Five Steps for Responding to Interview Invites


You applied for a job, and out of all the other applicants, you’ve been selected to move forward to the interview process. This is a huge deal, so be very proud of yourself.

Hopefully, you’ll get the job, but if not, this is still a great honor and an incredible learning experience. First things first though, that means responding to the interview invitation.

Whether you were invited via email or voicemail, your response to this coveted invitation matters. Here’s some advice to get it right.

Five Steps for Responding to Interview Invites

Be Prompt

Unlike in dating, there is no such thing as responding too quickly to an interview invitation. In fact, providing a swift reply shows you’re excited about the job and eager to meet with the interviewer.

There’s no set rule on how long is too long to wait, but anything longer than one day will likely send the message that you’re not very interested in the job and are a bit hard to reach — neither of which will impress the interviewer.

Show Appreciation

No doubt, many people applied for this job. Being selected to interview is an honor, so let the hiring manager know you’re grateful for the opportunity. This will allow you to make a fantastic first impression and set the right tone for the interview.

Accept the Invite

If you’re able to make it to the interview on the requested date and time, simply accept the invite. Even if getting there will require you to move a few things around in your schedule, it’s best to inconvenience yourself, not the interviewer.

Propose a Different Date and/or Time

It’s possible that the date, time, or both simply will not work for you. If that’s the case, don’t panic. Any reasonable hiring manager will be fully aware that they might need to work with you to find a time that fits both of your schedules.

Apologize for any inconvenience, then suggest a few alternate dates and times that work for you.

Politely Decline

When applying for jobs, it’s easy to get caught up in the positive aspects of the position without truly envisioning yourself in the job. If you’ve since realized the job isn’t the right fit — or you’ve already been hired elsewhere — politely thank the hiring manager for the opportunity, but let them know you’ve decided not to move forward with the position.

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