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How to Respond to a Manager When They Ask if You Can Come in for an Interview

by Grace Ferguson

If a manager wants to physically interview you, she thinks you might be a good fit for the job. At this stage, you may be ahead of the competition. To keep it that way, respond to the invitation in an efficient and professional manner. The manager may email or call in her request.

Deciding to Interview

Before responding to the request, gauge your interest in the job. If you applied long ago and have since moved on to another position or if your career expectations have changed significantly, then politely refuse the invitation. In this case, thank the manager for considering you and explain your reason for declining. If you want the job, check your schedule to see if you can honor the suggested date.

Requesting More Time

Ask to reschedule if you need more time to research the company, if the interview date is too soon, such as within the next day or two, or you cannot make it on the requested date. In your response, give a reasonable explanation why you need more time, such as having an appointment that conflicts with the suggested date. Inform the manager when you will be available. Refrain from delaying too long or the manager could think you are not interested in the job. Most employers understand that candidates need time to prepare for the interview and will agree to a reasonable scheduling date.

Following Instructions

The manager might give you specific instructions for scheduling the interview. If you fail to follow her directions, she may conclude this is a negative trait you will bring into the workplace. Listen to or read her specifications carefully and adhere to them. For example, if she calls and says she will follow up with an email, to which you should respond, use email instead of the phone to schedule the interview. If she gives you interview dates to choose from, stick to those times if possible. Write down details of the interview, including location and specific documents to bring.

Considerations

When scheduling the interview, consider your and the manager’s needs. For example, she is willing to reschedule but can only interview in the mornings. Because you are not a “morning person,” you prefer to interview during early afternoons. A mutually beneficial relationship needs flexibility to thrive, so try to step out of your comfort zone and meet her halfway. If you fail to demonstrate the ability to compromise, she might view you as too demanding and move on to another candidate.

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