How To Ask For A Job Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

One of the most important and challenging stages of a job search is securing an in-person interview. When done correctly, asking directly can be one of the most effective methods for landing an interview with a hiring manager. If you are looking for a way to increase your chances of getting an interview, you might benefit from knowing when and how to request an interview. In this article, we will discuss when you ask for an interview, how you should ask and how to effectively prepare for the interview after it is offered.

Read more: 21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

When to ask for a job interview

At some point during your job search, you might find yourself applying to dozens of jobs without getting any responses. It may seem that your current cover letter and resume are not enough to attract the attention you need from hiring managers and potential employers. In this situation, you may need to take the initiative instead of waiting for an interview offer. Asking for a job interview directly can be a risky move but if you do so professionally, tactfully and effectively, it could be exactly what you need to finally land an interview for your dream job.

There are two situations in which you can ask for a job interview. First, you can request an interview in your cover letter when you apply for a job. A direct request could help your cover letter and resume stand out from applicants and catch the hiring manager's attention. Second, you can ask for a job interview in person. This can take place at any point during your job search and will typically involve scheduling an informational meeting with an employee.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Job Interview Etiquette

How to ask for a job interview in a cover letter

Here are our suggestions for how to request a job interview in a cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself.

  • Outline your qualifications.

  • Express your interest and enthusiasm.

  • Close your letter politely and with a subtle request.

  • Follow up.

Introduce yourself

In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you will need to give your reader a concise but thorough understanding of you who are. This includes where you are in your career journey, what you are hoping to achieve soon and why you are interested in this particular job opening. Your reader will likely base their initial impression of you on this paragraph, so give this section some thought. You will want to save your interview request for later in the letter since asking too early could be perceived as unprofessional by some readers.

Outline your qualifications

The next section of the letter should provide a brief summary of your qualifications. This can include information regarding your educational background, your recent work experience and your professional certifications. Hiring managers are more likely to offer interviews to applicants who meet all the qualifications included in the job listing. To increase your chances, read over the job description carefully and make sure to explain how you meet each qualification in your cover letter. Presenting yourself as an attractive candidate is the best way to convince your reader that you are worth interviewing.

Express your interest and enthusiasm

To increase your chances of getting an interview, express sincere enthusiasm for the job throughout your cover letter. You can mention specific aspects of the job responsibilities that appeal to you or talk about why you agree with the company's mission statement. You can also introduce the idea of an in-person interview by including phrases like "I would be happy to explain this in more detail in person," or "I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to interview with this company." If your enthusiasm is genuine, a hiring manager may be more likely to consider you a valuable addition to their team.

Close your letter politely and with a subtle request

In the final paragraph of your cover letter, you can make your most direct request for a job interview. Begin by thanking the reader for their time and consideration. Next, inform your reader of how much you would appreciate an in-person conversation. This could look something like: "I would welcome the chance to discuss this job opening further in a personal interview." Showing initiative like this could help convince your reader that you are serious about the job and committed to pursuing the position.

Follow up

The final step in requesting a job interview in a cover letter is following up with an email or call after submitting your application. Be sure to direct your communication to the head of HR or the hiring manager and thank them again for taking the time to speak with you. Politely ask if any progress has been made in the hiring process and let them know that you would still be happy to schedule an interview.

Read more: How to Follow Up on a Job Application

How to ask for a job interview in person

The second way to ask for a job interview is in person. Here are the steps you can follow if you choose this method:

  • Ask for an informational phone call or meeting.

  • Do your research in advance.

  • Ask politely about any openings.

  • Follow up.

Ask for an informational phone call or meeting.

The first step is to find out which person to contact. If you do not know anyone who works for the company, use social media platforms or the company's website to find out the name of the employee who best suits your purpose. If you do not want to contact them via social media, you could call the company's general contact number and ask the receptionist if they are allowed to send you the email address you need.

Once you have an employee's contact information, ask them politely for their help or assistance. Phrases like "I would love it if you could help by offering me some career advice," or "I am hoping you will be able to help me answer some questions" will let the employee know they would be doing you a favor. You will need to be very specific in your request so that your contact knows exactly what to expect. Ask for a meeting at a particular time and location, and tell your contact precisely what sort of questions you will be asking.

Related: 9 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Do your research in advance.

Before the meeting, you will need to prepare a list of questions about the company and your contact's role in the company. The more specific your questions, the more prepared you will seem. Your contact will likely be excited to share information about their work and you will gain valuable insight regarding how you might fit into the company. If you are interested in working in the same department as your contact, ask them about their work environment and their job description. If you are interested in a different position, ask them how the company functions as a whole and what benefits are available to all employees.

Read more: The Complete Guide to Researching a Company

Ask politely about any openings.

After you have successfully created rapport with your contact, you can tactfully bring up the subject of job openings. Be sure to begin by telling them how genuinely grateful you are for their time and their insight before you ask. If the conversation has gone well, your contact will likely be happy to tell you about current openings or upcoming availabilities. Be sure to have a copy of your resume and cover letter with you since they may even offer to deliver them to the hiring manager. Do not be discouraged if the contact is unable to give you any leads. Even so, you most likely gained important information from the conversation and a valuable contact in the industry.

Follow up.

A few days after the meeting, send your contact a note or email thanking them again for their time. Tell them how much you appreciated the information they offered and how you plan to implement it in the future. Finally, politely ask them to let you know if they hear about any job openings at their company or in the industry.

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