Only one candidate can be chosen at the end. That’s the reality. If you are an employer, or an HR manager, you should not feel bad for rejecting someone’s application. After all, job seekers are used to receive it.
However, at the same time, you should do it in style. Bad marketing spreads fast and so you should ensure about the best possible candidate experience. Sending a short, brief rejection letter is the less you can do.
In fact, the employers who care about their reputation do either:
- 1. Make a phone call to all the unsuccessful applicants to thank them for their time and to announce their decision.
- 2. Send a more detailed rejection letter, stating a clear reason for rejection, to not let the candidates confused and disappointed.
In the interviews, we often try to be as professional as possible, but at the same time as nice as possible. It can easily happen that many candidates have a very good impression after the job interview and believe that you would choose them. It’s simply a job interview manner, to create this kind of fallacy, so the candidates leave the interview room happy.
That’s why it is some important to give a reason why they were rejected in your letter. When I am not sure what to write, I personally use one of the two following formulations:
- You left a good impression in an interview. However, there was a candidate with better score and better personality for the job. I hope you would not mind if I contact you in the future with similar job offer.
- The interviews very close and we were deciding between several candidates including you, for a long time. However, just one person can be chosen at the end. If it does not work out with the selected candidate, I might contact you to check your availability later.
The important thing is to make a candidate feeling good at the end, doesn’t matter what the result for him is. Small compliment is never bad either.
Sample employment interview rejection letter
Dear Mr. X,
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview with us for the position of Customer Assistant.
You left a good impression in an interview. However, just one person can be chosen for the job and there was a candidate who’s more suitable for this role.
We do appreciate you taking the time to interview with us and encourage you to apply for other openings at the company in the future. I may likewise contact you personally with similar job opening.
Again, thank you for your time.
PS: Have a look at declining a job interview or interview tips for employers. The factor of candidate’s satisfaction matters a lot and you should not underestimate it. At the end of the day, you never know what tomorrow will bring.