How to Reject a Job Interview (Sample Letters Included)

Ideally, an invitation for a job interview should make you happy. However, there are instances you may feel that a job/position you actually applied for no longer seems like a good fit. It may also be that you have accepted a better offer in another organization. It will be wrong, at this point, to waste your time and that of the employer if you are not going to take the job. The right thing to do is to decline politely. 

When an employer or an HR team contacts you for an interview, they expect you to show up. If, for any reason, you are no longer interested in the job, let them know in time. Sending a letter via email is the most practical way to do this, especially if you were also contacted via email.

Why You May Want To Decline a Job Interview 

Circumstances change, and there are concrete reasons you may want to decline a job interview. Here are some common reasons we have encountered in the past: 

  • You might have researched the position or the company further and discovered that the job is not compatible with your goals and aspirations, or your goals are not compatible with the company’s mission or culture 
  • You might have reconsidered your decision to relocate just for the job offer 
  • You have been offered another job that suits your personality and qualification better than the one you are being called to interview for 
  • You may have accepted another job offer just after you sent out the other application 
  • Your schedule may have changed, affecting your availability/ability to comply with the job schedule the job requires. 

Note: You mustn’t state the real reason for declining the interview at the moment. This is especially important if there is a possibility that you will apply to the company again in the future. Keeping your letter short and polite will leave the door open for future opportunities in the establishment. 

Important Tips for Sending a Letter to Decline a Job Interview Invitation 

So far, we have stressed that it is important to be polite in your letter to decline an invitation to a job interview. Here, we will offer a few more tips on how to handle it perfectly:

Make Up Your Mind 

This is not a time to sit on the fence. If you are still interested in securing the job, make up your mind quickly. If you really want to decline it, be sure that is what you need. You should be sure before writing the letter because once you send it, there is no going back on that particular invitation, or you will appear as unreliable, indecisive, or worse. You may even lose your chance of applying in the future. 

Send Your Response Quickly 

Depending on your circumstances, it is important to send your decline letter as quickly as possible. For instance, if you already accepted another job offer, sending a decline letter as soon as you get the invitation letter is really important so that you don’t forget. Even if you still have no job and debating in your mind, remember that the employer/interviewers are looking forward to meeting you. It will be wrong to keep them waiting until the 11th hour before sending a letter to decline. Send your response as soon as you make up your mind, and be quick about that. 

Be Courteous 

As hinted earlier, you don’t want to burn bridges when declining a job interview invitation. This means you have to be as polite as possible in your letter/email. The wrong language may ruin your chances of even getting a job in another organization since most industries are actually tiny words. Be formal but courteous.

Be Vague 

The purpose of your email is to inform the employer or the head of HR that you are no longer interested in the position. You are not under obligation to state your reasons. It is better to be vague, but make sure you communicate clearly that you are declining the interview invitation.

Sample Letters 

Here are a few samples of letters declining job interview invitation because of different reasons.

Email Withdrawing Application 

Dear Name,

Thank you for considering my application for the position of (job title) in your organization and inviting me for an interview. However, I wish to withdraw my application for this position. 

I truly appreciate the fact that you reviewed my application positively this time.

Thank you again for the consideration.

Kind Regards, 

Your Name


Phone number 

Email After Accepting another Job Elsewhere 

Dear Name, 

Thank you for reviewing my application and extending an interview invitation for the position of (Job title) in your company. However, I have to decline this invitation because I was offered – and accepted – a job in another company after putting in the application. 

I wish you all the best in your search for the perfect candidate to fill the position. 

Once again, thank you for reviewing my application and extending an invitation. 

Warm Regards, 

Your Name 


Phone number 

Email Expressing Vague Change of Circumstance 

Dear Name, 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview at your company for the position of (Job title). However, I have to decline this opportunity due to changes in my circumstances.

Again, I appreciate being considered a candidate, and I wish you the best of luck in finding the right candidate to fill the position. 


Your Name 


Phone Number 


There is nothing wrong with rejecting a job interview when you are sure it is the best decision to make. Once you are sure this is what you want to do, send a letter to decline as soon as possible. We have discussed the best way to do that without burning bridges. Follow the tips here and modify some of the samples provided to suit you. Good luck with making better decisions for your career.

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