How To Cancel A Job Interview Politely: Strategies For Maintaining Your Reputation

Editorial Team

How To Cancel A Job Interview Politely

Job interviews are a crucial step in hiring for both employers and job seekers. For job seekers, interviews provide an opportunity to showcase their skills and experience, demonstrate their fit with the company culture, and learn more about the position and the company. For employers, interviews allow them to assess candidates’ qualifications, evaluate their communication and interpersonal skills, and determine their potential fit with the organization.

Interviews are also important because they allow both parties to ask questions and gather more information about each other. It can help to ensure that the position and company are a good match for the candidate and that the candidate is a good fit for the company.

Overall, job interviews are a critical part of the hiring process, and the information gathered during an interview can significantly impact the decision to hire a candidate.

During the recruiting process, there are several reasons one may need to cancel the job interview. And if you need to cancel a job interview, it’s essential to do so politely and professionally to maintain a positive relationship with the employer. Some steps can serve as guidance for being polite and maintaining your reputation to maintain a connection with the company. In this article, we will explore why cancelling an interview may be encountered and some basic etiquette and suggestions to cancel a job interview politely and maintain your reputation.

One of the most known reasons for cancelling a job interview is the selection from another company or considering another opportunity. Another reason may be not being satisfied with the company or business after learning about it and realizing one isn’t the right fit. Also, sometimes one might have decided to pursue studies or current job opportunities. Lastly, commutation isn’t possible. These are some common reasons, but there might be some others too. If you are considering rescheduling the interview, you need to be prompt and keep a list of alternate timings to make it easier for you and the recruiter.

The following steps are suggested for cancelling a job interview without compromising your reputation, which can be challenging yet more accessible.

1. Give As Much Notice As Possible:

The more you can provide, the better. Giving as much notice as possible is essential to cancel any appointment, including a job interview. If you must cancel, providing ample information shows respect for the interviewer’s time and allows them to make other arrangements if necessary. It also reflects positively on you and can help to maintain an excellent professional reputation by providing at least 24-26 hours prior notice if you need to cancel a job interview. However, the more information you can give, the better. If possible, let the interviewer know as soon as you realize you won’t be able to do the scheduled interview. It gives them more time to reschedule the interview or adjust their hiring plans.

2. Contact The Right Person:

When cancelling a job interview, it’s essential to make sure you contact the right person. In most cases, this will be the person who scheduled the interview or the one who will be conducting the interview. If you received an email or other communication confirming the interview, check to see if it includes contact information for the person you should notify if you need to cancel. If you’re unsure who to contact, try to find the name and contact information of the hiring manager or the person who initially contacted you about the interview. It’s also a good idea to double-check the contact information to ensure it’s current and accurate. If you’re having trouble finding the right person or their contact information, consider contacting the company’s human resources department for assistance.

3. Express Your Regret:

When cancelling a job interview, you must express your regret for any inconvenience you may have caused. It shows that you value the interviewer’s time and take the cancellation seriously. You can express your regret in several ways, such as apologizing for any inconvenience, thanking them for their time and consideration, or acknowledging the opportunity you’re missing out on by cancelling. However, you choose to express it, be sincere and genuine in your regret. Remember that withdrawing from a job interview can negatively affect your professional reputation, so you must be courteous and experienced in all your interactions with the interviewer or hiring manager. Even if you decide not to pursue the job opportunity, you never know when you might cross paths with these individuals again, so it’s always best to leave a positive impression.

4. Provide A Valid Reason:

Providing a good reason for cancelling a job interview can help to mitigate any negative impact on your professional reputation. A valid reason might include an unexpected personal emergency, illness, or a conflict with a previously scheduled commitment. When providing a basis, it’s essential, to be honest, specific, and respectful of the interviewer’s time and privacy. You don’t need to provide all the details of your situation. Still, you should give enough information to show that your cancellation is legitimate and not just a lack of interest or consideration. If you don’t have a valid reason for cancelling, you can still be honest and explain that you’ve decided to pursue other opportunities or that the position is no longer a good fit for your career goals. However, cancelling without a valid reason can reflect poorly on you and potentially harm your professional reputation.

5. Offer To Reschedule

Offering to reschedule a job interview can demonstrate your continued interest in the position and help to mitigate any negative impact of the cancellation. If you’re interested in rescheduling, let the interviewer know that you’re still looking forward to the position and ask if another time would work for them. When offering to reschedule, be flexible and accommodating as much as possible. Remember that the interviewer may have other scheduling constraints or deadlines, so try to work within their availability. If you cannot reschedule, thank them for their time and consideration and tell them that you appreciate the opportunity. Remember, if you reschedule, follow through and attend the interview at the agreed-upon time. Cancelling a second time or not showing up without a valid reason can damage your professional reputation and negatively impact your chances of being considered for the position.

6. Thank The Employer

Thanking the employer is crucial when cancelling a job interview. Even if you’ve decided not to pursue the opportunity or cannot attend the interview, expressing gratitude for the employer’s time and consideration shows professionalism and courtesy. In your message or communication, thank the employer for their interest in your application and scheduling the interview. Tell them that you appreciate the opportunity and value their time and effort. This simple act of gratitude can leave a positive impression, which can be beneficial in the future. Remember that the hiring process can be competitive, and leaving a positive impression on the employer can help to keep the door open for future opportunities. By expressing gratitude and professionalism, you can help to maintain a good reputation and demonstrate that you’re a respectful and considerate candidate.

7. Mention Interview Details

When cancelling a job interview, it’s a good idea to mention the interview details in your message or communication. It can help ensure no confusion or miscommunication about the interview’s date, time, or location. In your message, include the date and time of the scheduled interview and any other relevant details, such as the location, the interviewer’s name, or the position you applied for, which can help avoid misunderstandings or confusion and make it easier for the employer to reschedule the interview if necessary. By providing clear and concise data about the interview details, you can help maintain a professional and organized image, even if you cannot attend the interview. It can be beneficial if you reapply for the position or pursue other opportunities with the same employer.

Here is a pattern you can use to cancel a job interview:

Subject: Regretful Cancellation of Job Interview

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to convey my sincere regret for cancelling our scheduled job interview for February 16, 2024.

Unfortunately, an unexpected situation has arisen that requires my immediate attention, and I will no longer be up to making it to the interview as planned. I understand that this is short notice, and I apologize for any disruption this may cause.

I am genuinely interested in the [Position Name] role at [Company Name]. I would appreciate the opportunity to reschedule the interview at a more convenient time for both of us. I understand this may not be possible, and I completely understand if you need to move forward with other candidates.

I appreciate your understanding and look forward to connecting with you soon.


[Your Name]


Cancelling a job interview can be difficult, but handling it professionally and courteously is essential. By following these steps, such as giving as much notice as possible, contacting the right person, expressing your regret, providing a valid reason, offering to reschedule, thanking the employer, and mentioning the interview details, you can help to minimize the negative impact and maintain a positive reputation. Remember, the job interview is an integral part of the job search process, and it’s essential to be respectful and considerate of the interviewer’s time and effort, even if you cannot attend the interview.