How to Decline an Interview the Right Way

Most times what we have yearned for and waited so long for may not be the best for us after all. And, there is no better way to exonerate ourselves except by politely declining.

How to decline an interview the right way is one skill that is quite underrated. Not just an interview, but how to decline from events without hurting anyone.

Although there is nothing wrong with declining an interview, everything about how you decline it matters. A “no” with a subtle voice/tone followed by tangible reasons will do the trick.

In fact, it is paramount you decline an interview without burning bridges. That you do not need the job or position today, doesn’t mean you may not need it in a few months time.

So, it is basically not about what you say. But it is everything about how you decline an offer.

Well, this article answers all pertinent questions as regards how to decline an interview without burning bridges.

Also read: 20 Tips On How To Prepare For a Management Interview

Is it OK to decline an interview?

Just like there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no, it is okay to decline an interview. Basically, interviews are conducted to select the most qualified for a job opening.

So, it is totally fine if you do not see yourself as a perfect fit for the job role after sending in applications for a job role. In situations like this, all you can do is decline an interview.

In fact, it is still okay to decline an interview after accepting it. Although how you decline an interview is more important than the reason why you’re declining.

Is it unprofessional to cancel an interview?

No, it not unprofessional to cancel an interview. In fact, it is better to cancel an interview than to appear unprepared. Will you have another chance to prove yourself?

Maybe not. But absolutely nobody will see the mess you are made up of since you are not prepared. There are a thousand reasons why you could cancel an interview. Most times, these reason are unforseen circumstances beyond your control.

You should be left with no other choice than to cancel an invitation. However, how you decline an interview after accepting will determine what options will be available to you.

For instance, if you politely decline an interview, you can get a chance to reschedule to a later date that will favour you or opt for online options. If your read this article to the end, you will surely see how to deccline an interview without burning bridges.

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Can you cancel an interview last minute?

This is apparently not a good idea. But when it becomes your last resort, there is nothing you can do than cancel.

However, you can decline an interview last minute in the most professional way. With this, you may get another chance. Also, if you are confident that the job role is not for you, you can decline an interview last minute.

It doesn’t sound funny, yes. But of what use is it wasting your time and theirs? That seems more unprofessional. The big headache should be how to decline an interview without destroying whatever relationship was existent.

Also Read: 20 Last-Minute Interview Tips that Work

How do you decline an interview email?

Declining an interview email is one hectic task especially when the circumstances are beyond your control and you need the job. For instance, if you get a interview email slated for 7 am the next morningby 10pm – and, you need to travel to attend in person.

As much as you need the job, it is in your best interest to decline the interview email. How do you decline an interview email, then?

Simply, reply the email with congent reasons why you cannot attend the interview. If need be, state the day and time that will be most convinient for you. However, you can simply decline an interview email like the sample below:

SUBJECT: Invitation to Interview for [position]

Dear [Company Contact],

Thank you so much for considering me for your [job title] position with [Company Name]. However, I regret that I will have to withdraw my application at this time.

I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[First and Last Name]
[Email]
[Phone number]

What are Genuine Reasons to Decline an Interview?

Genuine reasons to decline an interview abound. What appears genuine to you may differ from another. So, stay focused and do what is best for you.

You know it’s time to decline a job interview when you are certain is not the pathway. Unfortunately, this feeling may come just immediately after applying, upon getting an interview invitation or even the last minute.

So, you should decline a job interview for one or the following reasons:

#1. When you have accepted another Job offer

It is definitely not out of place to get another job while waiting for one. Let’s say you sent out numerous applications and you have been invited for an interview which you exceled in.

Also, the renumeration package alongside the company’s goals seems perfect for you. It is enough reason to decline a job interview. You can find a template below that best suits your situation and conveys your current status in a respectful way.

#2. The organization vision doesn’t align

You know what they say about vision alignment, passion and job satisfaction? Well, it is okay decline an interview if you discover the organization’s vision doesn’t align one bit.

Basically, you may have just spent a day or two applying to everything and anything simply available. Upon getting an interview email, you may decide to research the company. It totally fine to have this conversation now. As politely as possible decline this offer and keep moving forward.

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It is indeed a genuine reason.

#3. Changed Plans

If you have to relocate soon after applying for an opportunity, it is a genuine reason to decline an interview. Also, if you had applied for a full-time role and other needs arises like taking care of aged parents, attending summer classes or learning a new skill – you can simply decline an interview without burning bridges.

