How to Cancel an Interview Via Email (Examples Included)

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How to Cancel an Interview Via Email (Examples Included)

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Is it Unprofessional to Cancel an Interview via Email?

Are you wondering if it’s appropriate to cancel a scheduled job interview via email? Perhaps you’ve heard some people say: “You should never cancel an interview. It ruins your reputation.” The truth is, it’s not necessarily wrong to do it. It all depends on the circumstances and how you get the message across to the employer. 

The key is being considerate of the company and having a valid reason. Most companies understand that emergencies can come up, so they have no problem with rescheduling. Also, if you are no longer interested in the role or have accepted another job offer, it’s best not to waste your and the interviewer’s time!

If you’re canceling after taking up the company’s time or resources, you can create a poor reputation for yourself. In this case, you may not get another chance to work for that company. You want to do what’s best for you, but also consider how canceling an interview without a valid reason may affect your future relationship with a potential employer.

How to Politely Cancel a Job Interview

Learning to politely cancel an interview can save you from regretting your decision in the future and feeling uncomfortable.

  1. First, call the employer. 

A simple phone call is best. Even if the interviewer doesn’t answer, leave a message explaining that you’re calling about the scheduled job interview and that you will not be able to make it. 

  1. If you can’t get through to them, send an email. You’ll want to follow up with a phone call if they don’t receive or read the email.

If you have a valid reason for canceling an interview, do it as soon as possible so they can reschedule your interview with another candidate and you do not take up their time.

Some examples of valid reasons for canceling an interview are:

  • You had a personal emergency and cannot make it to the interview.
  • You have become ill and are unable to leave your home/bed.
  • A family member has been hospitalized.
  • You accepted another job offer 

How to Cancel a Job Interview You Don’t Want

If you don’t want the job, it’s best not to take up the company’s time.

You can decline an interview with a polite reason such as: 

“I am sorry, but I must decline your invitation due to other commitments.” 

“Thank you for your interest in my application. I wanted to let you know that I have already accepted another job offer.”

When making your statement, be kind and courteous. Don’t provide too many details unless they ask for them.

Email Template to Cancel a Job Interview

If you need help canceling an interview, feel free to use this template and customize it based on your needs:

One way you can decline an interview is by providing a simple explanation: 

“I’m sorry but I decided to take another position.” 

“Unfortunately, I’ve accepted another job offer.” 

“After further consideration,  I have decided to pursue other opportunities.”

When making your statement, be kind and courteous. If you need help canceling a job interview due to another offer, use this email template:

“Dear  _____,

I wanted to thank you for considering me for the position of ______________. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to accept another job offer. Thanks so much again for your time.

I am sure you will find a suitable candidate for your organization.


Your name here”

cancel an interview tips

How to Cancel an Interview if you Have an Illness or Emergency

If you have an illness, injury, or another emergency preventing you from attending the interview, it is best to cancel as soon as possible so the interviewer can reschedule with another candidate.

One way of doing this is by phone call. You can tell them: 

“I’m sorry but I won’t be able to make it because I am ill/injured/facing some kind of issue.” 

“I’m sorry but there’s been an [emergency] and now I cannot come in for  the interview.”

If you need help canceling an interview due to illness or emergency, use this email template:      

“Dear ____,

I am so disappointed to inform you that I will not be able to make today’s job interview because I became ill/was injured. I wish we could have made the appointment but unfortunately, my (illness/injury) is preventing me from leaving home at this time. 

Please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. If there was another date on which we could reschedule, please let me know.

Your name.”

5 Tips on How to Cancel an Interview Without Burning Bridges      

  1. Be Courteous 

 When writing your excuse, be understanding and kind (don’t say anything that might offend the interviewer). Also, if possible, avoid lengthy explanations for why you cannot attend.

  1. Don’t Burn Bridges 

While it may be tempting to mention how much better things are elsewhere or tell them about the offer you’ve accepted at another company, don’t do this! You never know when they will have another opportunity for you in the future so being honest only makes sense in some cases.

  1. Maintain Transparency 

Honesty is always best. If they ask questions related to salary, benefits, etc., be as transparent as you can. Sometimes it’s just a matter of negotiating a potential salary.

  1. Apologize 

Showing remorse for what has happened or might happen goes a long way when canceling an interview. Take responsibility and show your professionalism by offering an apology to the employer.

5. Don’t come up with a lame excuse

 If you know you’ll be late or are sick, just let them know. Sometimes it may seem easier to not cancel but this won’t give you a good impression at all. In fact, some interviewers would rather consider someone else who is honest about their shortcomings instead of someone who tries to present themselves as perfect for the job.

Interviewing can be stressful, and sometimes we cannot do anything about it! While they say that time is precious, what’s actually more precious is honesty and strong communication skills. Being honest with your interviewer and yourself will make canceling an interview less taxing on both parties. 

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