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How To Decline A Job Interview? #Without Burning Bridges #Email Samples

You have a perfect resume, perfect subject line and a nice interview. But, some situations in life are never easy. One of them is declining a job interview. Your reasons to decline a job interview could be any. Maybe you are not looking for a job change, or maybe you just don’t see yourself fitting in that organization. The reasons of you not wanting to appear for a job interview could be endless.

How to Decline a Job Interview Without Burning Bridges?

However, how you put it in front of the recruiter plays the role. It is true that not every opportunity that comes across is a great one. But, it is also true that you can very well decline job interviews politely and without being rude. As difficult as it seems, there just should be the right reason and the perfect tone, if you wish to simply avoid it.

In this post, we will take you through the entire process of how you can decline a job interview without burning bridges. But, first let us look at some of the reasons why you would decline a job interview.

Common Reasons to Decline a Job Interview

Questions like tell me about yourself or why do you want to change your job can be tricky. But, what if you are someone who is petrified of saying a NO? It’s true that declining a job interview is not easy for everyone. You could have the following reasons if you are saying a no to an interview –

Switching is Too Risky
Maybe you haven’t heard great things about the company you are just about to consider. Maybe they have regular layoffs and salary cuts. In such situations, candidates are always apprehensive of whether they should sit for the interview or not.
Current Employees Hate it There
The reason could also be that you have a few known people working in that organization, and they simply hate it there.
You got a Job Offer Elsewhere
When looking out for a job, you must choose carefully. Maybe you were appearing for multiple companies, and you just got a better opportunity somewhere else. This could be one of the main reasons why you do not wish to appear for that very interview.
Commute & The Distance
Another reason as to why you are not keen on taking that job could be that you are living far away from the company’s office, and you are in no mood to relocate. In this case, the commute becomes very taxing, and you could not be up for it.
The Role Isn’t a Fit
A lot of times you might get an interview call, and after hearing about your role in the company, you might get turned off.

These are a few reasons which might want you to decline a job interview. However, it is definitely a must to know how to do it without burning bridges with a company that has scheduled your interview.

Tips to Decline an Interview Without Burning Bridges

Now that you have already decided that you do not wish to go ahead with that job interview, all you need to do is find the perfect way to say it, so that you do not end up burning bridges and creating differences.

Simple Message

Make sure the message you give to the recruiter is short and sweet. You don’t need a long rambling and ranting. A simple line, stating why you cannot appear for the interview is just more than enough.

Just stating how your circumstances and mindset have changed, and you are no longer in the position to appear for the interview would be more than enough. Make sure not to indulge in unnecessary discussions and explanations.  


If you have applied for a position and received a call to attend the interview session for the same, then always make sure to apologize first as it might sound rude to the hiring manager.

But apologizing will never put you in the wrong light. In fact, this would rather create a nice impression of you in front of the hiring managers of the company.

Be Happy and Grateful

The tone of when you convey your message should be filled with gratitude. Always make sure to start your lines with ‘I’m so grateful to have got an interview call from your end, however…’

This will always cast an amazing impression of you as a professional in front of the Human Resources department and the hiring manager.

Answer promptly –

It’s never a good idea to keep the employers waiting. You have received the interview call because you showed a keen interest in the job position.

If you do not reply soon, the company would not be able to search for other options for the same. Hence, make it a point to reply promptly so that you do not create an unnecessary hassle for the company.

How to Decline Moving Forward in the Interview Process? – The 2-Step Process

Instead of sending out a thanks-but-no-thanks note, always lookout for the perfect approach as to how you should turn down the job interview call that you just received. Always remember, that you might not be interested in the company, but you could get one or two people from the same hiring panel, whenever you go to the next interview. So, you definitely do not want to cast a wrong impression on them.

This two-step process will help you say NO in the perfect manner. The one in which you neither disappoint your hiring manager, nor yourself.

Step 1 – Send an Email

If you are sure that this is not your dream interview, make sure to send an email at the earliest. You should not take more than 24 hours to respond to the company’s hiring manager. The initial communication should be through an exchange of emails.

Keep the following things in mind before hitting that send button –

  • Always send it directly to the primary contact. This is the person you are directly in contact with. It could be the hiring manager or the other staff members. Always make sure to keep the communication direct.
  • Always be diplomatic. Now this here never means to tell lies. Being diplomatic simply means to give your reasons in a way in which the other person never feels bad or rude about your behavior.
  • Always keep the mail short and sweet, without giving too much information about how and why you are wanting to not appear for the interview you are just being invited to.
  • You could also try to suggest another candidate. This will build your reputation as you are helping the recruiters out by providing them with a suitable client. This will build your impression for further courses.