#4. You are not prepared

It is a genuine reason to decline an interview if you don’t have the bandwidth to prepare. It is absolutely better to decline an interview when you are not prepared or have no time to prepare than showing up a huge mess.

#5. You’re being invited for a lower position.

Don’t short change yourself. It is okay to decline an interview if the position you applied is not what you are being invited for. Especially, when you are being invited for a lower position.

How you decline this interview is dependent on what you want afterwards with the company.

How to Decline an Interview the Right Way

The only way to decline an interview the right way is to do it politely. Possibly, state your reasons and use very simple words to avoid ambiguiosity.

The following tips can help you decline an interview without burning bridges.

#1. Be Certain you want to decline

It is very important that you convince yourself that you are sure you don’t need to attend that interview. Basically, be sure your reasons are valid enough to forestall you regretting latter.

It would be stupendifious to decline an interview this minute and seek for another chance the next minute. You need to take time to consider your decision. Reconsider what motivated you into applying.

You need to also remember that you can attend the interview and reject the job offer in a situation where you are not yet sure.

#2. Be Polite

Politeness is one way to decline an interview without burning bridges. In fact, you can spill fire without being nailed if you do it politely.

That you are not ready for a position in this company now doesn’t mean you may never need to apply again. To avoid shutting off other job opportunities that may be in line with your goals, you must be courteous with your reply.

#3: Be Clear

There is no need for rigmaroling. Keep your interview declining email very vague. Be certain you clearly communicate you are declining the interview invitation.

Although it is not mandatory you state the exact reason for the decline, giving the hiring manager a clue can be put you in the good books.

#4. Quick Response

Do not wait for days or weeks before declining an interview. Once you have thought clearly about your decision to decline, do it as soon as possible.

Basically, this will enable the human resource consider other qualified individuals. Hence, your withdrawal is definitly an opportunity for someone else who is interested in the position.

#5. Refer Someone Else

If the job role requires expertise and you are being considered because of your robust portfolio, it would be thoughtful to refer someone else.

This is a good way to let the company know you have regard for it. Refering someone else for the job role would make them consider another great option than going back to vacancy board.

RELATED:  20 Tips On How To Prepare For a Management Interview

It is important you include the name and contact information in your email.

How To Decline an Interview Without Burning Brideges Examples

The following templates are guidelines for you while writing an interview decline email. Depending on the situation surronding your decline, kindly find the perfect example and write yours.

Template 1: You Need to Withdraw an Application

SUBJECT: Invitation to Interview for [position]

Dear [Company Contact],

Thank you so much for considering me for your [job title] position with [Company Name]. However, I regret that I will have to withdraw my application at this time.

I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[First and Last Name]
[Email]
[Phone number]

Template 2: Decline an Interview – When You have to recommend another candiadate

SUBJECT: Interview Invitation for [job title]

Dear [Company Contact],

Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about your organization and interview for [job title]. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Unfortunately, I have to decline the opportunity at this time.

However, my colleague, [First and Last Name], would be a great fit for this position and would be a valuable addition to the [Company Name] team. You can reach them at [phone number] or via email at [email address].

Good luck, and I hope that we will have another chance to work together at some point in the future.

Sincerely,

[First and Last Name]

[Email]

[Phone number]

Template 3: How to Decline an Interview – When You have accepted another job offer

Subject: Thank you for the interview opportunity

Dear Name:

I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview at Company Name for Job Title. Since I initially put in my application for this position, I was offered—and accepted—a job at another company, so I’m respectfully declining this offer.

I wish you all the best in your search for a candidate.

Thank you again for considering me for this position. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Email

How to Decline an Interview FAQs

How do you decline an interview without burning bridges?

To decline an interview without burning brideges, reply emails politely. If necessary, state the reasons why you need to decline and refer another candidate to show you have regards for the company.

How do I decline an interview due to personal reasons?

To decline an interview due to personal reasons:
1. show gratitude for the opportunity
2. State your declining for personal reasons
3. Aplogise for inconvinence

Should I go for an interview for a job I don’t want?

Except you are anticipating what the experience is like. There is absolutely no need of wasting your time and theirs. It is quite unprofessional.

Conclusion

Declining an interview after you have sent in application sounds funny. But for all we know, unforseen circumstances do not need your permission to show up.

So, read through this piece to find the perfect way to decline an interview without burnig bridges.

References

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