Whether the email subject line is “Interview Request,” “Availability for Interview,” or something similar, you’ve made it to the next phase of your job search: the job interview. In your excitement, you may dash off a quick email to the sender that doesn’t capture your professional side.
Knowing how to respond to a job interview email can help you make a good first impression on the hiring manager and set the stage for you to wow them in the interview. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Tips for Every Response
- How to Respond to a Job Interview Email
- How to Respond When the Email says, ‘Click to Schedule’
- How to Respond When You Don’t Want the Job
- How to Respond to a Job Interview Email Examples
- Frequently Asked Questions
Tips for Every Response
While the specifics of your email response will vary by situation, there are some general rules to follow no matter what kind of job interview email you’re responding to.
Try to respond to the job interview email quickly, preferably no more than 24 hours after receiving it. This demonstrates your interest in the role as well as your professionalism and responsiveness.
But don’t feel you must respond to the email the second it lands in your inbox — especially if it shows up over the weekend or in the middle of the night. It’s OK to stick to boundaries during your job search (like not answering emails on weekends). It’s perfectly acceptable to respond on Monday morning — no later than noon, though.
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Hit ‘Reply’ or ‘Reply All’ (Yes, Really!)
Responding to a job interview email is one of the rare times you not only want to hit “reply,” you probably want to hit “reply all.”
First, using reply or reply all ensures your email is delivered to the right person. For example, if a recruiter is introducing you to the hiring manager via email and asking the two of you to work out the details, you don’t want to risk mistyping the hiring manager’s email address.
Second, the person scheduling your interview may not be who you’re interviewing with, but they need to stay in the loop about your interview. Hitting reply all ensures everyone gets the information they need without having to track it down.
Finally, using reply or reply all creates a thread of information about your interview. Keeping all the details together makes it easy for you to refer back to the specifics if and when you need to.
>>MORE: 9 Things to Say in a Job Interview
Greet the Sender
In most cases, it’s acceptable to respond to an email without addressing the sender. However, responding to a job interview email is not one of those cases. The first line of your email response should be, “Dear [Interviewer’s Name].”
While a bit formal, it’s a personalized touch that demonstrates you read the whole email, know who sent it, and are acknowledging them.
No matter the email response, starting with gratitude is your best bet. That said, there are many ways to say thank you. Here are a few examples:
- Thanks for reaching out.
- Thanks for inviting me to an interview.
- Thanks for the opportunity to interview for [name the position].
- Thank you for considering me for [name the position].
- Thanks for contacting me about [name the position].
Brief Is Best
You may be excited about the interview and the prospect of working for the company. But no matter how thrilled you are, your response is not the time to talk about your passion for the job, how you connect with the company’s mission, or how qualified you are for the role. Save that for the interview and your job interview thank you email!
Less is more when you respond to a job interview email, so stick with the basics, and you’ll be set.
On that same note, keep your tone professional. An exclamation point here or there is fine. But using emojis or less formal language (like “cool”) is unlikely to make a good impression on the hiring manager.
If you’re unsure what’s appropriate, follow the sender’s lead. For example, if the email is addressed to your first name, feel free to respond with “Dear [Interviewer First Name].” Likewise, if they address you with a title (Mr. or Miss, let’s say), you should follow suit.
>>MORE: 20 Email Etiquette Tips You Need to Know
In your excitement about being selected for an interview and your desire to respond quickly, you may dash off a quick email and hit send a little too soon. While your email provider may have a grammar checker as part of the program, it might not catch every mistake.
Take your time and give your email a thorough proofread to ensure it’s typo-free.
How to Respond to a Job Interview Email
There are two types of job interview emails you may receive and three ways to respond. Here’s how to respond when you want to schedule the interview.
Offer Blocks of Time
Some job interview emails will ask you to respond with dates and times you’re available. Others will give you a few options and ask you to select a day and time that works with your schedule.
In the first case, you can respond with blocks of dates and times you can interview to give the hiring manager options. In the second case, you can either pick the best time for you, or, if none of them work, respond with a few alternatives.
And in the event you aren’t available for a while (say, you have a vacation scheduled or it’s final exam week), let the interviewer know you aren’t available during X time, explain why, then offer some alternatives. Most hiring managers will understand and work with you to find a time that works with your schedule.
The job interview email is also a good time for you to confirm specific details about the interview. So, if it’s unclear if the interview is over Zoom or in-person, ask the question. And, if it’s in person, you can double-check where you’re meeting and if you need to bring anything specific to the interview (like your ID to get into the building).
