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Jobs & Internships

Responding to an Interview Invite

Confirming an interview

The way you interact with recruiters and hiring managers is just as important as your skills and qualifications when you’re looking for a job. The manner in which you handle verbal and written communication is likely to be an integral part of the job, so demonstrate proper etiquette in all responses to the company: from  the early stages through the selection process.

Take the opportunity to make a good first impression by being professional and considerate when you confirm interview appointments.

Email Response:

Thanks to technology, you can usually respond immediately, or at least quickly, to an interview request. Check your email frequently, and answer all requests as soon as possible. If you receive an email on your smartphone, send a message saying, "Thank you for your invitation to interview with ABC Company. Yes, I am available on Tuesday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m. I'm in a remote spot now and will send another confirmation once I get back to my home office." To make sure the recruiter knows you're responding remotely, you can add a signature line saying the message was sent from a mobile phone.

Tips for Email Etiquette

Phone Response:

If you receive a telephone call asking you to confirm your interview appointment, try to answer the call personally when it comes through. In a pleasant voice, thank the recruiter for the interview request and tell her you are available at the scheduled time. If you get a voicemail, call back and say, "Ms. Smith, thank you for calling to schedule an interview time. I'm sorry I wasn't able to take your call, but I'm available to interview with you on Tuesday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m., and I look forward to seeing you then." Use the recruiter's name when you call and pick a time when you won't be interrupted or have noise in the background.

Alternative Time:

If the day and time the recruiter offers for your interview isn't convenient for you, consider rearranging your schedule to accommodate the recruiter's. Tell the interviewer that you appreciate the invitation and you're looking forward to meeting with her, but that you have a scheduling conflict. You can say that you may be able to rearrange your schedule, but that you need a few hours to do so, or you can suggest alternative dates. Always try to make it easy for the recruiter since you're the one looking for a job.

Timeliness:

Recruiters don’t have a lot of time to wait for you to confirm an interview time, so the sooner you can get back to them the better. Often interview slots are first come/first serve, so you want to be as prompt as possible to get an interview slot that works best with your schedule.

Appreciation:

Express your appreciation for being selected for an interview. There may be hundreds of applicants, depending on the job, who have applied for that same position. The fact that you were selected says that you have strong qualifications for the position. It also means that the recruiter extended you a courtesy in inviting you to interview with the company, so make sure you thank them.

Adapted from Ruth Mayhew, Demand Media