Congratulations - you received your first-round interview request. What now?
Good impressions are crucial when it comes to landing that dream job offer, and that doesn’t just mean during the interview. From receiving your first interview request, each interaction you have with your potential employer has an influence on your application.
So, how do you maintain a good impression over email?
First, keep an eye on your emails and make sure that you are speedy with your response. The average duration of an application process is roughly 6 weeks, so you need to avoid any delays and subsequently any knock-on effects on your potential offer.
When writing your response to the recruiter or hiring manager, there are some crucial things to remember:
- Keep the formatting clean
If the email is too long, it won’t be read, and it will make it difficult for the interviewer to pick out the relevant information to schedule the interview. Keep it simple and to the point, whilst also showing your interest.
- Be courteous
Be polite and thank the interviewer for their consideration. Don’t be over-sentimental, but show appreciation for their time and your interest in the role.
- Take advantage of scheduling tools
In the post-COVID market, most interviews now take place via different online channels. Familiarize yourself with the most popular channels (such as Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, etc.). This will ensure that you can access the interview smoothly without wasting time and will make sure you go in with a clear head.
As part of our career counseling service, we offer mock interview preparation where we go in-depth in different cases when responding to interview requests from different companies. If you would like to know, book a free intro call with me to discuss this further!
Email templates to respond to an interview request:
Template for Interview Acceptance:
Many thanks for your email, and your consideration.
I can confirm my availability for an interview on XX.XX.XX at XX:XX, for the position of XXX. Please let me know of any further information, or required preparation, that I should know in advance.
I look forward to speaking with you.
How to write an interview request rejection email:
There might be multiple different reasons you need to reject an interview. Perhaps you found something else, perhaps you aren’t interested after all. Whatever it is, you don’t need to tell them the specific reason, but you should respond politely. You may be in contact with them for future opportunities, or they could be your future boss in a different company, so it’s important to keep the door open.
Template for Rejection:
Many thanks for your message
I appreciate your consideration but unfortunately, I will have to decline your interview invitation, due to changes in my situation. However, I would like to stay in contact should the situation change in the future.
Thank you for your understanding and best of luck with filling the position.
How to handle any follow-up questions via email
Sometimes, once you have written your interview acceptance email, the potential employer may respond with some follow-up questions. These are usually regarding salary expectations and any clarification points in your experience.
Don’t panic, you haven’t done anything wrong. This is a way for the interviewer to save time at the start of the process and filter out any candidates who don’t fit the role.
That being said, you must keep your answers professional, as any interaction will influence your performance. Treat this as an opportunity to sell yourself a bit further.
How to answer follow-up questions on salary expectations:
In an interview process, you should only bring up your salary expectations if they specifically ask you first. If you mention it first, you risk looking too demanding. Before you do anything, make sure you research the market average salary for your seniority level.
There are three ways to answer:
- Give a range: as you haven’t had the full opportunity to interview yet, you want to maximize your chances of being eligible for the position. Giving a range can help ensure that you meet their hiring budget, but the range must be something that you would definitely accept. Don’t sell yourself down, as this could backfire on you later in the process. To allow yourself room for negotiation further down the line, state the salary range and say that you would like to know more about the specifics of the role before narrowing it down.
- Negotiable: If you do not want to give specific figures, say that your expectations are negotiable and that you would like to learn more about the position before narrowing it down.
- Flip the question: You can always flip the question back to the interview, and say something like “What is the salary budget you had in mind?”. This allows them to tell you their estimated range without the risk of you stating something too high or low.
How to answer follow-up questions on job history:
If the interviewer comes back to you and asks you to clarify a few things regarding your experience, this is the perfect chance to sell yourself in writing and get a headstart.
Step 1. Examine the job description.
Most job descriptions list the requirements and characteristics of the ideal candidate. Note these down.
Step 2. Tailor your answer
Your response should highlight experiences that are relevant to this ideal candidate profile.
Step 3. Highlight what you achieved:
Don’t just say what your duties were, but explain what you achieved. How did you contribute to the success of the business? What was the outcome?
What’s the best way to reschedule an interview?
Sometimes you might not be able to make the suggested time slots work. There may be multiple reasons you can’t do that specific time, and you don’t necessarily have to give them an explanation. However, it is important to respond quickly to avoid delays, and to give multiple alternative time slots:
Many thanks for your consideration.
It would be a pleasure to interview, however, the suggested times would not work due to prior engagements. Would either of the following time slots work?
[time] on [DD.MM.YY]
[time] on [DD.MM.YY]
[time] on [DD.MM.YY]
If not, I am usually available from the hours of XX to XX. Let me know what works for you.
Looking forward to speaking about the role in more detail.
Responding to an interview request via phone - tips and tricks
Sometimes the interviewer might email you asking you to call them and confirm the interview. Usually, this is so that they can save time and dedicate time slots to candidates who will definitely accept the interview request.
TIP 1: Before you call them, make sure you email them first to give them a time, date, and the number you will be calling from.
TIP 2: When you call them, introduce yourself properly and state your reason for the call. They will receive multiple calls a day from people they don’t know, so it’s important to be clear and concise.
“Hi XXX. My name is YYY, and I am calling in response to your interview request via email. First, thank you very much for inviting me to interview for the [vacancy position], I would be available on the following dates…… Looking forward to speaking with you”
Takeaways: Responding to an interview request
- Be timely: don’t risk losing out to other candidates because you were too late to reply
- Be polite: Remember, any interaction between you and the employer will influence the hiring decision. Emails count in this!
- Be concise: Do not overload the email with irrelevant information. Just include your availability, gratitude, and a question regarding any required preparation.
If you still have any doubts, you can book a free intro call with me, so we can go together through this process!