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The Muse

Yes! The email you’ve been waiting for has arrived. They want to bring you in for an interview! Your application made the cut. The resume you worked so hard to tailor got their attention. Your cover letter spoke to them, and now it’s time for “next steps.”

But before you send off a hasty reply that you’re “thrilled” and “looking forward to meeting in person,” take a second to make sure you’ve checked off all of the very essential interview need-to-know boxes?

I’m not talking about doing a practice interview, though you definitely should do that. Nor am I referring to preparing yourself in advance for all of the interview questions they might ask.

I’m speaking specifically of details you need before you step foot in the door. Who, what, where, when, how-long type details.

While the person scheduling your interview will likely work with you on to land on a time and date that works for both parties, and while you’ll probably get an exact address, that’s not all you need to know.

You also need to know the following:

  • How long the interview’s going to run. This is extra important if you’re ditching your job for a couple of hours to go on said interview.
  • Who you’re meeting with. Because depending on their answer here, there’s research you’ll need to do beyond company stats, mission, and place in the market. For example, it might be helpful to have a sense of the background of the people you’re meeting with and what skills they’ve brought to the organization.
  • What you’ll need or have access to. Are they looking for an open-ended conversation, or would a presentation be appropriate, and even if they don’t request the latter, if you decide to go above and beyond, you need to know what technology’s available to you.


Sample EmailHow to Respond to an Interview Invite

Hi Susannah,

Great to hear from you! I hope your week is going well. I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.

I’m really looking forward to coming into the R&J office and meeting some of the team members. Based on the dates you mentioned, my availability is as follows: any time after 12 PM on September 14th and throughout the day until about 4:30 PM on the 18th.

A few questions about the in-office meeting: 1) How much time do you anticipate we’ll have together? 2) Will I have access to technology for a presentation to showcase my work and thoughts on a Q4 strategy for the company? 3) Can you please let me know who I’ll be meeting with, and how much time I’ll have with each person or if it’ll be a group interview?

Thanks so much for reaching out and coordinating all of this.

I hope you have a good rest of the week and lovely weekend!

Best,
Stacey



If you’re worried about coming off as anxious or over-prepared, fear not! This kind of detailed and specific email follow-up furthers your candidacy. You demonstrate that you’re organized, efficient, and thoughtful.

One more tip if you’re going to send this (and I hope I’ve convinced you why you should): Err on the side of assuming the recruiter will be slow to get back to you. That means being prepared to obtain all of the information you need as soon as possible. While it’s not the end of the world to send a second email with these questions, you’ll save yourself at least a bit of stress if you can knock this simple step out of the park from the get-go.