Career Job Interview

How Do You Politely Decline An Interview?

How Do You Politely Decline An Interview

Have you ever thought to decline an interview before and why you should or should not?

The thing about this matter is that not every job interview that sounds like a good opportunity is really one for you. And where you see an offer not going to be suitable for you, then you should learn to gracefully reject it because an outright rejection of a job interview will only make enemies for you. 

Sometimes reasons such as a wrong employer, commute, and level are good reasons to turn down an interview invitation. Although rejecting an interview invitation isn’t a bad idea you may consider honoring it if it wouldn’t mean risking your current job and other things.

For example, a phone interview might be less risky if it wouldn’t affect your time at work. In that case, you shouldn’t reject a phone interview. 

All in all, there are better ways to turn down an interview and there are things to do before making the decision. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about declining an interview without regretting your action or looking silly to the employer. 

Reasons to Turn Down an Interview Invitation

Many people have given this a thought many times without understanding why it’s a good idea to decline an interview. To some people, it’s a bad idea to reject a job interview invitation, and to others, there is nothing wrong with it. The truth is it all depends on your circumstances and reasons. If you’re not sure when to accept or reject an interview invitation, here are some good reasons to decline an interview invitation:

  • You have accepted another offer
  • You are satisfied with your current employment. 
  • You have changed your mind about the job. You’ve just found out the job isn’t suitable for you.
  • From a friend or professional contacts’ point of view taking more job applications isn’t right for you and so you should stop.
  • You have been interviewed several times with this same organization before and so you think it’s not a better organization for you.
  • There is a history of job insecurity, laying off, or economic downtime in the organization. 
  • You have been advised by people who have worked there before against taking the job.

What to Do Before Rejecting an Interview? 

So you’re about to finalize your decision about declining an interview but still not sure if it’s the right thing to do. Don’t panic! I have your back. Before jumping to the conclusion about rejecting an invitation to a job interview, here are some things to do to know how to decline an interview:

1.Don’t Rush Into Decision

You might indeed see some red flags right from the outset to simply decline an interview invitation but don’t jump to a conclusion. At this point, what you should do is to have a deeper thought on why you think you should just drop out of the invitation.

Most times people lose interest in a job interview for reasons such as what they were told about the job or sudden loss of interest in the job. It’s, therefore, important to get to the root of the matter before making a decision. 

2.Try and Get an Insider or Professional Advice

Sometimes you might find yourself in total confusion over what to do and then conclude that the next thing is to give up. Rather than giving just like that, finding someone from the company or seeking advice from a professional person might help you out.

You don’t even know if what you think about the job is right or not. But by contacting people presently working in the organization you might be able to get your head cleared of those confusions and bad thoughts.

3.Don’t just ignore the hiring manager

If you have decided the role is not suitable for you and you are going to decline the interview, it can be tempting to just ignore the request for an interview.

But even if you have had your resumes ignored in the past, resist the temptation to ignore the hiring manager’s invitation for an interview.

Maintaining a professional approach always provides benefits to you. Even if you don’t cross paths with this hiring manager again, decline the interview invitation promptly and professionally, you will at least walk away with your reputation intact.

4.Notify The Hiring Manager Early 

Once you have tried all the steps above and now you’re convinced the job isn’t right for you, the next thing to do is to inform the hiring manager of your intention to pull out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, but delaying it and sitting around without informing the hiring manager might make you appear as an unserious person.

5.Respond promptly

You should take your time to be sure about your decision, it’s very important that you let the hiring manager know as soon as possible. Be respectful of their time, as well as the opportunities of the other candidates. Decline a job interview will result in an opportunity for another candidate who is interested in the job position.

There are different ways by which you can notify a hiring manager of your intention to pull out an interview invitation.

How to decline an interview?

Below is a typical example (template) of rejecting an interview in an email letter:

Subject: Invitation to Interview for [Position]

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Thanks for considering my application for the [position you’re applying for]. After thinking deeply about the job, I have decided to withdraw my application at this time.

I look for [anything you feel will make it possible to reach out to them in the future]

Please, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

[Your Name]


Although declining an interview might look like a silly thing to do it’s not a bad idea if you have to do it for a good reason. The most important thing is to think about it, be convinced about why it might be right to pull out from the interview, and then notify the hiring manager ASAP.  

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Job Interview Questions and Answers
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