Receiving a job interview invitation in your inbox is a big deal. After weeks, perhaps even months, of applying for jobs, you have finally reached the exciting next step.
At this stage, you want to effectively respond to the interview request. While you have already gotten your foot in the door, so to speak, it’s important that this first point of contact be professional, clear and concise and leave the company with the impression that they extended the interview offer to the right person.
This guide will help you respond to the email invitation right.
The first step is to simply read the email carefully. This keeps you from asking questions that have already been answered and it can give you some important information into how the interview will be conducted. For example, the email might mention how many people you will be interviewing with and whether this will be a meet-the-team interview. They might have already provided the address, directions or any special instructions, so take note of this.
In an initial response to the interview invitation email, you want to be brief. This demonstrates to your interviewer that you have respect for his or her time. This response is not a place to go over your qualifications again or try and inject too much personality. They have already seen this in your cover letter and have been impressed enough to invite you in for an interview.
They will get a more vivid first impression when you actually come in for the interview, so just stick to the basics in this response email. Throughout this email, you want to adopt a formal and professional tone. You also want to thank the interviewer for their interest and for the opportunity. This is simple common courtesy and part of how to respond to an email professionally.
In this initial email, the interviewer has likely done one of two things: they have either suggested a date and time for the interview meeting or asked when you will be available. If the interviewer has already requested a date and time, you need to check your schedule and ensure you can make it at that time. Be sure to put the interview in your calendar so it won’t slip your mind. If their suggested date and time does not work for you, do what you can to alter your schedule to accommodate them. If that is not possible, politely suggest alternative times or days when you would be available.
You should always research the company and understand the company’s culture beforehand. While you should not ask questions you either already have the answer to or can find by doing a little digging, there are many cases where you may have legitimate questions that need clarifying. These questions can be asked in this response email. Make sure they are relevant to this stage of the hiring process, such as where the interview is to take place, where you should park and if any supplementary materials besides your resume should be brought to the interview. For example, this could include portfolio samples or additional information the hiring manager might want.
Here is a good sample response to interview invitation:
“Dear Mr./Ms. [Use their name here if at all possible],
Thank you for inviting me to interview for the position of [position title] at [company]. (This confirms what you are interviewing for and will prevent mix-ups.) I truly appreciate the opportunity.
I am available to interview on [date and time]. I understand the interview will take place at [company office], located at [address]. (You can also ask where the interview will take place if they have not yet told you or given you an address.) [Ask any additional questions here.]
Please let me know if the interview date, time and location work for you. I look forward to meeting with you. If you need to contact me, my phone number is [phone number] and my email is [email].
Thank you,[Your name]”
Be sure to proofread the email carefully before sending and that you have no embarrassing or unprofessional email signature attached. You can ask a friend, spouse or family member to look the message over for you if you would feel more comfortable having a second set of eyes look at your writing. Once that is complete, you can go ahead and send the email. Then it’s time to begin your meeting preparation and wait for the big day.
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Caroline is a writer with years of experience in business administration. She enjoys meeting new people and reading more books to get inspired for her own book. Connect with her on Twitter.