‘I’m Sorry But I Have To’: Expert Tips on How to Cancel a Job Interview the Right Way

Finding a job is not easy. It comes with a rigorous job-hunting process which includes numerous job interviews, never-ending submissions of resumes, and revising cover letters for a specific job opportunities, among others. That is why you get that satisfaction and fulfilment when finally, a hiring manager contacted you and has offered to sit down with you for an interview. Learning that you have a job interview lined up excites you. It makes you feel that you have progressed in the hiring process, and of course, gives you an opportunity to get the position that you applied for.

But sometimes, things will just not go into plan. There are times when a job hunter has to cancel an interview, and that is okay as long as it is done right and with the right intentions. Jobseekers often refer to various articles for tips on how to ace your interviews or how to prepare for it, and even checking how to dress up for an interview or how to behave during an interview. But now, we will be discussing a topic that might come in handy for job hopefuls carefully weighing their options: how to cancel a job interview.

How Recruiters See Job Seekers Cancelling a Job Interview

Hiring managers can attest that sometimes, interviewees just don’t show up for their scheduled interviews. No emails, no texts, nada. Potential interviews might even forget to confirm their attendance at times. But the first thing that you should consider when searching about how to cancel a job interview is how to not burn bridges with a potential employer. You should never be on the wrong side of the situation when you have to cancel a job interview. Remember that you have expressed that you are interested in the position and they have extended their invitation to you to become a part of their company.

Keep also in mind that the professional world is made of networks. A handful of it. So, when you think of how to cancel a job interview, you should think about how to properly do it. You do not want a company to share to their network that you, as a potential employee, have cancelled or declined an interview, and you did not do it professionally. Canceling an interview is fine. You just have to do it right.

Stressed Man Thinking Of How To Cancel A Job Interview

Reasons to Cancel a Job Interview

There are many reasons behind one’s decision to cancel a job interview. We have rounded up some common reasons. But whether or not your reason is listed below, always remember that whatever the reason may be, as long as it is honest and unintentional, it’s fine. After all, employees such as your hiring managers are humans, too.

Domestic Emergency

Nobody wants to be in an emergency. Just tell your interviewer as soon as you can that you will not be able to push through with an interview because you have a family emergency. From a work-life balance perspective, being a family member is one of the jobs that you have to interview for.

Natural or Man-Made Calamities

Your safety is your priority. If you are in an area where you will be at risk if you would proceed with an interview, you might have to cancel it. Typhoons, hurricanes, and flash floods are just some of the examples of natural calamities that may come your way. Some man-made calamities include crime, theft, and civil disorder, among others.


No matter how much you want a job, your health, including your interviewer’s health, shouldn’t be put at risk. This is especially true now that the whole world was shaken by the pandemic. Medical emergencies are also acceptable reasons when canceling a job interview.

Another Job Offer

In line with landing your dream job, you can cancel an interview if you have already received another job offer. Interviewers and hiring managers deserve your honesty. You can mention in your email that you have already received another job offer and you would not want to take much of their time.

Issues with Internet Connection

For online and virtual interviews, a stable internet connection is a must. If you are having troubles with your internet and it would not be possible to have a smooth-flowing interview, you might want to consider cancelling it. If you would go through with your interview with an unstable connection, you might just be wasting everyone’s time. Besides, you might not be able to perform well in your interview if you are too focused on waiting for your connection to stabilize. Worst, your interviewer might not even hear your award-winning answers because you are frozen in his or her screen.

How to Cancel a Job Interview

Cancelling a job interview is sometimes inevitable. But what’s vital when searching for tips on how to cancel a job interview is that you have to do it professionally.

If you have to cancel an interview, inform your interviewers beforehand. Give them ample of time to acknowledge your cancellation and adjust their schedules. Inform them of the reason and give them the prerogative to have your interviewed cancelled or just rescheduled. Some tips when cancelling a job interview, whatever method you will use, make sure that you show professionalism, be courteous and apologize for the inconvenience and keep your message brief and straightforward as possible.

