Recruiters do not just see your resume and hire you immediately. They typically would want to hear from you through an interview, whether it is physical or over the internet. Interviews may have evolved over the years, but it is not going away anytime soon.
The thing is, interviews do not come often. Only a handful of applicants get invited to the interview, so it is normal to find a lot of tense candidates when they find out they have been called to the interview. Even though this is pretty normal, it is one of the leading causes for lousy performance, starting from forgetting to respond to the interview request or saying the wrong things in the reply.
Responding to interview requests from recruiters does not always have to be at the early stage after submitting your resume since there can be as many as three interviews before a candidate is offered a job. Every interview request deserves a befitting response.
So how do you respond to these interview requests in the best way that will already start building your case as the best candidate for the role? This is what we’ll be focusing on in this article—showing you how to respond when you get an interview invite and examples of responses you can use.
What Does an Interview Request Entail?
First of all, an interview request is a message from recruiters letting a candidate know they’d like to move forward by undergoing an interview with the candidate. This message is usually through email, but it can also be through a phone call if you provide your phone number in your application.
An interview request message is typically short and to the point but, more often than not, will contain more than just the call to an interview. It is vital to pay attention while reading this message, so you don’t miss any information. It is best to read the message a couple of times, so pick up everything.
Here is some information you may find in your interview request apart from the request to participate in an interview:
- Name of the Interviewer: You may get the name of the interviewer included in the request. This piece of information is valuable as you can do extensive research on the person, which will not only help you answer the question during the interview better but also quickly build rapport.
- Location or Method of Interview: You may find that the location of the interview is included. Typically the location is the company premises. The method of the interview will determine the location that can be used. Interviews can be virtual where the interview is conducted via zoom or any video messaging platform. The pandemic further enhanced this method. The method can also be via phone or the traditional physical interview.
- Proposed Date and Time: The recruiters can go ahead and provide you with the proposed date and time of the interview. When coupled with the method or location of the interview, you can successfully attend your interview.
- Request to know when You’re Free: As against giving you a date and time, sometimes recruiters leave it open to the candidate and ask when they’re free and would like to have the interview.
- Request for Supporting Documents: In some other cases, recruiters would also want to see more documents and so will include a request for the type of document to your interview request
How to Respond to an Interview Request
“Hello there, we like what we have seen so far, and we’d like to schedule an interview with you on ….”
What do you do at this point? Pump your first into the air, pull up some non-existent dance moves, call up your best friend and let them know the new development and then go ahead to prepare for the scheduled interview date. Sounds good, right? I mean, you’ve just about covered everything. Everything except one quite important detail – you forgot to respond to the invite.
In our excitement of receiving an interview invite, many of us forget to reply to that message. Other times, candidates do not even realize they are supposed to respond.
Apart from your resume, this is the first contact between you and the recruiters and is the first semi-informal opportunity to impress the recruiters and build your case. Remember what they say about first impressions? Yea, that!
So without further ado, here’s how to respond to that interview request:
#1. Pay Attention to the Request
When you receive an interview invite, the first thing you should do is read the message carefully or listen attentively if the request is via phone. The aim is so you don’t miss out on any information. This is even more important when the invite is coming through a phone call as you do not have the luxury of going back to check its content.
You want to pick out all the critical information and questions in the invite.
#2. Respond as Soon as Possible
There’s no room for the delay here, recruiters typically have a lot of applications to sieve through, and several other candidates may have also received the invite. If you do not reply on time, you risk getting overlooked as the recruiter may move on to others.
You may also give the idea that you do not value time and may struggle with deadlines. If you’re applying for roles, you should regularly check your email so you don’t miss out on an invite.
#3. Keep Your Tone Professional
Remember, this is part of landing a job, and till you’ve gotten the job, you’re constantly being evaluated. With this in mind, you want to maintain a high level of professionalism even while responding to an interview invite.
Keep your tone of voice professional and avoid the use of slang, emojis, and emoticons.
#4. Thank the Hiring Manager for their Consideration
Now, we’re done with the preparation stage. We can move on to the actual content and how to structure it. The first thing you should say or write is to thank the hiring manager for considering you for the role.
Showing appreciation is essential. You don’t have to go off a tangent eulogizing, but a simple thank you for going through my application and considering me would suffice.
#5. Show Your Interest or Lack of it
If you’re interested in the role, you want to provide your availability. Let the recruiter know when you’ll be available. If you’re not interested in the role, especially when the invite comes without sending in any application, you should politely decline with a short explanatory message.
#6. Answer All Questions/Requests
This is where paying attention to the interview invitation pays off. You should answer any question and request raised by the hiring manager. Pay attention not to miss any requests. Provide answers to all and include supporting documents where needed. In cases where you cannot provide an immediate response to a question, let the recruiter know and assure them you’ll get back to them with the answer as soon as possible. When you make this promise, ensure you stick to it.
#7. Keep it Short
Remember that the aim is only to acknowledge the message and answer any questions where necessary. You do not want to make it long and boring. Keep your reply short and only provide the information requested by the recruiter.
#8. Add Your Contact Info
You should include your contact info even though you have those in your resume to make future communication more accessible. Add things like your email address, mail, and phone number.
#9. Proofread Your Reply
After putting together your response, take out time to read it carefully to ensure there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes before you send it. Errors will do your answer no good, so you should maintain an excellent first impression by eliminating errors.
How to Respond to Interview Request Samples
In this section, you’ll see examples of replies to interview invite that you can swipe.
#1. Sample One
When the recruiter asks you for the best time to meet for the interview in their office
Hello Mr. Dwayne,
Thank you for going through my application and considering me for the junior software developer role at Jumpo Inc. I am available this Monday by 9 am, and I’m looking forward to talking about the position in more detail at the company’s headquarters.
#2. Sample Two
When the recruiter asks for supporting documents.
Hello Mr. Dwayne,
I appreciate your consideration. I will be delighted to interview for the role of social media manager at Jumpo Inc.
As requested, I’ve attached a copy of my resume and references to this email. Do let me know if you’ll need any more information before the interview date this Monday.
I am looking forward to discussing more in person.
#3. Sample Three
When the recruiter asks company-related questions.
Hello Mr. Dwayne,
Thank you for taking the time to go through my application and consider me for the finance executive role at Jumpo Inc. I would be delighted to interview at your office on Monday.
As per your question, Jumpo Inc encourages employee growth and improvement. I feel I’ll be best suited to grow in an environment that promotes and actively helps your development as Jumpo Inc does.
Thank you once again, and I look forward to meeting you on Monday.
After the euphoria of getting to the interview stage has died down a little, you’ll now have to prepare for an interview that determines if you progress to the next step or not. But before then, you have to build a solid foundation first by responding to the interview request. Not only does this lock in your interview, but it also creates an excellent first impression.