How To Cancel An Interview

It is common to want to turn down a job interview after you have already said you will attend. There are numerous reasons why people may want to cancel a job interview and it is best to be entirely confident in your decision prior to cancelling an interview.

Is It Unprofessional?

Cancelling a job interview may look unprofessional but if you are sure that you do not want to take the job, it is a wise decision to cancel as soon as you can. Your interviewer will be grateful that you have informed them in advance and that you aren’t to going to be wasting their time.

Of course, there are ways that you can cancel an interview professionally and whilst these may be awkward, your potential employer will appreciate your honesty. In short, the longer you drag your feet about the interview, the more unprofessional you will seem when you cancel.

When Should You Avoid Cancelling An Interview?

You should avoid cancelling an interview if you do want the job. If you are unable to attend an interview on a specific day, you should try to reschedule your interview instead.

You shouldn’t cancel an interview if you are unwell or had an emergency, instead, you should ask your prospective employer whether they are able to arrange an interview at a later date.

Similarly, you shouldn’t cancel an interview if you are running late. In this instance, you should contact your employer and explain the situation to see whether they are able to accommodate you another time.

What Are The Consequences Of Cancelling An Interview?

You should be aware that you will come across as unprofessional if you cancel an interview for a role that you actually want. It will also be obvious to your employer if you are cancelling your interview for a reason that isn’t legitimate.

You should also know that your interviewer will probably consider you a liability from the start and therefore, you may not receive another chance for a second interview at this stage or at a later date.

When Should You Cancel?

As previously mentioned, there are numerous reasons why people will have to cancel a job interview.

It is ok to cancel your job interview if you are certain that you do not want the job in question or would not want a role with that company at a later date. A few instances where you may need to cancel an interview include the following:

  1. You have received another job offer.
  2. You have heard that the company’s values do not align with your own and you do not want to be associated with the company in question.
  3. You’ve come to the conclusion that the role doesn’t suit your lifestyle. This can be for financial reasons or due to location.
  4. You have alternative priorities at this time, such as family responsibilities or an alternative passion.
  5. You have a change of mind/heart.

If you’ve been considering any of the above as a reason why you do not want to take a job, then it is probably best to cancel the interview as you will not appear at your best during the interview process unless you are fully committed to the role in question.

How Do You Decline An Interview Politely?

You should email or telephone the potential employer and inform them that you are withdrawing your application and that you will no longer be attending the interview.

Whilst you may not wish to provide a reason, you can state your reasons for doing so if you feel the need to.

You should politely thank them for their consideration in order to maintain a good relationship for any future offers that may be better suited to your needs and desires.

To conclude, once you have decided you cancel a job interview, you should be certain that you have contacted your prospective employer as soon as possible in order to give them a fair amount of time to invite other prospective employees for an interview.

You can give a brief reason for your cancellation as it is polite to explain yourself without sharing too much information. It is wise to not burn any bridges in the process of your cancellation as you may need a role with this company at a later stage.

You should send your cancellation via email or telephone. If the majority of your communication has been via email, this is probably the best way to inform them as you will not be distracting your potential employer from their work.

This method ensures that you are not wasting any of their time. If you have been in communication over the phone, then you should contact them via a quick phone call in order to affirm that they’ve received your message and to be sincere about your cancellation.

Ultimately, you will know what the best method is for your respective situation and as long as you are polite, you will be able to maintain your professionalism during the process of cancelling an interview.

Whilst some may find the prospect of cancelling an interview rather daunting, your potential employer will appreciate your honesty and integrity, especially if you have cancelled the interview with plenty of notice.

If you are cancelling an interview within an institution that you already work for, it is crucial to maintain good working relationships and therefore, you should also make sure that you maintain an honest relationship with your interviewer in order to avoid any hassle further down the line.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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