Introduction to this document

Invitation to attend interview letter

When you have decided which candidates you will be inviting to attend an interview, use our invitation to attend interview letter to contact them to arrange it.

Interview invitation

It’s advisable for at least two managers (or one manager and a member of the Human Resources department if you have one) to carry out the selection and interview process for a vacant post so it remains objective and unbiased.  A shortlist for interview can then be drawn up. When you have decided which candidates you will be inviting to interview, you will need to contact them to arrange it. Use our Invitation to Attend Interview Letter for this purpose. It sets out the date, time and location of the interview, who will be conducting it, what the process consists of and how long it is likely to last and it refers the candidate to information about your businesses, e.g. your website. We’ve also provided you with the alternative option of the interview taking place remotely using video conferencing technology, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. There’s always a risk that a candidate won’t be able to make the date and time you have allocated to them, so the letter enables them to contact you to try to re-schedule it, but with no guarantee that this will be possible. We’ve also asked the candidate to contact you if they wish to cancel the interview altogether because they no longer wish to be considered for the post. This is likely to be the case where either they’ve managed to secure other alternative employment in the meantime or their current employer has persuaded them to stay on. Finally, our letter asks the candidate to get in touch if there are any special arrangements or adjustments they might need for their face-to-face or remote interview or for any selection test on account of a disability. It’s legally acceptable to do this and, in fact, your duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure someone is not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled candidates applies at the recruitment stage too, including in relation to interview arrangements and selection testing processes.


In scheduling interviews, ensure adequate time is set aside. For junior roles, 30 minutes should suffice.  For more senior positions, an hour or more will be required. Sufficient time should be allowed between interviews for discussion to take place and notes to be written up. If you intend to carry out checks to verify any of the information a candidate has provided, for example, their qualifications, explain the verification process to the candidate.

Be effective

Interviews are most effective at predicting future performance and success in a job where they are properly structured and organised and where the interviewers have been properly trained. This will involve them having prepared in advance a list of questions to be asked of all the candidates, using the job description and the person specification. The questions asked should relate to the requirements of the job and the applicant’s particular competencies. You should be aware that unlawful discrimination claims can arise at any stage of the recruitment process. Discrimination may take place at the interview stage where, for example, questions are asked based on stereotypical assumptions, sexist or racist remarks are made by the interviewer or unnecessary questions, not relevant to the requirements of the job, are asked of the interviewee. Keep interview notes because you may need them should a discrimination claim later be brought.