How to invite candidates in for interviews (with tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Scheduling job interviews for prospective candidates is an important task associated with the role of a hiring manager. Learning how to invite candidates in for interviews streamlines the process of finding the right candidate for the job. Ideally, hiring managers have the scope to identify preferred candidates for interviews through vetting, but the actual contact with the candidates may require some fine-tuning. In this article, we detail how to invite candidates in for interviews, discuss what to include in your invitation alongside some general tips and provide a template and an example to help you in this task.

Related: 13 unusual interview questions and why interviewers ask them

How to invite candidates in for interviews

Knowing how to invite candidates in for interviews is useful if you're a hiring manager or given the responsibilities of such a role. Primarily, you may choose to email the candidate or call them. A phone call tends to be more personal, as you directly interact with the candidate. An email invitation allows the candidate to respond to it in their own time after careful deliberation. Below are guides for each of these methods:

1. Calling candidates in for interviews

Below is a guide on how to call candidates in for interviews:

  • Obtain the telephone number of the candidate and call them.

  • Speak with the candidate about the position and their suitability for the role.

  • Discuss their availability for the interview and schedule an appointment for the interview.

  • Go over key details, including interview location and any additional resources required.

  • Provide them with a contact number for further information or to change the interview time.

2. Emailing candidates for interviews

If you're sending email invitations to candidates, follow the steps below:

  • Obtain the email address of the candidate.

  • Draft an email outlining the candidate's suitability for the role and request an interview.

  • Offer the candidate a choice of several possible times for the interview.

  • Include details about where the interview is to take place and any additional resources required.

  • Provide contact information, or ask them to reply to your email to confirm the interview time.

Related: 7 teamwork interview questions and how to answer them

What to include in your interview invitation

When writing your interview invitation, remember to include all of the necessary information for the candidate to understand what the interview is about and when to attend it. Below is a summary of the main points to include in your invitation:

  • What the interview is about: This includes the position that the candidate is interviewing for, the name of the organisation and some general information about the topics of discussion.

  • When the interview takes place: Offer the candidate a few dates to choose from so that they can arrange an interview time that suits them. If this isn't possible, ensure that you provide a specific date and time for the interview.

  • Where the interview takes place: It's important that candidates know exactly where to go for the interview. Do this by offering specific address information, including floor and office numbers, or providing a map of the location.

  • Who is conducting the interview: Provide the candidate with information about the interviewer, such as the name and position of the person conducting the interview. The candidate can then ask reception for the interviewer by name.

  • How the interview takes place: Interviews can take many different forms, from one-on-one interviews to group sessions. Let the candidate know in advance about the format and how the interview is going to take place.

  • What to bring: Candidates are sometimes expected to bring a number of items, such as reference information or a portfolio of their work. Make sure that they know what to bring to ensure a successful interview.

  • How long the interview lasts: It's helpful for candidates to know how long the interview might run. Give them an approximate time scale to help them prepare for the interview in advance and schedule their day accordingly.

Related: 7 different types of interview questions (with examples)

Tips for inviting candidates to interviews

To help you draft the best possible invitations for candidates, try the following tips:

Be flexible

Job candidates usually have many other commitments in their lives when applying for jobs, such as responsibilities in their current work or family commitments. To show that you're interested in the candidate, try to offer flexibility in terms of how and when the interview takes place. This shows the candidate that you're mindful of their needs and respect the work-life balance.

Related: Common interview question: ‘how do you handle stress?'

Stay in contact

Retaining a good line of communication with candidates shows you're committed to them. Once an interview date is set, it's useful to get in touch with the candidate to thank them for confirming the interview. You may also use this opportunity to ask if they have any follow-up questions or confirm their contact information. Another good idea is to send them a reminder when it's close to the date of the interview.

Related: Follow-up email examples for after the interview

Give candidates useful information

Ensure that the candidates know where the interview is taking place, including the building address, floor number and room number. Include a point of contact for them to reach if an unforeseen situation arises. Other information to provide includes the interview type and whether they require any additional resources.

What is the importance of inviting candidates to interviews?

Interview invitations indicate to jobseekers that an organisation has an interest in them. By aligning the company's needs with the right people for the job, a well-crafted job invitation persuades the best candidates to interview for the role. By providing consistent communication, hiring managers keep candidates interested in the role. Invitations make candidates feel appreciated and seen by an organisation, creating a connection between them. In many cases, the invitation is the first interaction the jobseeker has with the organisation, so it's essential for both sides to make a positive first impression.

Template to invite candidates for interviews

Templates make it easier and quicker to invite candidates to interviews. This template includes all of the relevant details for individual candidates while keeping the general information and formatting the same. Use this to help you structure your invitations:

Subject: Invitation to interview for [role title]

Dear [candidate name],

[Introduction that thanks the candidate for applying to the position in question.] [Offer a summary of why you feel they're a good fit for the role and outline your interest in interviewing the candidate.]

[Mention the name of the interviewer and their role at the company.] [Outline specifically where the interview is taking place.] [Include any supplemental resources to bring, such as a portfolio of work.] [Let the candidate know how long the interview takes and when the interview is going ahead.]

[Ask for confirmation of what time best suits the candidate for the interview.]

[Closing statement that thanks the candidate for their time.]

Sincerely, [Your name]

Example of an effective interview invitation

To help you draft an effective interview invitation, use the example below as a guide:

Subject: Invitation to interview at ABC Company

Dear Mr Smith, I would like to thank you for applying for the role of Operations Manager at ABC Company. Upon reviewing your application, we'd love to interview you for the role based on your wealth of experience, passion for the industry and academic background. We believe that your skills, experience and aptitudes are a perfect fit for this role at ABC Company and would like to formally invite you to interview for the position.

Our lead hiring manager, Barry White, will undertake the interviews, which last approximately 30 minutes. The interview itself is to take place in room 115 on the 2nd floor of the RBS Building at 123 Main Street, London. Please speak with the receptionist upon arrival, who can direct you to the appropriate location. You don't need to bring any other materials, but if you have any questions, we'll be happy to answer them on the day of the interview.

We have three time slots available for interviews, so please let us know what best suits your schedule. The time slots are: Monday 11th April - 3 p.m.; Tuesday 12th April - 10 a.m.; Wednesday 13th April - 12 p.m. Please let us know what date is best for you. If you'd like to discuss an alternative appointment, let us know your availability, and we'll arrange a more suitable time slot.

Thank you again for applying for the role of Operations Manager at ABC Company. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kind regards, Bradley Pitt (Hiring Manager at ABC Company)

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