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How to Politely Decline a Job Interview You No Longer Want

08 / 05 / 19 | Candidates

When you are looking for a job, landing an interview is a great accomplishment. It is a major step in the process, and it serves as validation that you are qualified for the jobs you want.

There might be times during your job hunt, though, when you actually need to decline an interview. As unthinkable as this might seem when you first start looking, and really want to land interviews, you need to be prepared if this scenario arises. Knowing how to decline a job interview can serve you well in the future.

Reasons to Decline a Job Interview

While it might be counterintuitive at first, there are a number of perfectly rational reasons to decide not to interview for a job.

  • You may have learned something about the company since you applied that makes the position less desirable than it once seemed.
  • You might have decided that you are no longer willing to relocate for a job that requires it.
  • Any number of circumstances in your life may change that no longer make the position an option.
  • Of course, you may have already accepted another position, which is the best reason of all to decline an interview.

No matter your reason for declining a job interview, doing so gracefully will help in the long run. You will maintain goodwill with people you might connect with later in your career, and you will get solid practice in professional communication.

How to Decline a Job Interview

The main thing about declining a job interview is to be sure about your decision. Once you do it, you can’t go back. Next, you want to let the hiring manager know right away. Take enough time to be certain, but then let your contact know so you don’t leave them hanging. Knowing how to decline a job interview without burning bridges is mainly about being considerate and professional. You don’t want to waste their time.

The best thing you can do is to personally call the hiring manager to communicate your decision. Calling on the phone is a professional courtesy and a strong personal touch. It will allow you to answer any questions right away. It also shows that you can handle an uncomfortable situation head on, which further helps you come across as a mature individual.

If you can’t get the hiring manager on the phone, write a polite email letting him or her know you are happy you were offered an interview but that you have to decline the opportunity. Thank them for the invitation and consideration, but leave your message brief. You don’t need to make excuses. In fact, doing so will probably do more harm than good.

Your Next Step

After that, it is time to move on. There are other opportunities out there that will fit your goals. If you need help finding the right fit for you, contact Atlas Staffing. We work with both employers and job candidates and know how to make a great match. We have locations in Boise, Spokane, and Yakima and know employers in these markets well. We can help you find your next career move.