How to Reply to an Email for an Interview


October 11, 2022
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How to Reply to an Email for an Interview

For most candidates, the interview process is exciting and stressful. Fortunately, as an employer, you can help ease their anxieties. Employers who know how to reply to an interview email can appear compassionate while helping the company stand out from its competitors. This keeps candidates interested in your company and makes them more likely to say yes if you offer them a position.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to reply to an interview request and address common questions candidates may have. Whether they want to schedule a specific time, set up a call, or ask follow-up questions, we can provide you with some tips to craft the perfect reply to an interview email.

Why is a response important?

If you want candidates to trust your company and make them more likely to accept your employment offer, knowing how to reply to an interview email is essential. In many cases, it’s the first time a candidate directly interacts with a company representative, and first impressions are everything. You want candidates to have a good experience every time they speak to someone from your company. A swift response is also important to make the best use of your time and move the recruitment process along.

How to respond to an email requesting an interview

Busy candidates with work or family commitments may suggest an ideal time for an interview. Whether you can accommodate the request will determine how the email unfolds. 

Interview acceptance email sample

If you can accommodate, try this template to confirm interview email requests:

Subject line: [COMPANY] Interview Confirmation

Dear [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for your interest in interviewing for the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. Of the times you suggested, [DATE] at [TIME] works best for me. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this position and your fit in more detail.

Please let me know if I can provide any additional information prior to our meeting.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Interview acceptance email sample (long version) 

Sometimes a longer, more detailed email can help a candidate feel more relaxed and prepare for an interview. Consider using this template:

Subject line: [COMPANY] Interview Details 

Dear [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for your interest in the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. We are happy to invite you to an interview to discuss the position in more detail.

To help you feel comfortable and prepared when you arrive at [TIME] on [DATE], consider the information below to plan for your interview with us.

You will meet with [INTERVIEWER #1], [INTERVIEWER #1 JOB TITLE], and [INTERVIEWER #2], [INTERVIEWER #2 JOB TITLE]. The interview will last no longer than [LENGTH OF TIME].

During the interview, we will ask you to complete a brief skills assessment and answer a few questions about your recent work history. Please bring [SAMPLES, RESUME, OR OTHER DOCUMENTS], as well as a form of identification for admittance into the building. 

Our office is located at [ADDRESS], near [LANDMARK]. We are close to [PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS] and have ample parking in the lot adjacent to our building.

You will find our office dress code is [DRESS CODE POLICY], but we encourage you to wear whatever makes you most comfortable. For your safety and ours, we ask that you please wear a mask, regardless of your vaccination status. 

If you have any questions, feel free to call me at [PHONE NUMBER].

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

How to reply to interview invitation with different availability

If you don’t have the capacity to accommodate an interview request, here’s a reply to an interview invitation email sample you can use to suggest an alternate time:

Subject line: Interview Invitation for [CANDIDATE NAME], [POSITION TITLE]

Dear [FIRST NAME]:

Thank you for considering the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. The best dates and times for me to participate in an interview are [DATE & TIME OPTIONS]. If this range is not suitable given your schedule, please provide a list of alternate dates and times, and I will do my best to accommodate your request.

I look forward to meeting you to discuss your qualifications for this position in greater depth.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE] 

Casual interview email invitation

If you prefer a more casual tone, the following template uses more relaxed language and seeks personal engagement with the interview candidate:

Subject line: Upcoming Interview at [COMPANY]

Dear [FIRST NAME]:

Thank you for your timely response. [INTERVIEWER], [INTERVIEWER JOB TITLE], was really impressed by your application for the [JOB TITLE] position, and we are excited to invite you to interview at our office.

Due to prior commitments, we are unavailable at [SUGGESTED TIME] on [SUGGESTED DAY, MONTH, & DATE]. Can you come in at [NEW TIME] on [NEW DAY, MONTH, & DATE]? If not, please provide a few options, and I will do my best to accommodate your schedule.

I look forward to hearing more about you!

Best,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Here, we’ve shown how to respond to an interview request, hitting these essential points: 
  • Reinforce the date, time, and location
  • Provide any additional details that’ll help the candidate prepare 
  • Include contact details in your company signature 
  • Keep your responses concise, positive, and helpful

How to respond to an email for scheduling an interview

Some interview request emails may include a line like “I’m available for an interview at your earliest convenience.” When candidates put the ball in your court, you may offer several potential times to avoid a long series of back-and-forth messages.

If you want a more formal tone, you can use the following template:

Subject line: Invitation to Interview at [COMPANY NAME]

Dear [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for your interest in the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY NAME]. 

We would like to invite you to interview with [INTERVIEWER], [INTERVIEWER JOB TITLE], at our office, located at [ADDRESS]. The interview should take no longer than [LENGTH OF TIME].

Please review the date and time options that we are scheduling interviews for:
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
Feel free to reply directly to this email to let us know your availability.

We look forward to speaking with you. 

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Casual response to interview availability

If you’re seeking a more casual tone, try the following template instead:

Subject line: [COMPANY NAME]: Interview Availability

Hi [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for applying to the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. We have reviewed your application materials carefully and are excited to invite you in for an interview!

You will meet with [INTERVIEWER], our [INTERVIEWER JOB TITLE] here at [COMPANY NAME], located at [ADDRESS]. The interview should last no longer than [LENGTH OF TIME].  

