5 Tips for Responding to an Interview Request (With Examples)

how to respond to an interview request

During a job hunt, most people spend most of the search filling out applications and sitting around until someone calls them back.

So, what happens when they do call you back? Do you jump with glee, agree to whatever they say, and revolve every aspect of your life around it? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

This is the first point of contact you have with a potential employer besides whatever you wrote down on your application, so you have to do it right. 

How to respond to an interview request

Stay Calm and Collect

The first tip we can give is to keep your cool. We get it. You might have been searching for a job for months. Your bills might be late, or you might be a first-time applicant whose parents are getting a bit irritated about you being unemployed.

You’ll probably be ready to jump for joy when you get that first call back. Don’t do it. This is for one primary reason. You haven’t done the interview yet.

Your potential employer is simply calling to have you come in for an interview. If you seem desperate, you can make your interview a nightmare. 

Desperate applicants are easy to steamroll, and the interviewer might take a more aggressive approach when it comes time to negotiate pay, scheduling, and other aspects of your job agreement. It’s already hard enough to negotiate with them without seeming greedy. So, don’t make it harder on yourself by sounding desperate during the invitation call. 

However, don’t be entirely calm about it, either. You’re interested in the job, and there are a lot of other applicants you’re competing with. They might take that wrong if you sound like you’re not even remotely enthusiastic. 

Know Your Availability

Once you start applying for jobs, you need to know your availability. This seems like an essential thing, but when you’re moving through your daily routine, it’s easy to forget that you have a doctor’s appointment on the 23rd or a funeral to attend over the weekend. Keep track of those things constantly. 

When you get the call, they’ll want to know when you’re available. You don’t want to stutter for minutes on end, and you certainly don’t want to go along with whatever they suggest and end up remembering you have a severe obligation to tend to on that date. 

Show Gratitude at the Beginning and End

Try to show gratitude the second you answer your phone and realize who it is. Before calling you, the hiring manager probably looked through hundreds or thousands of applications before deciding you were one of the people worth calling. So, they deserve a bit of gratitude for the opportunity. 

However, it’s also important to show gratitude at the end. Closing the conversation and showing you’re genuinely thankful for them choosing you goes a long way toward setting a great first impression. 

Be Forthcoming with Details

When you get a call, you won’t just be told when to show up. You’ll need to provide some basic information, and you might need to send certain documents to a supplied email address. 

Do not that information back. 

Pay close attention, get any email addresses you might need, and follow through with the pre-interview steps. Few things look worse than your failing to send in a resume or cover letter when prompted. 

Use “reply all.”

If multiple people within the company were included in the initial email you received, you should use the “reply all” function so no one is left out. They were probably added since the interview scheduling affects them, so including them in your response will make it easy for everyone to stay updated.

Review the job description.

Double-check the job description so you know this is a job you want to continue the application process for. It’s also an excellent opportunity to remind yourself of the job you applied to and get started on your interview prep.

Proofread your message

Before hitting send, take a moment to reread your email. Check to ensure you gave the recruiter everything they asked for, had the right interview time, and didn’t make any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Example Responses

There are a few responses that you might need to use. There might be slight fluctuations in these responses depending on the exact details or whether or not the employer gives you the option to provide an available interview time. Still, these two will work in 99% of situations.

You Can Make the Suggested Interview Time and Date

Hello, -interviewer-
Thank you, I appreciate this opportunity to interview with you regarding the –insert position I applied for. I am available for the interview and would love to come in and speak with you. 
If you need to contact me before the interview, my number is (insert phone number). I can be reached most reliably between (times you’re available to answer calls). 
I have attached my cover letter and resume, along with my list of references, to this email, and I am more than happy to supply more information upon request. 
Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and I am excited to meet you and your team. 
(insert name)

You Cannot Meet at the Suggested Time

Hello, -interviewer-
Thank you for reaching out, and I am excited to get this opportunity to speak to you in person. However, I am afraid I cannot meet with you (insert suggested date and time). I would still appreciate this opportunity and would like to schedule a time that works for both of us. 
I am available (list of times and dates you are available) if you’re available at that time.
Attached are my resume, cover letter, and references for you to review, and my phone number is (number) if you would like to call and discuss scheduling or other information.  
I apologize for the inconvenience. I am excited to meet with you and your team and appreciate the opportunity. 
(insert name)

Questions to ask when responding to interview requests

  • What is the schedule for the interview process?
  • Will there be multiple rounds of interviews?
  • Are there any pre-interview materials or assessments required?
  • What is the expected start date for the position?
  • What are the compensation and benefits for the job?

How to decline an interview invitation?

To decline an interview invitation, you can thank the interviewer for the opportunity and let them know that you will not be able to attend the interview. It’s essential to do this politely and professionally.

For example, you can say, “Thank you for considering me for the position. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the interview at this time. I appreciate the opportunity and wish you all the best in your search.”

It’s also worth noting that declining an interview invitation can be seen as a negative thing, so it’s important to be mindful of how you do it. If you have any other questions, you can still ask the interviewer for more information about the company or the position.

Still, it’s best to be honest about your situation, for example, if you have already accepted another job offer or are no longer interested in the position.

Wrapping Up | How to respond to an interview request

As you can see, it’s not a complex process. It’s all about remaining professional and keeping your credentials and enthusiasm at the forefront of the interviewer’s attention.

As long as you stay calm, remember to show gratitude, and are willing to communicate with the interviewer on scheduling and information needs, you’ll find that it’s a stress-free process.

Best of luck with your job search!

Title: Tips for Responding to an Interview Request

Category: Interview

Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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