>>MORE: 15 Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager (and 5 to Skip)
Close With Excitement
Close your email with “Looking forward to meeting with you and learning more about the role” or something similar. The idea is to say you’re excited about the interview and everything you will discuss. This is also a good place to mention that if the interviewer needs anything from you before the interview, they should ask away!
How to Respond When the Email says, ‘Click to Schedule’
Not all job interview emails have a back-and-forth for scheduling. Many companies use an online scheduling system, so candidates can pick from a range of dates and times that work for them. Simply click the link in the email, select a date and time, hit confirm, and voila! You’re scheduled for an interview.
And while that streamlines the process, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respond to the initial message. Here’s how to respond to a job interview email with a calendar scheduling link.
Double-Check the Email
First, double-check the email for instructions on how to respond to the sender. In most cases, you can respond to the sender by hitting “reply.” If that’s not the case, you may not be able to send an email directly to them, as some programs mask the sender’s address.
If you can’t figure it out, don’t worry. You’ll probably still have a chance to respond to the email.
Leave a Note
Next, head over to the scheduling system and set up your interview. When you hit “schedule,” you’ll likely be taken to a confirmation screen to double-check your time and date. On that screen, you might see a box that allows you to add any relevant information for the interview.
If you see this option, drop a quick thank you note to the interviewer. It could be as simple as, “Thanks for inviting me for an interview. I look forward to meeting with you.”
Respond to the Original Email
Then, go back to the original email (not the confirmation email from the scheduling system). If there’s no way to respond, you’re done. But, if you can reply to the email, hit “reply” and use the same subject line. Then type a quick note explaining you scheduled the interview and that you’re looking forward to it.
>>MORE: How to End an Email Professionally (With Examples)
How to Respond When You Don’t Want the Job
Sometimes you’re invited for an interview, and you’re no longer interested in the role. Maybe your current job offered you a promotion, or you already accepted another role. No matter why you don’t want the job, here’s how to respond to a job interview email when you don’t want the job.
Say Thanks and Then Explain
Like the other situations, start with “thank you.” In this case, you can say, “Thank you for considering me for the role.” Then, give a quick explanation of why you won’t be interviewing. And that’s all you need to do!
>>MORE: How to Write a Thank You Email After a Zoom Interview
How to Respond to a Job Interview Email Examples
Those are the building blocks for responding to a job interview email. Here’s how you put all the pieces together.
Thanks for reaching out about the [name of position] job. I can meet with you on [date and time] over Zoom.
I look forward to meeting with you and learning more about the position. If you need anything from me before we meet, please let me know.
Thanks for contacting me about the [name of position] role. I’m open on [state a few dates and times] and happy to come into the office to meet with you and the team.
Thanks again, and I look forward to meeting with you.
Thanks for considering me for the [name of position] position. Unfortunately, those dates and times won’t work for me because that’s my finals week. However, I have [name dates and times] open the following week. Do any of those work for you? Also, will this be an in-person interview or over Zoom?
Thanks so much for inviting me to interview for the [name of position] role. I scheduled the interview for [name date and time].
I look forward to chatting with you about the role. If you need anything from me, please let me know.
Thank you for considering me for the [name of position] job. However, I’ve already accepted another position.
Again, thank you, and good luck with your search.
Get prepped for your next interview:
- How to Answer: ‘What Motivates You?’ in a Job Interview
- How to Answer: ‘What Are Your Reasons for Leaving a Job?’
- How to Answer: ‘Tell Me About Yourself’
- What Is a ‘Good’ Weakness for a Job Interview?
- Interview Questions, Answered: ‘What Is Your Greatest Strength?’
- How to Answer: ‘Why Are You Applying for This Position?’
- 30 Behavioral Interview Questions for All Careers
- 15 Entry-Level Interview Questions
- Interview Questions, Answered: ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’
- How to Use the STAR Method for Interview Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You shouldn’t ghost the employer. You never know when your paths might meet up again. You can use example five as a template and simply say, “I’m no longer interested in the role,” or “I’m no longer available.”
A good rule of thumb is 48 to 72 hours (or the following Monday if that falls on a weekend).
In general, yes. The recruiter will want to know if other companies are interested in you. But you are not obligated to mention it.
Yes! That job offer could fall through. It’s better to keep interviewing just in case.
No. If it comes up, it’s fine to discuss. But recruiters and hiring managers generally expect that all candidates are interviewing with other companies.
Exactly like you do for a first interview! Enthusiastically, positively, and quickly!
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