On cancelling an interview, the rule of thumb is you reach out to them through the communication channel that they used to reach you. If they called you over the phone, you can give them a call back to let them know that you want to cancel the interview. By calling them, you will be guaranteed that they have taken note of your cancellation. If you cannot reach them via call, leave them a message or send them a text instead.

If they sent you a text message, reply to them and inform them about your decision. When sending a text, make sure that you properly give them the details they might need. State your name, the position you applied for and if you can recall or retrieve the last message they sent or when they reached out to you, state that in your message to.

Another professional way on cancelling a job interview is to send them a formal email. If they have reached out to you through email or you have a copy of their email, contact them using that. We have provided some interview cancellation email examples which can help you draft yours. When sending an email, it is helpful that you use the words ‘Interview Cancellation’ as the subject line and also state your name if possible.

Woman Writing An Email Know How To Cancel A Job Interview

Job Interview Cancellation Email Examples

If worst-case scenario happens and you need to cancel a job interview, then a professional email must be in order. These templates below can serve as your guide.

Job Interview Cancellation Sample #1:

Dear Ms. Gomez,

Thank you for reaching out acknowledging my application for the position of Digital Marketing Specialist at Unique Beauty. I would like to formally express my intention of withdrawing from the application process. I will not be able to push through with our online interview scheduled on February 6 at 2:00 PM.

After careful thought and consideration, I have decided that I am no longer available for this position. I decided to continue my studies overseas and I would not be able to accommodate any job opportunities to focus on finishing my degree.

I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration and I look forward to your company’s success.

Bridgette Dunphy

Job Interview Cancellation Sample #2:

Dear Mr. Pritchett,

Thank you so much for considering me for the Social Media Manager role at GoTravel Leisure and Tours. Unfortunately, I would like to withdraw my application and cancel my interview scheduled at your office on February 6 at 2:00 PM.

I’ve accepted another opportunity and am no longer active in my job search. I appreciate the opportunity, and I apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for your consideration and time. I wish for your company’s continued success.

Bridgette Dunphy

Job Interview Cancellation Sample #3:

Dear Mr. Gomez, I received your email and interview invitation last January 20 for the position of Influencer Relations Manager at Unique Brands Inc. I would like to express my regret that I will not be able to attend the interview scheduled on February 6 at 2:00PM. As you may have heard, the city where I live was severely hit by the last hurricane and I would have to devote my time in rehabilitation and reconstruction of our property. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and I wish you all the best in your candidate search. Sincerely,
Bridgette Dunphy

Is it Unprofessional to Cancel an Interview?

So, is it unprofessional to cancel an interview? The simple answer is no. However, if you did so in a rude manner or you just decided to simply ghost your employer and not show up, that is unprofessional. Doing so would mean you’re also risking yourself of being blacklisted in that company and the network they belong to. It is not unprofessional to cancel an interview as long as it is done right.

You can read and search on how to cancel a job interview, but make sure that you adhere to the steps mentioned above and that you would not come across as unprofessional to your interviewers. Remember to always touch base with your potential employer and let them know beforehand of your decision.

A Career Advisor Looking Outside And Sitting Next To Laptop

We are Here to Help You Navigate Your Job Search

Looking for a job is hard enough. For this instance, cancelling a job interview is definitely not easier. We get that times are tough and we want to let you know that Resume Professional Writers is here to help! Whether you need help in landing your dream job or you just want to know how much makeup should you wear for your next interview, we’ve got your back.

We have a comprehensive collection of blogs and job interview tips here to help you ace your next interview and help you up that career ladder. Whether you are a high school student preparing for a job interview or you are looking for tips on how to get through with your internship interview, we’ve got you covered!

You can check out some tips on how to excel on your current career path or you can also check out some advice for when you want to start a new career. You may want to check out our services here to help us give you what you need on your professional journey!

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