Step 2 – Follow Up with A Phone Call

If you don’t receive a response to your message, make sure you call the employer to ensure that the mail you just sent out has been received by the employer. It should not look like you have just stepped over the interview and did not even call and bother to reply either or not you are appearing for the same.

Calling as asking if you have received the mail, totally works in your favor as it casts a great impression on the casting manager.

Reasons To Re-Think Cancelling An Interview

You could have endless reasons why you wish to cancel upon an interview, But maybe your reasons are not very convincing and maybe if you have these reasons, you might regret them later –

You’re thinking you’ll get a job somewhere else
If you are declining a job interview thinking that you will get a better offer or an interview call in some other company, let us tell you, that this reason might not work in your favor. As the chances of receiving this are quite bleak. If this is the case of your rejecting the interview, chances are you might regret it later on.
You have a fear of performing badly
If you have a fear that you will bomb, and that is why you are canceling the interview. But this fear is not worth canceling the interview. It’s best to address the fear and not cancel the interview for this petty issue.
There’s an employee you just don’t like
You need to understand that no employee is permanent in the organization. If there is an employee whom you just don’t like, never think of canceling the interview because of them.

The silly reasons like above might land you up in a big mess. Always remember that leaving an interview can be a lifelong regret. So, till the time you do not have any logical reason of avoiding the interview, do not miss the golden chance.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Rejecting A Job Interview 

If you are actively looking for a job change, you are not obligated to attend each and every interview that comes your way. There is a perfect way of saying ‘No, Thank You’. The one which solved your purpose too, and doesn’t burn the bridges too. However, there are a few points that one must keep in mind.

  • While declining the job offer, make sure that you do not overdo it, as you just want to be vague and not disclose each detail of why you do not wish to proceed further.
  • Always remember to reply within 24-hours of receiving the interview call or message, as not doing so will put you in a bad light, and you certainly do not want that. Think of it this way – maybe the hiring manager joins some other company, and they are your next interviewers too. This way your impression on them would not be a nice one, and you most certainly do not want that.
  • Always make sure to decline a job offer with utmost grace and poise, as you do not wish to be perceived as someone who is rude and unprofessional.

Email Samples for Declining a Job for Various Reasons

Responding and declining a job interview through email is one of the best ways to deny the interview. Following are some sample emails that will help you out with the exact language and tone to be used, so that you don’t end up burning bridges.

How To Reject A Job Offer Politely? – Email Sample

Hi ABC (Employer Name)

I cannot be thankful enough for your invitation for the job interview for the role of X in your organization. I comprehend that you might have received hundreds of applications, and getting this interview call lifts me to cloud 9. It would be a privilege for me to make it to this application process.

However, due to some unpredicted circumstances and changes in situations, I would not be able to attend the interview. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. I hope that you get the right candidate for the position soon.

Thank you,

Best wishes,

Your Name & Number

Email Template for Declining a Job Interview Due to Location 

Hi ABC (Employer Name)

Your Email has brought immense joy as I have been looking for a great opportunity like this. Thank you for your invitation for the interview. However, I regret to inform you that I would not be able to take up the interview as my location and residence is quite far away from the company’s office, and currently, my circumstances do not allow me to relocate from my current address.

Nonetheless, I sincerely hope and wish that you get the right candidate for the role.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you,

Best wishes,

Your Name & Number

How to Decline an Interview After Accepting Another Offer? – Email Sample

Hi ABC (Employer Name)

Thank you for considering me for the position. After carefully analyzing, I have decided to pursue another position in another company that is more in line with my future career goals and personal likings.

It was a pleasure receiving this job offer from your end. However, please accept my sincere apologies. I hope and wish that you get the perfect candidate for this role.

Thank you,

Best wishes,

Your Name & Number

How to reject a job offer because of salary? – Email Sample

Hi ABC (Employer Name)

Thank you for considering me for this position. However, after carefully considering and analysing the compensation package offered by your organization, I regret to inform that the salary offered by you does not meet my current financial requirements at the moment.

Nonetheless, It was a great pleasure meeting you and the managers of the company.

Thank you,

Best wishes,

Your Name & Number

Conclusion on How to Decline a Job Interview without Burning Bridges 

Declining a job interview is never easy. This one needs utmost grace and poise, as you ruin your terms with any hiring manager. Hence, always be super polite and give valid reasons as to why you are not willing to appear for the interview. We hope that this guide helped you precisely.

All the best! Be Wise, Be Polite, Know what’s The Best For You! 🙂

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.