You’ve finally landed an interview for that dream job you’ve been after—now what’s the best way to follow up? These days, most formal interview invitations are sent via email, which can be trickier to respond to than a simple phone call. But answering an interested recruiter doesn’t have to turn you into a nervous wreck. Just write out a short, courteous message of reply confirming the details of the meeting and thanking the sender personally for their time. After reading back through your email to review the information you’ve included and check for typos, you can send it off and begin preparing to wow during your interview.
EditFormatting Your Response
- Thoroughly read the email for relevant information about the interview. Read the invitation all the way through and look for details that lay out how the interview process will proceed. You’ll typically be given an exact time and place to meet, the name of the person conducting the interview, and directions to the location if it’s difficult to find. All these things will be important to know in order to formulate an appropriate response.
- Other important considerations like what to wear, where to park, and who to ask for when you enter will also likely be addressed in the body of the invitation.
- Find out whether the interview will be conducted in person or over the phone. This will make a big difference in the way the rest of your correspondence plays out.
- Use the sender’s name in your salutation. If the email came from an individual, referring to them by name is a respectful way of acknowledging them and demonstrates that you’re paying attention. It also takes the guesswork out of composing the salutation—in most cases, it will be sufficient to simply insert the person’s name followed by a comma.
- A heading that reads “Ms. Menendez, …” is far more personable than one like “To whom it may concern.”
- If no one person is named in the address or signature, it’s okay to use a more general salutation like “Dear Acme Inc. Hiring Coordinator.”
- Thank the person or company for their interest. Begin your first line by expressing your gratitude for being granted the opportunity to interview for the position. It’s a small gesture that doesn’t take long, but can make a world of difference. A show of appreciation will set a cordial tone for the rest of your ongoing correspondence and help you get off on the right foot.
- Use expressive language to underscore your enthusiasm and keep your reply from coming off as robotic. Instead of saying “thank you for the chance to interview with your company,” try “I was thrilled to receive your email and to think of the unique skills and experience I might bring to CompuTech’s research and development team in the near future.”
- A little politeness can go a long way. A gracious, well-mannered candidate is more likely to be considered for a position than one who dispenses with common courtesy.
- Confirm the particulars of the interview. After thanking the sender, use the next line to reiterate the information they’ve relayed to you. If they suggest the following Wednesday morning at 10am as the time to meet, for example, you might say something like “Wednesday the 14th at 10am is perfect for me! I’ll be sure to arrange the rest of my schedule accordingly.” The important thing is that you make it clear that everyone is on the same page.
- If the date or time proposed doesn’t work for you for some reason, make it a point to let the send know up front so you can work on finding an opening that’s convenient for both of you.
- Keep the body of your message brief. You don’t want to take up too much of the recruiter’s time or risk losing their attention.
- Ask for any other pertinent details that you might need. If you’re left with any unanswered questions about what comes next, don’t hesitate to bring them up in the second half of your response. You might not have been told what identifying documents to bring, for instance, or how to obtain a visitor’s badge to gain access to restricted areas. Requesting further information when it’s needed signals to a recruiter that you’re organized and keen to do things the right way.
- Try to pose your questions tactfully to avoid making it sound like the sender is at fault for forgetting to mention something. “What’s the best way to find your office building from Sunrise Highway?” sounds better than “you never told me how to get there.”
- Ask the sender explicitly to follow up before concluding your message if there’s something pressing you need cleared up. A closing line like “please get back to me at your earliest convenience so I’ll know how best to proceed” leaves no confusion about what it is you want the sender to do.
- End your response with a professional signature. At the bottom of the email, sign off with your first and last name, job title or description, and a phone number and email address where you can be reached, along with any other relevant contact info. You can also provide links to any external resources you think the recruiter should have, such as your personal website or LinkedIn profile. Remember, this will be the last thing your contact will see, so it should represent you in a favorable light.
- Avoid overloading your signature with filler content, like social media accounts or inspirational quotes. The best signatures are streamlined, informative, and easily readable at a glance.
- A simple, well-designed signature might look something like this: Christa Peterson | Senior Marketing Analyst, Taffet Media Corp. | www.taffetmedia.com | 888-723-4968
EditPolishing and Sending Your Email
- Respond to the invitation right away. As soon as you get the email you’ve been anxiously awaiting, make an effort to sit down and type out a response at your earliest convenience. Getting back to the sender as quickly as possible shows that you’re prompt, and that you take their busy schedule seriously. It will also give you more time to find out everything you need to know in order to get prepared.
- Get in the habit of checking your inbox once or twice a day for work-related emails.
- Turn on email notifications on your phone so that you’ll be alerted every time you receive a new message.
- Check for typographical errors. Before you send your response, read back over it from top to bottom to make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes. Pay particular attention to your use of capitalization, punctuation, and spacing. A professional email riddled with typos isn’t the kind of first impression you want to make!
- Your email platform’s built-in spellcheck feature can come in handy for catching goof-ups that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- Consider having a friend or coworker proofread your message for you. Other people are sometimes better at detecting errors in a piece of writing than the person that wrote it.
- Copy all other intended recipients. If there are other names attached to the email, choose the “reply all” option rather than replying to one sender individually. This will help ensure that everyone who is supposed to see your response does, and is kept in the loop about your place in the interview process.
- Exceptions to this rule include instances when the invitation asks that you reply to a particular person or address, or if the other names copied on the email are applicants like yourself.
- It’s not uncommon for hiring coordinators to copy other company representatives, like office managers and human resources personnel, on correspondence directed to potential recruits.
- Double check that the email has gone through. Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your response, hit the send button. Then, head to your sent messages inbox and look for the email there. If there’s an issue with an incorrect mailing address or unexpected internet outage, you’ll want to be aware of it before it causes a problem.
- A lengthy delay in your response time could reflect poorly on your communication skills, or even result in a missed opportunity.
- Read your response aloud to see if you’ve done a good enough job conveying a tone that’s cheerful, friendly, and, above all, natural.
- Always compose and reply to professional emails using the same address listed on your resume or application.
- Strong communication skills are an asset in the workplace. It’s important to be aware of how you’re likely to be perceived, even when you’re just typing up a short response.
- If you feel like you need some extra guidance putting together the perfect response, search for helpful templates and sample emails online.
- Avoid using elaborate fonts, unnecessary graphics, or other formatting oddities in professional emails. Inappropriate stylistic choices could send potential employers the wrong message.
EditSources and Citations
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