How to Decline an Interview (Plus Letter Samples!)

One challenging aspect of your job search is the interview process. Sadly, there will be times you’ll need decline a job interview due to certain reasons. These might include having a change of heart, personal life events getting overwhelming, losing interest, and accepting another job offer. In any case, equip yourself on how to decline an interview effectively—and professionally.

This fool-proof guide lists what you should take note, reasons you might have, and tips to heed in turning down an interview. We’ve also added email samples so that you can write yours better!

Factors to Consider Before Declining an Interview

Declining a job interview may seem as easy as ABC at first, but this can affect your job search goals. To avoid making a hasty decision, try doing these before dropping out of a job interview.

Don’t rush your decision.

You may get tempted to jump the gun, but take note: Once it’s done, it’s done.

As per LegalJobs, a job search site for legal specialists, only 1 in 7 job applicants vying for a single job will move to the interview stage. Further, the length of the interview phase takes about 3 to 4 weeks on average. Indeed, landing a job interview is a tricky and tedious stage. Treat it with careful thought.

To add, ask yourself why you’ve thought of turning down that job interview. From thereon, weigh your options and decide what your next steps should be.

Ask someone you trust for an honest feedback.

Sometimes, you feel overwhelmed with the entire process. You can’t think clearly, and you’re having a hard time to decide if you’re going to accept or decline a job interview. We get that. This is where your trusted friends, colleagues, or mentors come in handy.

Reach out to them and ask for what they would do if they were in your situation. Also, since each of them might have unique ways of how they see you and what you’re capable of, they can tell you if they think whether or not that job suits you.

Reasons for Turning Down an Interview

Before knowing how to decline an interview, you must be clear on your reasons for doing so. This lets you identify the best approach to use, allowing you to compose your email better.

Some reasons include:

  • You researched about the company or position and realized your values, skills, and feats might not be in line with theirs.
  • Some changes in your personal life impacted your career decisions.
  • You’ve received or decided to accept a job offer from a different company.
  • You’ve heard the company has been struggling financially, and taking a job there would entail a huge risky move.
  • After rounds of interviews, you’ve lost interest in the job or company.
  • You found out about the company’s bad reputation.
  • Your priorities have changed, and the position you applied for can’t help with your current goals.
  • You believe the job offer might not compensate for your skills and experience.
  • You’re currently employed, so interviewing with other companies would be risky.

It’s always worth being clear to yourself and knowing your intentions in your job search. Taking this step lets you make more informed decisions and avoid regrets in the end.

Tips on Turning Down a Job Interview

Even when you need to reject someone’s offer, you must be guided on how to do so in a courteous and professional manner. Heed these top tips!

Think about your decision thoroughly.

Don’t rush into making decisions you’ll only regret in the end. Think about it and consider vital factors.

Also, remember: A job interview isn’t the same as a job offer. Nonetheless, job interviews can still be good opportunities to practice your communication and interviewing skills. Hence, it could be beneficial for you to show up for the interview as an opportunity to learn, even if you believe the job won’t be a good fit for you.


Other job seekers find it easier to ignore the job interview invitation. However, it’s not the most advisable thing to do.

Don’t be that job seeker who “chose” not to respond and thought that having no response at all is a professional way to turn down the opportunity. Be professional and don’t leave the hiring manager (or whoever your company contact is) hanging. Also, ensure that you email the right contact!

Remain polite.

Maintain professionalism with how you write your email or letter. Decline respectfully to maintain a positive relationship and leave a lasting good impression. Who knows, the company might offer future opportunities you might be interested in!

Keep it short.

As much as you need to inform them of your decision, you don’t need to provide specific details on why you’re turning down their invitation. Be concise without sounding rude, as this can affect your professional reputation.

Inform them ASAP.

As much as you can, it’s a must that you inform them early on that you’ll be declining their interview invitation. This gives them ample time for certain adjustments, and even if they don’t thank you outright for doing so, they appreciate prompt responses to make their recruitment process easier. Treat it as a little gesture to help them!

woman thinking of how to decline an interview through email

How to Decline an Interview Through Email (Letter Samples)

Now, how do you write and send an email to drop out of an interview? Here are quick samples to guide you! Tweak as you deem fit and fill the needed details properly!

1. Withdrawing Your Application

Subject: Interview Invitation for [Job Title] – [Your Name]

Dear [Name],

Thank you so much for considering me for the position of [Job Title]. I appreciate you inviting me to interview with [Company Name]. However, I would like to withdraw my application.

Again, thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,
[Your First and Last Name]

2. Accepting Another Job Offer

Subject: Thank you for the interview opportunity!

Dear [Name],

Thank you for the opportunity to interview for [Job Title] at [Company Name]. Unfortunately, I have to decline this offer as I have accepted another job post from a different company.

I’m grateful for giving me your time and I hope you find a qualified candidate for the job.

All the best,
[Your First and Last Name]

3. Referring Another Job Candidate

Subject: Interview Invitation for [Job Title]

Dear [Name],

Thank you for inviting me for an interview for [Job Title]. I appreciate your time and consideration. Unfortunately, I have to decline the opportunity for now.

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

Thanks for your time and I hope we’ll have another chance to work together in the future.

[Your First and Last Name]

Optimize Your Resume to Be Ready for Your Target Job Interview

While there may be times you really need to cancel an interview, you can always do your best to avoid them. Being equipped on how to decline an interview is an excellent step, but it doesn’t end there! You also need to look at your job search tools and how these affect your chances of being employed. Creating a compelling resume aligned to your target job is an effective job search strategy to practice.

Optimizing your resume with relevant resume keywords helps you better target those jobs you’re eyeing for. This way, you can avoid landing job interviews that might not suit you. Aside from that, you can also consider matching your resume with the job description of your target position. Do these seem tedious and overwhelming to you? Fret not! There are available services to help you write your resume that’ll land you job interviews you’re more qualified for!

Now, you might ask: Are resume writing services worth it? Both yes and no, to be quite honest with you. No, because if you hire the wrong one, your money will go to waste and you won’t achieve your job search goals. On the brighter side, hiring a topnotch service can increase your chances of landing your dream job!

Resume Professional Writers’ team of career experts helps you write job search tools that hiring managers and employers love. What are you waiting for? Check out our best resume writing services now please contact us to know more.

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