Getting Students to Respond to Your Interview Requests

Nina Boyd - WayUp Staff
Getting Students to Respond to Your Interview Requests

You have a handful of student applicants, but your emails requesting interviews are going unanswered! What are you doing wrong in reaching out to students? Here are a few ways to ensure you are getting quality applicants to respond to your emails:

When contacting applicants, be direct in the purpose of your email:
Use the subject line wisely! Applicants should know they are being asked to interview before opening the email.
Use the first paragraph to address the point of the email. “Thank you for applying for the Campus Rep position, I would like to set up an interview to further discuss the role and your qualifications.”
No need to try to butter them up! If you are serious about your business, you should reflect that in your communication. Let them brag about their experience in the interview.

Give them something to respond to that will drive the conversation forward:
Ask direct questions. “Are you available to interview?” as opposed to passive questions such as, “Would you be interested in an interview?” Assume they are, and that’s why they applied. Don’t make them do the legwork and ask when you are available. This also creates unnecessary additional back and forth emails.
Give students definitive times to choose from to interview. “Are you available to speak on Tuesday at 11:00am?” Most applicants will make room in their schedule for great job opportunities. Try using an email extension app, such as which works with your calendar and allows you to select multiple times you are available so students can choose what works best for them.

Confirm with all of the necessary information and anticipate questions:
Confirm, date, time, and location. (Even if it’s been said already.)
Let students know with whom they will be speaking. Good applicants will do their research on the company and their interviewers.
Send a calendar invite! Most people are utilizing their phones to keep track of their schedules, and their phone calendars link directly to their email. Applicants will most likely receive a reminder on the day of (so they show up!) and it’s a quick way for them to reference the location, call in number, or video chat link for the interview.

Tried and true tip: Don’t book interviews on Fridays!

Ensure you are being completely transparent in the job description:
Be completely transparent. Students are less likely to accept an interview if you contact them describing the role you’re hiring for very differently than the one they applied to. It’s best not to be vague or deceptive in the job description – this raises red flags and lowers interest!

Sexy job titles only sparkle for a minute. If you are posting a position that involves cold-calling customers to sponsor a corporate sports event, don’t advertise the role as a “Sports Marketing Manager,” even if you think you will get a better response. There is a market for everyone and you will end up hiring dissatisfied employees if you try to hide the true nature of the role. It’s better to say “Entry Level B2B Sales.”

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