While informational interviews have long been the domain of jobseekers eager to learn about new opportunities and make key contacts, they can also be a useful tool for savvy recruiters and hiring leaders.
These days, it’s more of jobseeker’s market, and accordingly, companies both big and small need to make extra efforts to not only convince great candidates to apply to their openings, but also to keep them engaged at every stage of the hiring process.
That means, among other things, knowing how to write an interview reminder letter and understanding how it can minimize the number of interview no-shows.
This simple document can, in the very least, serve as a strictly functional reminder of basics, like what time the interview starts and how long it’s expected to take. Perhaps more importantly, it can signal to candidates that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about them, and it can indicate that you’re a professional organization devoted to creating a good experience for everyone, from the most devoted employee to the applicant who’s just submitted their resume.
So in this light, here are a few tips that can help you write an interview reminder letter.
How to Write an Interview Reminder Letter
1. Include the Basics
As mentioned, the primary function of this document is to make sure candidates have all of the vital info they need to turn up for the interview. More specifically, when you sit down to write an interview reminder letter you’ll want to include the following elements:
• Interview date and time (and time zone if you’re interviewing a candidate in a different region)
• Estimated length of interview
• Interview location, dial-in number, or video conferencing link
2. Help the Candidate Help You
Your goal is get a great candidate hired as quickly as possible, so it makes sense that you’d want to help those coming in or calling in for an interview put their best foot forward. For example, that could mean delivering supplementary transportation information, like where they should park or how they can take public transportation to arrive at your office. Or it could mean providing them with valuable resources that can help them prepare, like a list of the scheduled interviewers.
3. Get the Documentation You Need
Some companies require that candidates sign non-disclosure agreements, complete employee applications, or file other similar documents prior to an interview. If you haven’t yet received these and a candidate’s meeting is fast approaching, an interview reminder letter is a great opportunity to once again request this documentation.
4. Personalize Your Letter
This is a critical component to keep top of mind when you write an interview reminder letter. Candidates are, after all, the ones in the driver’s seat in this competitive jobseeker’s market, so anything you can do to prove to them that you’re a great place to work is to your benefit. It goes without saying that personalizing your message can make them feel valued and unique, even at this early stage in the hiring process. In other words, be sure to use their name when addressing them; don’t use a generic, “Dear Applicant.” Similarly, start your letter with a line about why you’re inviting them for an interview. This could relate to their past experience, skills, qualifications, or even something you spotted on one of their social profiles.
5. Sum Up Your Company’s Mission & Culture
This goes hand in hand with the last point. Just as you can’t assume that your job candidates have only applied to your open role, you can’t assume that candidates have done any research on your company ahead of time. After all, some research claims that jobseekers spend an average of just 76 seconds looking at a job description before deciding to apply. For that reason, when you write an interview reminder letter it’s essential that you include at least one or two sentences that sum up your company’s mission and shed some light on what it’s like to work at your organization.
6. Keep the Tone Welcoming and Positive
This may seem obvious, but it’s nonetheless a good point to double check before you send your letter. Think about it this way: this may be only the second communication you’ve had with a potential future hire, and it will be one of the initial factors a candidate uses to evaluate your company culture. Keep them engaged by driving home how excited you are to learn more about them – don’t give them a reason to ignore your request.
7. Ask for Confirmation
Last but not least, include a call-to-action in your letter that encourages the interviewee to confirm that they’ll be attending. This can help you manage your expectations, which can save you time in the long run. For example, if someone doesn’t confirm and either doesn’t answer your screening call or seems to be late for your face-to-face, you may be able to make a quicker decision about moving on with your hiring efforts, rather than wasting time trying to follow-up with them repeatedly.