How to Decline, Cancel or Reschedule a Job Interview

You have been offered a job interview for what was thought as a dream opportunity, but suddenly you start having second thoughts.

Declining or canceling a job interview is common but to potentially be considered for this offer again in the future, you will want to leave on a good note.

Here’s how to decline, cancel, and even reschedule a job interview that you might be second guessing.

How to decline a job interview

How to Decline a Job Interview


Questions Answered:

  • Is it okay to decline an interview

  • Reasons people decline job interviews

  • How to decline or cancel

  • How to reschedule

  • Should I respond over the phone, through email, or in person

  • Examples of how to decline, cancel, or reschedule an interview


Is it Okay to Decline an Interview?

Yes, it is okay to decline a job interview. If you were scheduled for an interview but start second-guessing whether it is the right fit, turning it down may be the smart decision. 

The next step is to start thinking about how you would go about rejecting or declining that offer gracefully. 

Reasons Behind Why People Turn Down Job Interviews

  • The timing is not right in your life.

  • You feel too overwhelmed at the time the job is offered. 

  • You may already be employed and are comfortable in your current position. 

  • You have changed your mind and don't feel that this role is the right fit for you personally. 

  • The reputation of the employer is not what you had expected.

  • There may be a hostile work environment.

  • There may be recent layoffs and you worry about job security.  

  • You may be disappointed in the long commute or rate of pay.


Source - imgflip & theJub

Source - imgflip & theJub


How to professionally Decline, Cancel, or Reschedule a Job Interview

How to Decline or Cancel a Job Interview

When thinking about how to cancel a job interview it is important to be honest with yourself.

Before picking up that phone or sending off that email, take some time to dive deep into your decision; you should think carefully and thoughtfully before declining the job interview.

Ask yourself why did you apply in the first place? What was it about this job that drew you to it?

Talk to someone close to you and share how you are feeling before making that final decision. Try not to let your emotions get the best of how you respond.

Once you have decided to decline, remember to stay humble, thoughtful and professional in your response.

You do not want to leave the employer hanging, nor do you want to spend endless hours worrying about what to say.

By respecting their time, you are showing them that you appreciate the work they have put in.

Note: Do NOT going on and on about your decision's reasoning.

Note: Be clear and concise with your message.

 

Example | How to Decline a Job Interview 

  • Subject: Job Interview for (Job) - (Your Name)

  • Hi (Interviewer Name), I greatly appreciate the opportunity to interview for (Job) and learn more about your organization. However, I regret that I must decline the opportunity at this time. Thanks again for your consideration and I wish you the best in filling the position. Thank you, (Your Name and Email)

Example | How to Cancel a Job Interview

  • Subject: Job Interview for (Job) – (Your Name)

  • Hi (Interviewer Name), Thanks again for the invitation to interview at (Company Name) for the (Job Title) position. I’m honored to be considered as a candidate. However, due to different changes in my current circumstances, I must cancel the interview and pass on the opportunity at this time. Thanks again for your time and I wish you the best in filling the position. Thank you, (Your Name and Email)



How to Reschedule a Job Interview

If you are considering rescheduling a job interview, keeping things professional and organized is important when trying to maintain a great relationship with the employer.

You want them to know that you respect their busy schedules and are considerate of their time.

There is probably a tight hiring schedule for the open position, so a quick phone call or email is likely the best option when you do reschedule.

Consider sending an alternate time and date suitable to your needs but also remain open to their recommendations.

Be honest about why you have to reschedule. Employers will appreciate your honesty, and it will set the tone for open communication for future work relationships.

Note: Make sure to thank them for their understanding and flexibility.

Example | How to Reschedule a Job Interview

  • Subject: Job Interview for (Job) – (Your Name)

  • Hi (Interviewer Name), Thank you for the interview invite at (Company Name) for the (Job Title) position. I’m extremely excited to talk and learn more about the organization. However, due to an unforeseen change in my schedule, the original (Date/Time) interview time will not work. Are you available (Multiple Dates/Times) to reschedule? I’m still extremely interested in the job and apologize for any inconvenience. Looking forward to your response, (Your Name and Email)


“The median number of years that wage and salary workers have worked for their current employer is currently 4.6 years. However, this longevity varies by age and occupation: The median tenure for workers age 25 to 34 is 3.2 years.” - Source thebalancecareers


Communication Techniques

In most professional circumstances, you would either decline or reschedule a job interview with the same communication style in which the interview was conducted.

If they requested a phone interview, then a follow-up phone call would be appropriate. If the request came in through an email, follow up through that email chain.

  • Declining by Phone

    • Responding over the phone provides some personal connection between you and the employer.

    • Written communication can often be misleading, but you should be able to clearly explain your decision and reasoning during a phone conversation.  

  • Declining by Email

    • If you choose to decline through email, consider the wording and how the tone you use may come across to them.

    • You do not want to leave the employer guessing what‘s going to happen next or that you simply don’t care. 

  • Declining in Person

    • Declining in person offers you a chance to showcase who you are and leave a lasting impression if you want to be considered for future employment. 

    • While we recommend responding through email or over the phone, in person is also a great option.


Wrapping Up | How to Decline a Job Interview

Second guessing yourself will happen at times but if something doesn’t feel right, don’t move forward with it.

And while it may feel wrong, sometimes turning down an interview is the right decision - so do what’s best for you.

If you do end up deciding to decline, cancel or reschedule that job interview, make sure to keep the conversation between you and the potential employer as professional as possible. 

You want to maintain a professional and respectful relationship in case you decide to reconsider this position in the future (and because it’s the right thing to do).

While they might be bummed or upset, they will move on and so will you! 

Best of luck!

 

Title: How to Decline, Cancel or Reschedule a Job Interview

Category: the Job Interview

Tags: How to decline a job interview, How to decline an interview, How to cancel a job interview, how to reschedule an interview, How do you politely decline an interview, How do you drop out of an interview process


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.