At some point in your job search, you’re going to be contacted for an interview. That’s great news! Interviewing is an important part of the process, and it’s where you can show the hiring manager why you’d be a great fit for the company. However, responding to the request for an interview isn’t always a simple yes or no answer. Sometimes you need to reschedule, or you’d like more information before you interview, or maybe something came up and you missed the interview after accepting.
Regardless of your answer, the important thing is to communicate your decision in a timely manner. Below are six interview email templates to help you respond in a variety of situations.
Congratulations! You’ve been invited to interview and are ready to move forward in the next step of the hiring process. If you are planning on accepting the interview request, you’ll want to reply quickly and enthusiastically, ideally the same day as you receive the invitation. Begin your reply by thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity. Then you can either accept the time they suggest if it fits in your schedule, or offer alternative times for when you’ll be available.
Use this email template for accepting a job interview:
Thank you for reaching out with the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position. I am free to meet on [Date, Time], or if that doesn’t work, I’m available [Date, Time]. I’m excited to speak with you and discuss how I can be a great fit for [Company Name].
Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide before our meeting.
Thank you again for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you.
In some cases, you may be interested in accepting the interview request, but you have just a few questions about the position before fully committing. In this case, make sure you thank the hiring manager and note your interest in accepting up front, and then move on to asking your questions. You can end your email by thanking them again and reiterating your interest in the position. Here is a template you can use with some example questions:
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I am very interested in the position, but I have just a few quick questions before I’m able to schedule an interview. Could you clarify:
I look forward to hearing back from you and moving forward with the interview.
Thank you for your consideration,
While being asked to interview can be an exciting development in your job search, there may be some cases where you aren’t interested in moving forward with that position. Maybe you received an offer at another company already, you were contacted by a recruiter, or you didn’t like the answers to your questions in your previous email asking for more information. The important thing to keep in mind when determining how to decline an interview request is to reply quickly and courteously to the hiring manager. If for some reason you change your mind, you don't want to have burned any bridges or "ghosted" them completely.
You can use this email template to decline an interview request:
Thank you for contacting me to speak with you about the [Job Title] position. However, I regret that I will have to decline the interview at this time.
I appreciate the opportunity and I wish you luck in your candidate search.
Thank you for your consideration,
If you’ve already accepted the interview, but something comes up and you need to reschedule, don’t fret. Usually hiring managers know life can be unpredictable and are willing to accommodate changes. Be sure to send your email as soon as possible, though; don’t wait until the last minute to reschedule. You don’t need to go into much detail about why you need to reschedule if it’s personal, but a brief explanation will help the hiring manager understand. Express your regret at having to change the time and give them several options for when you’ll be available.
Unfortunately, something has come up and I will not be able to make the scheduled interview we had for [Date, Time]. I have an unexpected personal appointment I need to attend to.
I am still very interested in speaking with you about the [Job Title] position, however, so if you’re able to reschedule, I am available [Date, Time].
Thank you for your understanding,
Canceling an already scheduled interview can sometimes be stressful or awkward, but if you keep a polite, professional tone and express your regret, you won’t damage the relationship. Like with all responses to an interview request, make sure you notify the hiring manager as soon as possible about your decision. It will make for a smoother experience and you’ll leave on more favorable terms. You can be brief in your cancellation email, but giving a reason for why you are deciding to cancel is common.
Thank you for contacting me about the [Job Title] position at [Company]. Unfortunately, I need to cancel the interview that was scheduled for [Date, Time].
I appreciate your consideration but would like to withdraw my application for this role. I have accepted a position at another company. I wish you luck in your candidate search.
Thank you again for your consideration,
In the case of a missed interview, contacting the employer right away is crucial. The longer you wait, the less likely they are to be forgiving and offer a second chance. Apologize, first and foremost, and then give as full an explanation as you’re willing to share (if you’re still interested in the position, a simple “personal reasons” may not cut it), then give several options for when you’re available next. As long as you’re prompt with your reply and remain professional, there’s a good chance the employer will be willing to reschedule. (If you’re running late to an interview, we’ve got you covered, too.)
Use this email template for contacting an employer after missing an interview:
Please accept my apology for missing our scheduled interview this afternoon. My son fell ill at school, and I had to take him to the doctor this morning. I understand this was an inconvenience for you.
I appreciate your understanding and would be interested in rescheduling my interview. I should be available again [Date, Time]. Please let me know what time would be convenient for you.
If you’re looking for how to respond to an interview request, these email templates are a great resource. As long as you respond in a timely manner and remain professional, most hiring managers will understand when something unexpected pops up and they’ll be willing to reschedule.
Be sure to save these email templates for the next time you’re asked to interview and check out our other interviewing tips and tricks on our Career Advice Resource Center.