During your job search, there may come a time when you decide that you need to turn down an interview. If you’re just getting started, this may seem crazy: why would you ever want to turn down an interview? But, if a position isn’t right for you, or if you have just accepted another job, there is no need for you to attend all the other interviews you have scheduled.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about how to turn down an interview through email without burning any bridges. We’ll also provide an example email to demonstrate the polite and graceful way to turn down a job interview invitation.
Why Would I Need to Turn Down an Interview?
“Will I seem unprofessional if I turn down an interview? I’ve already taken up some of the company’s time, and I don’t want to let them down if they think I am a really good candidate!”
This is a common sentiment among people on the job search who need to turn down an interview. After all, interviews don’t come around often, and it is easy to feel guilty about turning one down if you have already used up some of an employer’s time.
However, there are many good reasons why you may not want to advance in the interview process. In fact, companies would rather know that you are not interested in a position than have you go in for an interview, only to tell them later that you are not interested.
Here are a few reasons why you may need to turn down an interview:
- You have realized the position for which you have applied is no longer a good fit.
- You have been offered a promotion at your current job as an incentive to stay.
- You have spoken with other people who do not like working for the company.
- You have already been offered a job working for another company.
- You feel as if you are overqualified for the position.
- You have realized the position doesn’t offer the working arrangements you require, such as flexi-time or remote work.
Are You Ready to Turn Down an Interview?
Before you turn down an interview, you should make sure that you are confident in your decision to do so. You don’t want to turn down an interview before you are sure that there is another option out there that is better suited toward your talents.
Ask yourself, “What is the reason that I don’t want this interview?”. Does one of the above reasons align with you? If so, then you are ready to cancel an interview.
However, if you are canceling because you are anxious to sit for the interview, or are unsure about whether you’ll make it through, perhaps you should find other ways to go about it.
If you are unsure about whether you should go in for a job interview, you may find it helpful to speak with a friend or a family member.
How to Turn Down an Interview
So, you’ve decided that you are going to turn down a request to be interviewed. If you’re confident in your decision, then you’re ready to inform the employer that you are not interested.
The key to turning down an interview without leaving a bad impression is to be polite while being vague. You don’t want to come off as being ungrateful for the interview opportunity, and at the same time, you don’t want to be too specific as to why you are not interested.
In addition, you should inform an employer that you intend to turn down an interview as soon as you possibly can.
Indeed, it is important that you feel confident in your decision to turn down an interview. The last thing you want is to regret turning down an interview for a job that actually may have been a good fit for you.
At the same time, you don’t want to wait until the last minute, because that will give an employer very little opportunity to schedule another interview during that time. Attempt to respond quickly when declining a job interview so that the employer can schedule an interview with a different candidate to replace your slot.
Here are the steps you should follow when informing an employer that you want to turn down an interview:
Step #1: Thank the Employer for Their Time
Evaluating a job application and calling someone in for an interview isn’t a major burden—it’s the job of a recruiter or a hiring manager—but it does still take time. A hiring manager may have spent a few minutes reading over your application, but they will have had to compare you to other candidates, and then schedule an interview with you.
Even if you don’t want the position for which you would be interviewing, you should start by thanking the employer for their time. Be gracious and considerate of the fact that they have taken time out of their workday to evaluate your application.
This is especially important if you don’t think that the job is a good fit, but the company may be a good place to work. You don’t want to come off as seeming ungrateful for the opportunity, as it may affect your prospects with the company in the future.
#2: State Your Intention to Withdraw
Next, you should tell the company that you are going to withdraw from the application process. You should be clear and direct, to ensure that the business does not misinterpret your intention.
#3: Provide a Reason (If You Want)
When stating your intention to withdraw from an application process, you don’t need to provide a reason. However, giving the company a vague idea of why you are not interested in pursuing the job may be useful.
Suppose you have decided to accept a job offer at another company. Telling an employer this is the case will not cause any damage to your reputation, because the employer will know that they can’t land every candidate they are interested in.
On the other hand, if you are not interested in the company because you have found out that the salary is much lower than you expected, for instance, you shouldn’t state a reason. If you give a specific reason that seems negative, you may come across as ungrateful by the business. This will impact your reputation in front of everyone who was involved in the decision to call you in for an interview.
Turn Down a Job Interview Email Example
You know what you need to do to turn down an interview. You need to be gracious, inform an employer as quickly as you can, and provide a vague reason why you are turning down the opportunity to interview (if you want). But what does this look like when put together?
Here is an example email that you can use as an inspiration when declining an interview:
Subject: Interview for Accounts Assistant position
Dear Mr. Lassiter,
Thank you for considering me for the position of Accounts Assistant at ABC Company.
I must inform you that I will have to withdraw my application at this time. Therefore, I shall not be attending our scheduled interview. I have been offered a job with my dream employer that I was unable to refuse.
I appreciate all the time you have taken to evaluate me for this position.
Turning down a job interview can feel awkward, especially if you have been on the job search for a while. Job interviews don’t come around often, and when they do, it’s tempting to want to seize every opportunity you are given.
Before you turn down a job interview, make sure you are confident that going in for an interview is not the right decision. Then, write a letter or an email to inform the company that you are not interested in pursuing the application process.
By following the advice in this article, you’ll be able to turn down an interview in a way that allows you to maintain your good reputation with an employer.