How to Respond to an Interview Request (Email Samples)

how to respond to an interview request

Nothing beats the feeling of getting an interview invitation, but don’t rush to respond just yet.

You need to make sure you reply correctly with clear availability to secure the interview.

So in this article, I’m going to walk you through how to respond to an interview request from a recruiter or hiring manager with multiple sample emails you can use right away.

I’ll also share the top mistakes you need to avoid, so make sure to read until the end. 

How to Reply to an Interview Invitation with Availability

The best way to reply to an interview request is to thank the employer, confirm your interest in having an interview, and then share your specific availability. 

Then, end the email by telling them that you look forward to speaking.

Also, if you’re replying to a phone interview request, then provide the best phone number for them to reach you.

If they invited you to a video interview instead of a phone interview, then ask which video platform they plan on using (if they didn’t already specify). That way, you can get familiar and prepare. If it’s Skype, you can provide your ID. If it’s going to be a Zoom interview, they’ll set up a meeting and provide a link.

Note that if you’re job searching while unemployed and are available at practically any time, it can look better to provide a couple of specific timeslots.

For example, if your schedule is wide open, you could reply to the employer with this availability:

Tuesday – Wednesday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time

Thursday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

I’m not suggesting that you make it overly complicated when responding to an interview request. You want to make it easy for the employer to schedule your interview when you reply to an interview request.

I’m just suggesting that it may not look great to say, “I’m free all week. Just pick a time.”

As an optional step, I also like to add a line that says, “If these days and times don’t work, please let me know and I’ll shift my schedule to find another time.”

This is how you accept an interview professionally.

Also, make sure to specify the time zone when you reply with your availability to interview, just like in the examples above. 

Dates and times can get mixed up if you don’t. Even if you’re interviewing for a local job, if the company has offices elsewhere, you might be having a phone interview with someone in a different time zone.

How to Respond to an Interview Request: Email Samples

Email Sample 1: Responding to Accept a Phone Interview Request

If you’ve applied for a job and the hiring manager or HR department has responded to your job application and invited you for a phone interview, here’s a sample template you can use to respond.

Hello NAME,

Thanks for getting back to me. I’d love to have a phone interview and learn more about the position and what you’re looking for.

Here is my availability this week:

  • Tuesday – Wednesday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time
  • Thursday – Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

The best number to reach me: 555-182-5872

If none of these times work, please let me know and I’ll be happy to come up with some other options, too. I look forward to speaking with you.

Also, if you’re able to tell me who will be calling, that’d be a big help. I always like to research and prepare ahead of time!

Best regards,
Your Name

This is a great way of responding to an interview request because you’re avoiding back-and-forth emails for the scheduling, and you’re also finding out the person you’ll be talking to so you can prepare ahead of time!

Email Sample 2: Responding to Accept a Video Interview Request

Hello NAME,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I’d love to have a video interview and learn more about the position and what you’re looking for.

Do you mind telling me which video platform we’ll be using, just so I can prepare?

Here is my availability for a video interview this week:

  • Tuesday – Wednesday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time
  • Thursday – Friday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

If none of these times work, please let me know and I’ll be happy to come up with some other options, too. I look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards,
Your Name

Email Sample 3: Accepting a Recruiter’s Invitation to Talk

If you’re contacted by a recruiter who you’ve never spoken with, then you can use the sample email to respond and express interest. Just reply to the same email address that they contacted you from.

Hello NAME,

Thank you for contacting me about this role. It sounds interesting. I’d love to hear more about the position.

Here is my availability to talk on the phone this week:

Monday – Thursday, 7:00 am – 2:00 pm Central Time.

The best number to reach me: 555-281-6872

Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you.

Best regards,
Your name

As mentioned earlier, include multiple days/times in terms of availability. And if they don’t already have your contact info, then include that, too.

Also, make sure you have a professional-sounding voicemail recording! You don’t want employers and recruiters calling you and hearing an unprofessional voicemail that you recorded when you were in high school and forgot about!

Email Sample 4: Responding to and Accepting a Face-to-Face Interview Request

Next, if you’ve been invited to meet in person, you can use this template to set up a day and finalize everything!

Hello NAME,

Thank you for getting back to me. I’d love to come in and have the interview. Is this a full-day interview? Or how many hours should I set aside?

I’m available Monday – Thursday, 7:00 am – 2:00 pm Central Time.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Your name

This is a basic structure for responding to the company, but you can also add other details/questions as needed. For example, if you want to ask for the names of the people you’ll be meeting with, or the number of people you’ll be meeting, that’s a good idea. If you need help finding the company location for a face-to-face interview, you can ask if they have instructions for arriving, too.

