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How to Politely Turn Down a Job Interview via Email

Examples of what can disturb you from attending an interview can vary from personal issues, family challenges, the weather, environmental problems or another more lucrative job interview.

Looking for how to turn down a job offer and not interview? Read How to Politely Turn Down a Job Offer via Email here.

Here is a case scenario. You have been trying to get a job placement in a reputable company or in an organization that is well established in your field of interest. You had applied, likely via email, for a particular competitive position there and you were shortlisted for an interview. However, something comes up and hampers your ability to show up for the interview.  And this happened just a few days before the interview.

How are you to deal with this issue? Examples of what can disturb you from attending an interview can vary from personal issues, family challenges, the weather, environmental problems or another more lucrative job interview. It is important that you do not make the wrong decision of just turning down the interview without any explanation. Turning down the job interview via email, explaining the reason(s) for your action in the email, is one way of doing the right thing professionally.

Why it is Vital to Explain

Turning down a job interview via email

It is completely impolite to just not show up for a job interview that you were invited to. In fact, you may be harming your career. It is possible that for whatever reason, you may find yourself seeking employment in the same firm in the future. Also, consider a situation in which someone recommends you as a potential employee to the same company, but because of your previous nonchalant attitude to their earlier invite, they reject you.

This attitude of turning down an interview without communicating with the company is perceived as unprofessional and ignoble. Avoid it at all cost. There are various means you can use to communicate with the company of your decision to turn down an interview. The best means of communication, however, is that through which you were invited for the interview. Albeit, giving your explanation using email, that is, turning down the job interview via email is one effective way of going about things.

Why Turn Down a Job Interview via Email?

A lot of companies use email to communicate these days. There is a high probability that you would have been contacted via email for the interview you are about to turn down. It is therefore only sensible to turn down the job interview via email. All you need to do is to hit the reply button and start typing.

However, before you start typing, it is important to know how to go about writing such an email politely and effectively. Your aim is to ensure that the management of the company does not feel slighted and that you also maintain your professional career standing. Crafting such an email may seem like a daunting task, but it is practicable. Besides, a sample email is provided at the end.

Guidelines to Turning Down a Job Interview via Email

Turning down a job interview via email

Open With a Salutation

This should be a formal opening salutation. You may say, “Dear Sir or Madam” (endeavor to be specific here), or “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources Manager”. You may also say, “Good Morning Sir or Madam” (also endeavor to be specific here). The important thing is to make sure that you address the recipient in the best possible way. And this largely depends on the title and/or name that are/is on the email you received for the job interview.

Express Your Gratitude

The next thing after the opening greeting is to say thank you for the invitation. Here you must show that you deeply appreciate the fact that you were considered for a job interview. When writing this, be sincere. The fact is that some other people were not invited. That means that someone likely missed that interview slot because of you. Therefore do not take the opportunity you were given lightly.

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Tender Your Apologies

When turning down a job interview via email, you should tender your unreserved apologies for your action. It is necessary for you to apologize. You obviously considered your decision to be the most sensible thing to do. However, this will not be the company’s opinion. In order for them not to feel insulted, you should apologize. Of course, this does not mean that you are at fault, but it is just polite to apologize for turning down their invitation.

Present Your Reasons

Explain the reasons for your decision. Make this very clear and brief. The company is not so interested in your reason(s). The fact that you have actually communicated to them in a polite manner is just good enough. Therefore, do not stress this aspect. Make it concise. You may even avoid details that you feel are rather personal. However, ensure your reasons are sensible and that they can connect to it.

Never give the excuse that you were broke or that it rained. Never blame anyone as the cause of your not showing up. All these are considered lame excuses. If they were really your reasons, you will need to ask yourself if you really want that job. One way to avoid giving details (especially lame ones) is to just say “personal issues” or “personal challenges”. This covers almost all reasons, both genuine and lame.

Apologize Again

After giving your reasons (hopefully genuine ones), you would need to apologize again. The simple reason for this is to drive in the fact that you regret the situation and that you have regards for the company. This really matters to the company. They need to know that they are not being slighted and that you are aware that your decision is not a pleasant one to them. Keep your eye on these points if you decide to turn down a job interview via email.

Conclude Appropriately

You can conclude your email by appreciating the opportunity that was given to you. Finally, close your email appropriately. You may say, “Best wishes” or “Best regards”. You may also say, “Yours sincerely/faithfully”. Then add your signature at the end.

Check for Typographical and Grammatical Errors

This is a vital aspect of your write-up when turning down a job interview via email. Remember, you were considered professional enough to have been invited for a job interview. Therefore, your email should not betray that image that the company has of you.

Email Sample: How to Politely Turn Down a Job Interview via Email

Good morning madam,

Thank you so much for inviting me to the job interview.

I will like to tender my unreserved apologies to you and the firm because I will not be able to attend the interview.

I initially planned to be present; however, a pressing family issue just came up yesterday, and this has hampered my ability to make it for the session.

I genuinely value this opportunity that you have given to me; I do not take it for granted in any way. I will be glad if you could reschedule the interview for a later date.

Once again, I am deeply sorry for this regrettable situation.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Dr Joshua Sterling

joshsterling@themedic.org

0700 9770 3468

Dr. Kelechi Duru
Dr. Kelechi Duru
Dr. Kelechi Duru is a physician with a keen interest in healthcare administration and business management. And yes, he rather writes about business than the latest clinical trials. He enjoys building castles in the air with his wife (they currently live in one) and has a wild fascination for nature.

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