A woman is calling en employer, and at the same time reading an email from them. She is about to decline her interview. We can see a small aquarium and an empty porcelain cup on the table. Submitting your job application to twenty different employers in one hour time is perfectly doable nowadays. But what if you can not attend an interview, or what if you changed your mind?

Learn how to decline your interview in style, leaving the door open for further possibilities of an interview with the same company.


Few things you should know

  • You should not decline your interview less than 24 hours before. 24 hours is enough time for the employer to make arrangements, and to possibly invite another candidate who will replace you in the schedule. If you have no other options, however, and need to cancel one day before, do it with a call, not with a letter.
  • Give a good reason. It doesn’t matter if you tell the truth, or make something up. You can say that you received another job offer, or that you simply can not come from family reasons. Alternatively you can pick something from the job description (for example business travels, night shifts) and say that you can not accept such working conditions, apologizing that you did not notice it earlier.
  • Do it with a call, if you can. Some recruiters and HR managers receive dozens of emails every day. Declining by a call (or SMS, if you do not feel like calling them) is more professional, and you can be sure they got the message.

What to say or write?

Dear XYZ,
I have to decline my job interview for the position [name of the position], originally scheduled for [date and time of the scheduled interview], because [your reason for declining]

I really appreciate that you invited me for an interview, and I am sorry for the inconvenience.

I hope you will select a great candidate in the interviews, and I wish you good luck in your job.

Best Regards

Your Name

Your Phone Number


What’s next?