However, I like to get the scheduling sorted out first, and then ask other questions. That’s why I kept the email template above dead-simple. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll avoid confusion and complicated emails.

So I’d recommend using the sample email above, and then ask further questions once a day and time is set!

How to Confirm an Interview by Email After it’s Scheduled

Finally, if you have an interview scheduled and just want to confirm the time or make sure that it’s still happening, you can use the following template (send it to the same email address you’ve been communicating back-and-forth with for prior scheduling):

Hello NAME,

I just wanted to confirm that we’re still having the interview on ___ (day) at ___ (time).

Thank you, and I look forward to talking with you!

Best regards,
Your name

How to Decline an Interview Invitation

If you’re not interested in having an interview, you can simply send a brief email stating that you’re no longer available or not interested in this particular opportunity.

Sample email to decline an interview request/invitation:

Hi NAME,

Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the invitation to interview. Unfortunately, I’m no longer available and will need to decline. Best of luck in filling the role, and if I think of anyone who might be a good fit, I’ll let them know about it.

Best regards,
Your Name

You can also offer to stay connected in the future if you’d like (if it’s a recruiter or hiring manager you think you’ll want to speak with down the road).

And if you’d like to offer a reason for declining, that’s fine. But you’re not obligated. If you feel like telling them that it’s because you accepted another position, or the job isn’t quite what you’re looking for anymore, etc., then go ahead. 

As seen in the email template above, you can also offer to refer a friend or colleague for the opportunity if you know someone who is qualified. 

Questions to Ask When Responding to Interview Requests

Next, here are a couple of questions to consider asking in your email or message when using the templates above. Just put your questions at the end if you’re unsure of any of these topics:

If you’re unsure of the format of the interview for the job (phone, video, in-person, etc.), ask this when you reply.

If you don’t know who you’ll be speaking to or meeting with, check this as well. Don’t worry – the templates I’m going to share coming up in the next section will help with this.

And if you’re not sure of the exact opportunity you’re being considered for, ask this as well. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask for a copy of the job description. Include this line in your reply: “Is it possible for you to send me a copy of the job description ahead of time? I always like to research and prepare.”

Mistakes to Avoid When You Reply to Accept an Interview

If you read the tips above, you should know how to respond to an interview request to get an interview quickly and make a great impression at the same time.

However, there are some BIG mistakes you need to avoid while doing this, so I want to make sure you know those, too…

First, don’t let your interview invitation sit for too long. You should try to respond within 24-48 hours if possible. You don’t need to be checking email constantly, but don’t leave the company waiting for a week, either.

Also, don’t respond without taking the time to indicate at least one day or time that would work for an interview. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that you take initiative and are a great communicator. So I’d recommend providing multiple days/times to help them schedule the interview.

Next, always proofread your email! Having a typo or mistake in your email probably won’t cost you the interview (unless it’s a REALLY bad mistake), but it does make a poor impression.

So always check your email for mistakes before sending it! Proofread from top-to-bottom, and bottom-to-top. That’s a good trick that will help you catch more errors!

And finally – the biggest mistake of all – going into the interview without preparing! It takes a lot of effort to find a good position to apply to, submit your resume and paperwork, schedule an interview, etc. Right?

So don’t throw away your hard work and waste the opportunity by letting other job seekers out-prepare you! In the next section, I’ll share my best tips and resources so you can beat the competition!

Interview Scheduling Changes Happen… Don’t Panic

It’s not necessarily a bad sign if the company changes the timing of their invitation to interview. Hiring managers and recruiters have busy schedules and sometimes mini-emergencies happen.

So if they do request a change, just do your best to find a new time that’ll work.

However, don’t be afraid to say what works for YOU, too. It’s completely fine to say, “Thanks for letting me know about the scheduling conflict today. That’s no problem. Unfortunately, the new time you suggested for Monday won’t work for me. Could we do something from 3 pm – 5 pm Monday, or 12 pm – 5 pm Tuesday?” If a certain day or time doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to say so.

After Scheduling Your Interview: Get Ready to Impress

After you’ve set up a time to go on your interview, here are steps to help you prepare:

First, research the company.

Practice the common questions that employers ask, too.

Also, work on your body language. It’s not just about what you say in the interview; it’s about how you look and sound while saying it. This can set you apart from other job seekers!

You can also use the time before the interview to ask any further questions you have – about finding the company’s office, who you’ll be talking to (recruiter or hiring manager, etc.)

And finally… Monitor your email address in the days/hours leading up to the interview in case they contact you about any changes.

 

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