How to Accept an Emailed Job Interview Invitation

WorkCoachCafeIf you are in an active job search, you will naturally be on the lookout for invitations to job interviews. Often they come via telephone, which can be very awkward, depending on the timing. Frequently, you will get the invitation to interview for a job by email, typically from the recruiter or someone on the HR staff.

The message will be sent to the email address that you used on the application or resume or made visible on your LinkedIn Profile. Read To Be Hired, You Must Be Reachable for details on how to leverage LinkedIn to be reachable.

If you are employed, you are hopefully not using an email address associated with your work for your job search. Using your work email address can be a quick way to lose your job if your email is monitored by the IT staff protecting the security of your employer’s network and computers.

The emailed invitation you receive should provide the following information:

  • Employer name, job title, and location of the job.
  • Location of the job interview (which may be different from the location of the job).
  • Type of interview: telephone, Skype, or in person.
  • Name(s) and job title(s) of the person (people) who will be interviewing you
  • Other details like directions and parking details may be provided (or may not).
  • A few date and time options, offering you the ability to choose the one which fits your schedule best.

If it doesn’t contain this information, request the information in the message you send in response.

Reply Promptly to Accept their Invitation

If you are using a specific email address for your job search and/or have posted an email address on your LinkedIn Profile which is not the email address you use most often, be sure to check that account every day.

To respond:

  1. Choose the “Reply All” option. If others in the employer’s organization were copied on the message, this will keep everyone on the employer’s side informed about your response.
    • Exception 1 — if the message tells you to send the message to a specific person, do that, demonstrating that you have read the message carefully and can follow directions.
    • Exception 2 — if the TO: list on the message includes people who could be other job candidates (for example, their email addresses are not @[employer domain name]), don’t include them in your response.
  2. Use the sender’s name in the salutation (see below).
  3. Thank them for the invitation to interview.
  4. Add that you are “very interested in learning more about this opportunity.”
  5. Choose the date and time you can attend. If two date/time combinations work for you, share both, but indicate which one is your first preference.
    • If possible choose mornings over afternoons, preferably mid-morning.
    • Avoid Mondays and Fridays if possible.
    • Sooner rather than later is usually best.
  6. Ask for all of the details that may not have been in the invitation (names and job titles of the interviewers, location of the interview, etc.). Knowing these details are essential for your success.
  7. Professional closing.
  8. Your signature with contact information and more information about you.

This is how the message could look —

TO: [person who sent you the invitation or the addressee specified in their message]
CC: [others who were copied on the invitation message]
Subject: RE: [subject from the invitation message]

[Name of the addressee, like Mr. Jones]

Thank you for the invitation to interview for the [job title] position at [employer name]. I am very interested in learning more about this opportunity.

I assume that I will be speaking with you and, possibly, one or two other people. Please, if possible, share the names and job titles of the other people who will be interviewing me.

If I should expect to spend more than two hours, please give me your best estimate at the amount of time needed.

The best times for me to attend this interview are: [first preference for date and time] or, if that is unavailable, [second preference for date and time]. Please let me know which date is best for you.

I look forward to speaking with you. Thank you again for this invitation.

Best regards,

[your first name]

[your full name]
[current job title, if employed, or target job title, if not]
[best phone number for your job search]
[city and state]
[LinkedIn Profile URL]
[Other relevant URL’s like your blog]

Promptly Send a Confirming Message

When you receive a response, it should give the date and time for the interview and answer the questions you may have asked.

If the answers and the time they chose are OK with you, send a simple reply, using the process above, but the body of your message should be much shorter, like this:

TO: [person who sent you the invitation or the addressee specified in their message]
CC: [others who were copied on the invitation message]
Subject: RE: [subject from the invitation message]

[Name of the addressee, like Mr. Jones]

Confirming the interview on [date] at [time] at [location] to speak with [names] about [job title].

I look forward to speaking with you. 

Best regards,

[your first name]

[your full name]
[current job title, if employed, or target job title, if not]
[best phone number for your job search]
[city and state]
[LinkedIn Profile URL]
[Other relevant URL’s like your blog]

Then, Prepare for the Job Interview

Now that you have an interview scheduled, focus on being well-prepared for the interview. Read How to Knock Their Socks Off in a Job Interview to be prepared.

More About Job Interviews

How to Answer Job Interview Questions

How to Answer the Top 10 Job Interview Questions

Successful Job Search Requires Research

How to Reject a Job Interview Invitation

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About the author…

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoachCafe.  A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org and is a columnist on HuffingtonPost and LinkedIn.  Follow Susan on Twitter (@jobhuntorg) and on Google+.

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