My wife applied for a position in a company in Germany and the answer she got from the responsible manager was (direct copy paste):

Sehr geehrte Frau XY, können Sie sich kurzfristig hier vorstellen ?

What is the meaning?

  1. Is he asking if she could quickly introduce herself (which is weird because the email we sent contained that)

  2. Is he asking if she could imagine working there on a short notice?


He asks if she can visit the the company and introduce herself in person within a short timeframe

If it was Meaning 1 the response would be like:

Können Sie sich kurz vorstellen.

Meaning 2:

Können Sie sich vorstellen + sentence with "zu"

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The verb vorstellen may have very differnt meanings

  • "jemand/etwas jemandem vorstellen" = to introduce someone/something to someeone (in person)
  • "sich etwas vorstellen" = to imagine something
  • "etwas vorstellen" = to position something ahead (e.g., a clock at the beginning of DST)

Of course things get ambiguous if in "sich X vorstellen one cannot determine if X is Dativ or Akkusativ: "Er stellt sich Kim Kardashian vor" could be "He introduces himself to Kim Kardashian" or "He imagines/daydreams about Kim Kardashian".

In your case, the letter asks your wife to introduce herself in person "asap", which is a very good sign regarding the job opportunity.

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  • 1
    Yeah, I would go as far to assume this to be the invitation to a job interview. The kurzfristig implying within the next (two?) weeks or something like that. – Jan Mar 21 '15 at 1:15

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