When you are searching for a job, it is easy to focus so much on the resume and application submission process that you neglect simple things like etiquette.

Unfortunately, a failure to take care of proper etiquette can leave a bad impression in any hiring manager's mind. That is true in every aspect of the hiring process, and even covers something as seemingly simple as your reply to a company's emailed invitation for an interview. To avoid a bad impression, it is vital to know how to reply to an interview email in a professional manner.

In this post, we will examine the right way to craft your reply, with a paragraph-by-paragraph guide to the essential elements you should include. In addition, you will find links to additional resources that can help you to ensure that your email reply makes the best impression possible.

You need to do more than just confirm the interview

Before we examine the process you should use in your email reply, it is worth explaining why you need to do more than just confirm that you will be there. While it might be tempting to simply send out a short “I'll be there” reply, it is vital to focus on being professional at every stage of the hiring process. A formal offer for an interview requires a formal reply that accepts or declines the offer.

When should you reply to an emailed interview request?

As a rule, you should always reply to any job or interview offer as soon as possible. In fact, when you are engaged in a job search, you should be checking your emails multiple times a day and responding immediately to interview requests. If that is not possible for any reason, at least ensure that you respond the same day that you receive the offer. Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people too, and always prefer prompt responses.

How should you reply?

Now that you understand the “why” and the “when” of the reply process, it is time to look at how you should structure the email. The following guide examines each of the important sections of any successful reply email. We have also provided an example of this type of email reply immediately after these tips.

1. The subject line

The subject line is critically important, since you want to help ensure that the hiring manager can find your reply and get you scheduled. Fortunately, you do not have to do anything too extravagant with the subject line; simply write something like:

Subject: Interview Confirmation for [job title] position – [Your Name]

That simple line is enough information to ensure that the hiring manager can find your email, no matter how many others they must sort through during the scheduling process.

2. Address the sender and thank them for the opportunity

Begin with a standard greeting before moving on to the opening paragraph. That opener should include words of appreciation for the opportunity to interview for the position. Try to keep it short and simple.

3. Accept or propose an interview time

After you have thanked the sender, you should either confirm the company's proposed interview time and date or propose one that works better for your schedule. If you do need to propose an alternative time, be sure to explain why their proposed schedule will not work for you. In that instance, it is usually better to offer a range of dates and times when you are available, so that the hiring manager can choose one that aligns with their schedule.

Some companies will otherwise send you to a link for a Calendy or similar service. You should still reply to the email after filling out the link, though--it continues the conversation and ensures your responses are not overlooked.

4. Answer any pre-interview questions the hiring manager includes in the email

If the interview request included any questions for you, be sure to answer them. Sometimes, hiring managers may include questions asking you to clarify something in your resume, or requests that you bring certain documents to the interview. You should always acknowledge any questions, requests, or instructions.

5. Use an appropriate closing line

You should always end your email with a line that lets the hiring manager know that you are looking forward to the meeting and the opportunity to discuss the job in greater detail.

6. Include your relevant contact information

After your closing statement, you should include your name and contact information. Even though the hiring manager should already have your contact details, you should make it as easy as possible for them to locate that information when they need it.

Reply to an interview email (example)

Subject: Interview Confirmation for [job title] position – [Your Name]

Dear [Hiring Manager/Recruiter Name]

Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [job title] position at [Company Name]. I will indeed be available on {proposed date and time] and am eager to meet with you [at the company site or via phone or video].

I will be sure to bring the documents that you requested. If you have any questions or think of anything else that I should bring to the interview, please feel free to let me know.

Thanks again. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this position in greater detail.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

Declining an interview offer

Of course, there may also be times when you may need to decline a job offer. As you might expect, that type of response will require a different type of email. Fortunately, we have some suggestions about how you can craft an email that declines an interview, with tips and a splendid example to use as a guide. To learn more, read How to Decline a Job Interview Without Burning Bridges.

Summary

During your job search, it is vital that you take a professional approach to every step of the process. That includes taking the time to properly reply to an interview email. By using this easy guide, you should be able to respond to those interview requests in a way that always leaves the right impression.

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