The do’s and don’ts of interview invitations

Do's and Don'ts of interview invitations

A guide for the do’s and don’ts of interview invitations…

So, you’ve agonized over the ‘perfect’ job description, posted it out into the world, received a stack of resumes, and created a shortlist for the best candidates. Now… It’s time to invite the lucky few to an interview.

Whether you’re interviewing 5 or 50 candidates, each interview invitation requires careful thought.

DO pick your timings wisely

Know when to contact your candidates.

DON’T send your interview invitations out at 9 pm in the evening, or 4 am in the morning. Not only does this appear unprofessional, but is the last thing any candidate wants.

Considering timing is more important if you’re inviting a candidate to interview over the phone. If they work 9-5, make sure you call either during their lunch break or after work (a candidate might not feel comfortable taking a call for another position in front of their boss).

However, if you send out your interview invites via email, then timings are less relevant. A candidate can check their emails in their own time and reply accordingly.

DO make it personal

DON’T make a blanket email or call for for every candidate.

You’ll want to tailor your interview invitation to the specific person receiving either the phone call or email.

(Graduates in particular, are likely to have applied for several roles, so make sure you specify the position and your company, so they know the exact role it is you’re interviewing for)

You should also mention:

  • The topics which will be covered
  • What kind of interview it might be (one-to-one, group, remote, structure or unstructured)
  • How long the interview might last
  • What they might need to bring (a portfolio or references)

DO be flexible

DON’T be stubborn…

Many candidates will already be employed, so be flexible when arranging a time for the interview. In the invitation make sure to offer them a selection of times to choose from when you are available.

Consider alternative interview methods if they are unable to meet face-to-face. A virtual or telephone interview works just as well.

DO be specific

DON’T be vague!

Imagine yourself in their shoes. Interviews are terrifying, so be as specific as possible. Help to ease some of their concerns by being straightforward and organised.

If you’re conducting a face-to-face interview make sure to attach a map of the location of your building, to avoid candidates getting lost.

If you’re conducting a telephone or remote interview, remember to give the candidate your phone number or send them a link to the video call (eg. Zoom or Microsoft Teams)

Make sure your candidates know who it is that will be interviewing them. Primarily, so that they know who to ask for at the front desk, but also in case they fancy a quick LinkedIn stalk.

DO be friendly, but professional

DON’T be overly friendly – maintain your professional boundaries.

Whether you’re contacting candidates via email or telephone, make sure to bear in mind your tone of voice and phrasing.

You should sound polite, approachable and professional, but also maintain a tone which reflects the company and sets the mood for the interview.

You’ll want to:

  • Keep it friendly – receiving an interview invitation is exciting, keep the tone conversational and light. DON’T sound robotic, pushy, or too serious or you’ll end up with far fewer interviewees then expected.
  • Reflect your company’s personality – make sure you stay on brand, refer back to your advertising materials to mimic the company image and brand story.
  • Sound welcoming – ultimately, you want candidates to attend your interview. Make them feel excited to be interviewed and confident in their skills. Confident interviewees = better candidates.

So there you have it – a handy guide to the do’s and don’ts when releasing interview invitations. Remember receiving an interview invitation is an exciting time for both you and the candidate.

For more advice read our blog on how to sort through and find the best job applications, otherwise, get hiring today!!

About post author

As a recent graduate from the University of Reading. I am currently working with DigitalGrads as their content and marketing intern.
Posted in Hiring Graduates