Art of the interview request: How to invite a candidate to interview with you

How to send an interview request to a candidate

If you’re wondering how to invite a candidate to interview with you, the secret is nailing your interview request. This phase begins after candidates have submitted their resume and contact information. Someone on your team has decided that they qualify to proceed to the next stage. Usually the interview invitation goes out via email with instructions on scheduling a time to meet with you. Write a strong interview request and your entire hiring process will be better off. 

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you may feel like you’re in the seat of power. After all, you call the shots and get to choose who moves forward. But if you want to hire exceptional talent, then you need to demonstrate that excellence yourself. You only get to make a first impression once. Every step of the interview process should be impeccable, including the earliest stages. Getting this right will signal your professionalism to candidates and set the stage for their best performance.

To help you prepare the perfect interview request email, we’re going to share some templates and guiding principles. These will provide you with everything you need to regarding how to send an interview request, so it stands out from the ordinary emails they receive every day. 

The basics of an interview request

Let’s begin with the basics of an interview request. When formulating your message to the candidate, there are a few core qualifications that you should meet. We’ll go into each of these steps in more detail shortly. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Write an enticing email subject line for the candidate
  • Establish a friendly and welcoming tone
  • Congratulate them on being selected to move forward in your interview process
  • Provide details on what’s next for the candidate and set expectations about the interview
  • Clarify any important details about how your company operates in general
  • Share a scheduling link to automate the candidate’s interview registration

It’s important for candidates to feel like they’re going through a professional, well thought-out hiring process that will lead them to success. Setting up a solid template can help you avoid typos and be consistent. When you lead with a friendly tone, set future expectations, and provide a scheduling link, candidates feel like they have a clear path forward. 

Establish a friendly and welcoming tone

When you start composing an interview request template, it’s important to keep friendliness in mind. The job search process can feel intimidating for applicants. So flip that emotion on its head and write an email that feels warm and welcoming. 

Recruiters and hiring managers are mediating the relationship between companies and future employees. As a mediator between the two parties, your job is to facilitate new relationships and minimize friction during that hiring process. That’s why it’s so important to commit to a friendly tone in these email templates. When the applicant feels nurtured by you, they are more likely to show up with their best foot forward.

Don’t be afraid to lighten your message up with an emoji or emoticon. Keep it professional, of course, but always remember that an upbeat message brings out the best in people. 

Congratulate them in your email invitation

A warm greeting at the beginning of your email is always appropriate. If you can follow up on that salutation with some encouraging words, that’s even better. We recommend adding one to two sentences at the beginning of your email template that congratulate them on progressing through the hiring process.

If you want to really excite the candidate, include a short statement on why you think they would be a good fit for the potential employer. This technique is similar to what a prospect might do in their cover letter to let the employer know they researched their company in advance. By highlighting the applicant’s strong suits relative to the job description, you will build their confidence in their ability to land a job interview. This improve the odds that they will take action and schedule an interview with you. 

Provide additional information about the job application

Once you’ve warmed up job seekers with some encouraging words, it’s time to give them additional information on the interview scheduling process. You’ll want to make sure company policy and procedures are clearly outlined. So for example, if there are requirements that have not been communicate yet, this would be the right place to add them. 

Here are some examples of additional information that they might need to know: 

  • Reiterate the company name, job title, and job description
  • Expectations from the candidate should employer make a job offer
  • Optional to include some pre-interview questions 
  • Will this be a web conference or phone interview?
  • If it’s a phone call, will you provide a phone number or collect theirs?

Share an interview scheduling link

Now comes the moment in your interview request where you can really delight the candidate (and save yourself a lot of time as a hiring manager or recruiter). With an interview scheduling link you will be able to make a simple call to action like “click here to book a time for your interview”. All you need to do is highlight that anchor text and attach a link to a dedicated scheduling page.

Some of you might be unfamiliar with scheduling links and how they work, so let’s take a moment to review the concept. 

Follow your interview request with an automated scheduling tool like Appointlet

When you send candidates a scheduling link, they are able to pick a date and time that works for them. Scheduling pages include an intake form so you can collect additional information from them as needed. For example, instead of asking for their phone number, the phone call scheduling page can collect that data during the intake form step. That way you secure the critical information and connect it to their booking data. When it comes time to meet with them, all of the candidate info is there in one place for your hiring manager to review. 

Here are just a few perks you can expect from setting up an online scheduling tool.

  • Let the candidate choose an interview date and interview time that works for your team
  • Prevent scheduling conflicts 
  • Automate email notifications like the interview confirmation email 
  • Circulate candidate interviews across a pool of staff in human resources
  • Avoid going back and forth via email responses and voicemails trying to find a good time 

Alternatively, you can always suggest a date and a few times that might work. But there’s the risk that they are in a different time zone and could get confused. If they agree to the time, you have to hope that they mark their calendar and don’t forget to show. Subtle miscommunications like that are precisely why we recommend automating the process.

We’ve put together specific instructions on how to generate and share scheduling links with your candidates. You can use Appointlet’s free plan to do optimize hiring and interview processes without any cost to your company. 

Sample email template for an Interview Request

Now that we’ve reviewed the core elements to consider when writing your interview request email, here is a sample email that a recruiter might write. You can address them by their full name or with a formal salutation. We’ve followed the guidelines in this article to help connect the concepts to something more tangible. 

Dear Mr. Jackson, Thank you so much for reaching out to us on LinkedIn this week. We received your application for the <xyz> position at <abc-company> and would love to discuss this opportunity with you further. 

Based on your resume, it looks like you already have a few years of experience working in this capacity. That’s really great to see. If you’re available to meet next week to discuss the position in detail, we would be happy to set up a time with you!

We typically meet either by phone or web conference, based on your preference. The initial interview will be about 30 minutes and gives us a chance to get to know each other. If that goes well, you will progress through a technical and team interview phase as well. 

<abc-company> is looking to fill this position within 60 days, so if you decide to proceed with this process we ask that you be available in that time frame.  

For phone calls, we’ll collect your number on the intake form. If you’re booking a Skype or Zoom call with us, expect to find a “join meeting” link in your interview confirmation email. If that sounds good, you can go ahead and book time with us here.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Best regards, 

<hiring manager / recruiter name>

Scheduling follow ups after the initial interview request

Once you’ve sent out the initial interview request, you can expect candidates to begin registering times to meet. Facilitating interviews is another skillset that goes beyond the scope of this article. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you should already be trained on best practices for the interview sessions themselves. However, we may be able to help you here with some final thoughts on how to follow up with candidates after the initial interview. 

Since you already have an automated scheduling solution in place, we recommend generating dedicated scheduling pages for each step of the interview process. If you do have a second technical interview phase, for example, then creating a separate meeting type template for that will be helpful. The location, duration, and meeting hosts might change. So having separate links set up is a great way to keep a sense of continuity through the full human resource onboarding process.

When it comes time to make a job offer, you can create a designated meeting link for that conversation as well. That moment will represent the completion of their first major phase in employee onboarding. 

There are other things you can do, beyond the initial interviews, to keep building rapport and building the confidence of your new hires. For example, some companies will post new hire announcements on their social media accounts. If your website has a Teams page, you can collect a short byline about the new employee and post a photo of them. 

By going the extra mile to make your employees feel at home during the earliest stages of their application process, you set the tone for long term success.  

Article image credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com

 

Ezra Sandzer-Bell