When you write an interview invitation letter, remember that it has three primary uses: It lets an applicant know that they are being considered for an open position; it invites them to participate in the interview process, and it gives them the critical information they’ll need – where, when and how – on interview day.
Once you learn how to write an interview invitation letter, you can create separate templates for each to invite candidates to in-person interviews, video interviews or telephone interviews. If you create several templates, it will ensure that you have everything on hand when the need arises.
To make life simple, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to write an interview invitation letter on your own. Follow the steps below to create a personalized interview invitation letter.
How to write an interview invitation letter
Step 1: To write an interview invitation letter that elicits a positive response, begin with a welcoming introduction paragraph. The introduction should mention the applicant’s experience or credentials and express your desire to meet them for an in-person, telephone or video interview. The tone should be professional but welcoming and complimentary. The type of business you are hiring for should dictate the tone of the letter. A law firm, for example, would have a much more formal-sounding interview invitation letter than a tech start-up.
Here is some example text for an introduction paragraph: “Dear John: We are impressed by your background and experience. My team and I think that your qualifications make you an excellent candidate for this role. We would like to invite you to interview at our office.”
Step 2: Include all relevant information about the meeting, such as the proposed date, time and location of the interview. Offering candidates a choice of dates and times will help ensure that they will find a time that works for them. Have an additional interview slot (or two) reserved in case a candidate cannot make it to your original proposed dates and times.
Step 3: For face-to-face interviews, include driving directions, information on accessing your office via public transportation, parking tips, and other critical travel information. If there is a door code on your office, or if your building has security which will require the applicant to produce identification to enter the building, be sure to include this information. The more information you provide, the more likely there will be no confusion on interview day.
Step 4: If you are inviting a candidate for a video or telephone interview, be sure to include dial-in numbers, meeting codes, and instructions for using your technology. Encourage the candidate to test their computer equipment and Wi-Fi connection before the interview begins to ensure everything is in working order.
Step 5: When you are learning how to write an interview invitation letter, remember that details count. Include information about interview length and details about whom the candidate will meet. The message should contain the full name and title of each person who will interview the candidate. If possible, include an itinerary of the interview for the candidate so that they know what to expect when they arrive at your office.
For example, you could write, “The interview will last roughly 60-minutes, and you will meet with two employees during that time. From 2-2:30 p.m., you’ll meet with Stephanie Johnson, Crate & Barrel store manager. From 2:30-3 p.m., you’ll meet with Timothy McMillan, Crate & Barrel assistant store manager.”
Step 5: Make it clear if the candidate needs to bring specific items to the interview. These items can include but are not limited to the following: extra copies of their resume, a list of references, a professional portfolio, or identification.
Step 6: If you plan to conduct a skills test during the interview, such as a typing or editing challenge, tell the candidate in the interview invitation.
Step 7: For longer interviews, indicate whether breakfast lunch will be served to allow candidates to plan ahead. If the meeting will include lunch in a restaurant, it’s helpful to inform the candidate about the dress code of the establishment so that they don’t feel out of place.
Step 8: Include contact information for the hiring manager in the event the candidate gets lost or has an emergency on interview day. Buses run late, and traffic can get backed up. It will ease the candidate’s mind and yours if he or she can contact you to let you know they are running late or need to reschedule.
Step 9: Review your letter to ensure it has a professional but warm tone, especially while you are learning how to write an interview invitation letter. The goal of this letter is to get the candidate in the door and – hopefully – hired for the open role. Also, review your letter to ensure that it relays all of the pertinent information. The more information the candidate has, the less likely it is that there will be a snag on interview day.