature consists of a few lines after your name with important contact information, including:

  • Email address

  • Phone number

  • Website or LinkedIn profile if relevant and current

Other optional elements you may want to include in your signature might be your current position, place of employment and physical address. 

Your signature gives the employer a quick and easy way to find your contact information, even if it's already on your resume. Making the recruiter's job as painless as possible should be a top priority throughout the interview process.

Stay savvy with interview scheduling tools

Employers are moving toward interview scheduling tools to compliment traditional email. In fact, interviewing tools were mentioned as one of five top trends in the future of recruiting by LinkedIn.

With more and more companies adopting these innovative technologies, it's important to stay updated on the latest tools and be familiar with them when they’re used by potential employers.

Calendly is one example of an interview scheduling tool that allows employers and candidates to connect effortlessly and find a time to meet by using a built-in scheduler. 

Interview sample asset

Calendly interview invitation sample

interview email asset inline

Calendly interview scheduler example

Modern scheduling platforms typically provide an option for you to add a comment, ask a question or give your feedback. This space is always a great place to add a quick comment about how you appreciate being considered for the job. There is no need to confirm the date, however, as the tool will automatically take care of this step.

When presented with a different form of communication to schedule an interview, always meet the employer where they are by using the technology they are using. 

Check for errors

Before sending your reply to an interview invitation via email, be sure to read over your message to catch any typos or mistakes.

Reading your response out loud can help you slow down enough to recognize an error. You can also copy and paste your work into a spell or grammar-checking tool to play it safe.

Even though it's just a short email response, it's important to comb through your language as carefully as you did on your resume and cover letter to ensure you're sending a clean and clear message to the recruiter.

Reply to interview invitation: email sample

Need a more concrete example? See the following sample email responses to an interview invitation for you to use as an outline:

Confirmation email sample

Subject: Managerial Staff Position / [Your name]

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you for the invitation to interview with [company name]. I want to confirm that I will be available to meet with you on Saturday, August 30 at 9:30 a.m. 

I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you and am looking forward to learning more about the position.

Sincerely,

[Your full name]

[Email signature]

Notice how short the email is. It answers the main question, confirms the date and time and shows gratitude for the invitation, but it does this in only a few quick sentences. 

This is just what a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for. This general format is effective when replying to interview invitation emails. It lets you make a good impression and it makes communication easy for recruiters to review.

Scheduling conflict email sample

Subject: Editor-in-Chief Position / [Your name]

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you very much for the interview opportunity with [company name].

I'm looking forward to meeting with you; however, I have a scheduling conflict on the date that you requested. Please let me know if any of the following dates work for you: [List available dates.]

Thank you again for your consideration, and I apologize for any inconvenience. 

Sincerely,

[Your full name] 

[Email signature] 

In this example, you are acknowledging the conflict while presenting options for remedying the situation. It shows that you are interested in the position and able to troubleshoot effectively.

The hiring manager will appreciate your honesty, timeliness and willingness to work to find a solution that works for all parties.

One point to remember

Don't overthink this process. While you want to remain professional and adhere to the proper etiquette, it's also important to relax and be yourself when responding to an interview invitation. 

As long as you're clear, concise and polite, you'll accomplish the task and set a good tone for your upcoming interview.

If you're looking for more insight on how to prepare for scheduling interviews, meetings and more, check out this guide on the best Google Calendar hacks for productivity.

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