How To Cancel a Job Interview

How To Cancel a Job Interview

It’s never a good idea to burn bridges. So, when you’re applying for jobs, it’s essential to treat all hiring managers and employers in a way that leaves doors open. If you need to cancel a job interview, you should be polite and grateful. That’s easier said than done, so you should follow a few simple tips before you cancel your next job interview.

Is It OK to Cancel an Interview?

First, you may be wondering whether or not it’s acceptable to cancel a job interview. Some people go through interviews knowing they won’t accept an offer or pursue employment with the company. However, you shouldn’t go to an interview if you’re certain that you don’t want the job. Doing so wastes your time and theirs and could damage your relationship with the company.

Whatever reason you might have for not wanting to interview for the position, you should know that it’s OK to cancel. As long as you do so in a professional manner, you won’t cause any harm. Common reasons for canceling include:

You receive and accept a job offer

There are reasons you don’t want to accept the position

You don’t want to work for the company

Personal issues keep you from seeking a job

You want to remain with your employer

To be honest, there’s no inappropriate reason to cancel your job interview. As long as you’re certain you don’t want the job, you can cancel. What really matters is how you cancel the interview.

Timing Your Cancelation

When you first find out you don’t want the job, take action. The key is to cancel the interview as soon as possible. If possible, cancel the interview on the evening before the day. By waiting until the morning of the appointment, you put the hiring manager in a frustrating situation. For interviews that require the hiring manager to travel long distances or arrange reservations, you should give more notice.

Why does timing matter so much? Recruiters usually spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours making one interview. If they have a cancellation on the day of an interview, they need to completely adjust their schedule. An interviewer is much more likely to be frustrated with you if you wait until the last minute to cancel your appointment.

Last Minute Cancellations

If you have an emergency come up, you may have no choice but to cancel your interview on the day of the appointment. In this case, you should call or text the hiring manager. Then, be direct and give a heartfelt apology. Keep your explanation short and direct, and avoid overexplaining.

Other Tips for Canceling

In addition to getting the timing right, you should follow a few other tips when you cancel an interview. Here are a few suggestions:

Be Direct

Because some people are nervous about canceling their interviews, they sometimes are indirect. However, there’s no need to tiptoe around the subject. You should be straightforward as you cancel and explain your reason for canceling.

All too often, people drag out the cancelation. They may ask several questions before canceling or procrastinate until it’s too late. But the worst thing you can do is cancel at the last minute or fail to show up for the interview. If you ever need to work with the company again, you could be in trouble. You can preserve your relationship by being direct.

Be Honest

When you speak with the interviewer, be honest. If you come up with a long lie about a sick family member, you probably won’t come across as reliable. Most hiring managers know when a candidate is lying. Try to be truthful, or you could burn this bridge.

With that said, you don’t need to give too many details about your reasons for canceling. For instance, you might have found out that the company has a bad reputation. You don’t necessarily want to tell the hiring manager that you’re canceling because of their reputation. Rather, you can say that you changed your mind about the position.

If a hiring manager pushes too hard for answers, you probably don’t want to work with that company in the future. And you certainly don’t want to create a conflict with the recruiter. Even if you want to address the issues you discovered, you shouldn’t do so with the hiring manager. They’re not the appropriate party, and you should direct your concerns to someone else.

Don’t Give in to Pressure

There are times when an interviewer might pressure an applicant to attend the interview. If this happens to you, don’t give in to the pressure. You won’t accomplish anything by going to an interview that you don’t want to attend. If they continue to request that you attend, explain that you are no longer interested and won’t be interviewing. Although it’s your obligation to cancel the interview, it’s not your obligation to justify yourself.

It’s important to remember to look after yourself. While you may feel bad about canceling your interview, it’s not your job to fill the vacancy. Try not to feel any guilt over the matter.

Offer to Stay in Touch

A week after you cancel your interview, try to network with the recruiter or hiring manager. In some cases, this means reaching out to them on LinkedIn or other platforms. Explain that you would like to stay in touch and know about future openings with their company.

What Does It Mean for Your Future?

When you cancel a job interview, you don’t have to destroy all of your chances of having a relationship with the company. Hiring managers understand that life happens and things come up. As long as you cancel an interview in the right way, you can preserve the relationship and leave the door open for future opportunities. And even though you may not intend on working with the company in the near future, you never know what will happen. It’s best to leave your reputation sparkling.

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