When you receive an email invitation from a recruiter, the time you’d need to know how to decline an interview is when your immediate reaction shoots from “YES” to “ugh.”

If it’s “YES” is pretty simple: you schedule it, work on it, prepare for it, and leave a lasting impression in the interview.

If you are hesitant because you think you are overqualified for the job, not willing to do it, or the pay is lesser—decline it.

But what do you say to decline an interview? Is there a possibility of refusing the interview and leaving the door open? Fortunately, there is.

Declining a job interview doesn’t always have to be an awkward experience. You can actually leave a good impression while turning down the offer.

So, let’s look at how to decline a job interview professionally and nicely.

Reasons for Turning down an Interview

If you want to pursue a job, it may seem counter-productive to reject the job interview.

However, there are several reasons which make turning down the right choice.

  • You are happy with your current job.
  • You have researched the company, and it has raised some serious questions about its culture. Plus, the current employees at the company are not happy with their jobs.
  • You don’t like the company’s overall mission.
  • You feel you may not be the right fit for the position.
  • You don’t see any career growth, and the job isn’t good for your personal career goals.
  • The salary range is highly lower than what you are currently earning
  • You have another excellent offer on your plate that you are planning to or already have accepted.
  • The job is uninteresting.

Why it’s Important to Be Nice in Declining An Interview?

If you have decided not to attend the interview, your main objective is to leave a remarkable impression.

However, the interviewer has many interviews scheduled for one or two days. So if you decide to be absent, you will be forgotten soon. And that’s okay too.

But what you want is not to be remembered as an arrogant person who turned down the offer without informing.

You might want to join that company later on for a better position, and that’s why it is essential to decline an interview nicely.

 

A woman wondering how to decline an interview
Know your reasons then find out how to decline an interview professionally


How Do You Decline An Interview Without Burning Bridges?

If you have decided to decline the interview, remember: Don’t burn bridges!

Even if your research has given you thousands of red flags and you would never work there, being polite is never off the table.

Rejecting an interview in a rude manner might come back and bite you later. Plus, you never know that you might want to consider the company in the future.

So, learn how to deny an interview by leading with kindness and gratitude. As a professional individual, always be respectful and thank them for offering you the position.

Make sure to play your part in maintaining a positive work relationship.

Guide for How You Should Decline A Job Interview

Know What You Want

Before declining the interview, make sure that you are not jumping to conclusions and denying yourself the opportunity you deserve without searching about the company and job.

Be confident about what you want to pursue as a career and that your reasons for turning down the interview are valid.

Don’t respond immediately: take some and consider the opportunity—make the pros and cons list.

If you are sure that that job is not for you, it’s better to decline.

Respond Soon (Typically within 2-3 days)

Not responding immediately to the offer doesn’t mean that you leave the emails unanswered for weeks. Instead, you should react soon—typically within 2-3 days.

Respect their time and priorities, answer the company, and let them know about rejection.

It opens opportunities for more candidates.

Thank The Recruiter

If you are sure that turning down the job is the right decision, then be professional while declining it.

Thank the company for considering you for this opportunity.

It will help you maintain a positive relationship with the company.

Don’t Be Too Specific

Keep your rejection email short, sweet, and concise. Write an email that shows your regret for the inconvenience that your decision may cause.

You don’t need to give the exact reason for declining the interview; it’s best to avoid doing it.

Your reason might devalue the job opportunity and may come across as rudely critical to the company.

So, avoid providing details; otherwise, you will complicate the pretty straightforward process.

Suggest Someone Else

If you think the opportunity is excellent, you are not up for it.

Then recommend someone else from your circle who is qualified for the position according to your opinion.

It will save the company time in hunting for the perfect candidate again, and you will leave a great impression.

How To Politely Decline An Interview Via Email: What Do I Type?

Email correspondence is one of the professional ways to communicate; that’s why many managers no longer list their work numbers.

If you are turning down a job offer through an email, keep your email short and to the point.

For Example:


Dear [hiring manager],

Thank you for offering me the [position] role and inviting me for an interview. I really appreciate it. However, due to some unanticipated circumstances, I have to decline the interview at this time. 

Sincerely,

[Your Name]


If you want to define “circumstances,” you can, but keep it concise. Such as:


I’ve recently got promoted at my current job.

I’ve just joined the [company name]


In addition to that, according to some professionals, you can also decline an interview with “This particular role may not fit me exactly,” which isn’t bad.

Still, there is no point in dragging the email. Shorter emails are always better.

How to decline an interview by phone: What Do I Say?

If you are declining an interview by call, be direct.