Please review the date and time options provided below and let me know which one works best for you:
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
Thanks again for your interest in joining the [COMPANY] team! Once I receive your response, I will send a confirmation email with additional details. We look forward to exploring what you can add to our team.

Best,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Politely declining an interview invitation

In some cases, you’ll receive an interview request email from a candidate who isn’t under consideration for a position at your company. When you receive an interview request like this, you’ll have to craft a respectful response to let the candidate down gently.

The following template offers a polite response:

Dear [FIRST NAME]:

Thank you for expressing interest in the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. It was a pleasure to learn more about your skills and qualifications. At this time, however, we have chosen to pursue another candidate for the position. 

We appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck in your career endeavors.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Letting a candidate down is never easy, but if you know how to craft a polite and professional email, you can maintain a favorable impression of the company and leave the door open to overflow candidates who may be perfectly qualified and exceptional.

If you do a lot of hiring, and the candidate could meet your needs under different circumstances, consider adding a line to this template to say the following: “We will be posting a [JOB TITLE] position over the next few weeks. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we welcome you to reapply, as we believe you would make a great fit at our organization.” 

How to respond to an email requesting a call to schedule an interview

Often, a phone interview may be more convenient than an in-person interview. If you don’t have the time to bring a candidate into the office, emailing to set up a phone interview may be an ideal solution.

The following template shows how to respond to an email requesting an interview by phone:

Subject line: [COMPANY NAME]: Phone Interview Availability

Hi [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for applying to the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. 

After reviewing your application, we are pleased to invite you for a phone interview with our [INTERVIEWER JOB TITLE], [INTERVIEWER]. We will go over what the position entails and ask you a few follow-up questions regarding your experience. 

We have the following interview slots available:
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
  • [DAY, DATE, & TIME]
Please reply directly to this email to let us know if you are available at any of the above times. From there, I will coordinate with [INTERVIEWER] and send you an email confirmation. If you have any questions, you may contact me at [PHONE NUMBER]. 

Best,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

Opening with a thank you sets a friendly and respectful tone that you value the candidate’s time. Also, be sure to confirm the company name and job title, as the candidate has probably applied to multiple job postings. Since this template offers scheduling flexibility with multiple options for interview dates and times, it reduces the risk of scheduling conflicts and makes life easier for you. Naturally, you should also include your phone number for candidates to know how to reach you.

How to respond to an email with follow-up questions

If you have several promising candidates and want to narrow down the list, you may send an email containing follow-up questions. Here are some common questions employers use to assess applicants, along with a template for this type of preliminary email for an interview. 

What are your salary requirements or expectations?

There’s no use calling a candidate in for an interview if your offer is well below their expectations. Some candidates will answer with a minimum amount or a range they’ll accept, while others may vaguely mention that they’re “looking for a competitive offer with benefits” and may want to know more about the position before making a decision. 

Can you tell us more about [TOPIC REQUIRING CLARIFICATION]?

You may wish to clarify something in a candidate’s resume to help you make a more informed decision. It could be that you wonder why there’s a 2-year gap in employment, what skills and proficiencies the candidate possesses, why the candidate left the last employer, or what experience they gained in a particular role.

Why do you want the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]?

Employers may ask fun personality-based questions to get to know a candidate and break the ice prior to the interview. Or, they may probe deeper for insight into why a candidate is interested in the position and the company. The well-studied candidate with the most enthusiasm will often shine through. 

Here’s a template you can use to ask follow-up questions in a friendly and casual manner:

Dear [FIRST NAME]:

Thank you for your interest in the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. Before we begin scheduling interviews, we have a couple of questions for you.  
  • [QUESTION #1]
  • [QUESTION #2]
  • [QUESTION #3]
We appreciate this opportunity to get to know you better. Please send your responses by [DAY, DATE, & TIME], and I will get back to you as soon as possible to touch base with the next steps.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & COMPANY SIGNATURE]

We recommend a casual tone for an email response that includes follow-up questions, as you want to encourage candidates to continue with the process. Again, always start politely with a thank you and clearly remind the candidate why you’re reaching out. Then, explain that you’re asking the questions as part of the preliminary process before scheduling interviews and let the candidate know you’ll reach out once you receive their responses.

Tips to responding to an interview email

When responding to any interview email: 
  • Leave candidates with a positive impression of your company, regardless of the outcome. If you make them an offer, they’ll be more likely to accept, and if you have to turn them down, they may still apply to well-suited roles in the future.
  • Offer specific dates and times that work for you, and be sure to offer several options to avoid needless back-and-forth. 
  • Let the candidate know where to find your office if you plan to conduct interviews in person, and potentially provide information about nearby transportation, including bus, train stops, or parking. Be succinct and offer the vital details quickly and clearly.
  • Engage in good housekeeping. Reply to everyone included on the email chain and proofread carefully before sending. It’s equally important you try to make a good impression on potential candidates and that everyone involved in the recruitment process is on the same page.

Get more tips for interviewing candidates with Twilio SendGrid

As you’ve seen, replying to an interview email requires careful thought and consideration. With these tips and templates, you’re better prepared to respond to any interview request while maintaining a professional appearance.

Plus, we have many more articles on mastering email etiquette and hiring processes on the Twilio SendGrid website, including this timely blog about combating unconscious bias while interviewing. Good luck with your prospective hires!

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