Here’s how you can make it polite, short, and concise:


This is [your Name], returning the call regarding the [job title]. As much as I appreciate being considered for this role, I am afraid I need to decline it right now. However, I am thankful for your time and offer—best wishes for securing the appropriate candidate for the position.


You can also try:


Hello [Your Name] here,

[Hiring manager name]

Thank you for your consideration of my expertise for this great opportunity and for reaching out for the interview. However, I think I might not be a good fit for the role, so I don’t want to waste your time. 

However, if a great opportunity arises in the future, please feel free to reach out again. Thanks again for your time.

How to Decline an Interview Last Minute

Reach out to the hiring manager ASAP and send them a message with the following points.

It’s optimal to talk to the person over the phone, though you can also do it via email.

  1. A thank you note for the opportunity
  2. Apologize for the last-minute cancellation.
  3. Mention the reason (only if it seems acceptable)
  4. If your circumstances do change eventually, you will let them know.
  5. Thanks once more, and hang up.

How to Decline an Interview with a Recruiter?

If you have received an interview email or message directly from a recruiter, you have to decline it.

Do it politely and professionally:


Dear Sir,

As much as I appreciate you for taking out your time and reaching out to me regarding the [job name] role, I regretfully need to decline the offer this time. However, I hope that we can keep in contact and have a chance to work together down the line.

Thank you for your offer.

[Your Name]

How to Decline an Interview Due to a Low Salary?

If you are declining the job because of the low salary, don’t mention in the email that “Salary is not enough for my needs” because it seems like your problem than the recruiter.

However, if you think the job is good and the company will be good for your career goals, you could compose your email with:


“I really appreciate the offer, and I am the perfect fit for the job, but the salary offer isn’t acceptable for me. If there’s any other opportunity in the future with a higher salary range, I would appreciate being offered.”

How to Decline an Interview after Accepting?

If you have accepted an interview but now have changed your mind, here’s how to decline it.


Dear [Hiring manager name],

Thank you so much for taking out your time to interview me for the [job] role at [company name]. However, my circumstances have changed since I accepted the interview call, and unfortunately, I can’t attend the interview. Hence, I need to decline respectfully. 

I would love to work with you. Hopefully, we’ll stay in touch and have another chance down the line.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

How to Decline an Interview Because Of another Job?

Recruiters get that the top candidates have other job offers as well.

So if you have accepted another great offer, be straightforward about it and let them know.


“I appreciate the opportunity, but I’ve just accepted an offer from another organization. It [any reason why the other job is better for you], so I don’t want to waste your time. Thank you for considering me.”

How to Reject an Interview Email?

Rejecting an interview through email is the easiest option.

You don’t have to give so many reasons. Just a precise mail would work.


Hello [Name of hiring manager],

I really appreciate being considered for the [job name] role and thank you for inviting me to the interview. However, unfortunately, I have to decline the opportunity at this time.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

How to Turn Down a Job Interview But Keep the Door Open?

If you have received an interview invitation from a good company, the job doesn’t align with your goals.

It’s better to reject the interview and keep the door open for future opportunities. In this case, it is best to let them know that you are not fit for the role.


“I really appreciate the job offer, though I am concerned that I might not be the right fit for the position. I am currently looking for a job that (precisely explain what this job lacks), and it seems this job wouldn’t align with my goals.

Please correct me if I misunderstood the job. Otherwise, I need to decline the offer respectfully – I don’t want to waste time.

If any opportunity arises in the future, feel free to reach out.


Unambiguously, quickly, and politely—just how it should be—while leaving the door open.

Summary on How To Decline An Interview

Interviews are a time-consuming procedure, and there is no reason to spend your or the interviewer’s valuable time if you are not up for the position.

Therefore, it’s okay to be a little picky as long as you do it professionally.

How do you decline an interview without burning bridges?

Declining an interview without burning bridges requires you to make sure that you are not denying yourself the opportunity you deserve without searching about the company and job. Secondly, respond typically within 2-3 days. Thirdly, thank the recruiter, and don’t be too specific in your reply. Fourth, recommend somebody else.

How do I reject an interview over email?

You can use this format for rejecting an interview over email.

Dear [hiring manager],
Thank you for offering me the [position] role and inviting me for an interview. I really appreciate it. However, due to some unanticipated circumstances, I have to decline the interview at this time. 
Sincerely,

Is it rude to decline an interview?

It is not rude to decline an interview. If you have decided not to attend the interview, your main objective is to leave a remarkable impression. But what you want is not to be remembered as an arrogant person who turned down the offer without informing.

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