How to Cancel an Interview: Useful Tips

If you’ve ever had to cancel a job interview, you know it’s not a fun experience. It can be nerve-wracking, but there are times when it is the best thing to do. If you’re wondering how to cancel an interview without damaging your reputation or relationship with the company, you’re in the right place.

Reasons for Canceling a Job Interview

You might be wondering how to get out of an interview for various reasons:

  • You’ve been offered another job that you feel is a better fit.
  • You’re no longer interested in the position and want to steer your career in a different direction.
  • You don’t feel the job is a good fit for you because you concluded the company doesn’t align with your values.
  • You have unexpected obligations at your current job and would be willing to reschedule if possible.
  • You have a family urgency.
  • You may be too nervous or anxious about the interview process for a particular reason. According to the latest job interview statistics, 50% of the candidates withdraw from the recruiting process because they feel disrespected.

It’s important to cancel your interview in a professional and courteous manner. Being honest and upfront will show that you respect the interviewer’s time and are sincere in your interest in the company.

How to Cancel an Interview Without Burning Bridges

Whatever the reason, the best way to cancel an interview is to be proactive, honest, and apologetic.

The first step is to contact the person who scheduled the interview and let them know that you need to cancel. Try to provide as much notice as possible, and remember to be respectful and professional in your communication.

Whether you’re canceling via email or phone, make sure to express your appreciation for being given the opportunity to be interviewed. For example, you might say, “I’m very grateful for the chance to speak with you about the job.”

Next, be honest about why you’re canceling. If you have a valid reason, the interviewers will be more understanding. Again, try to be as professional and polite as possible.

For example, suppose you want to cancel the interview after accepting another offer and don’t wish to go into detail about it. In that case, you might say, “Unfortunately, I’ve realized that this isn’t the right job for me.”

Finally, thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in staying in touch. This is a good way to leave the door open in case you ever want to apply for a job at that company in the future. For example, you might say, “Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. I’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities.”

Once you’ve spoken with the scheduler, send a follow-up email confirming your cancelation. Be sure to thank the employer for their time and express your interest in future opportunities. Following these simple steps ensures that canceling your job interview won’t damage your professional reputation.

What To Avoid When Canceling an Interview

The best way to cancel an interview is to call the interviewer as soon as possible and explain your situation. If you cannot reach them by phone, send a polite email with an explanation instead.

Whatever you do, avoid contacting the interviewers via text message or social media. These methods are too impersonal and can come across as unprofessional.

You can cancel an interview without burning bridges with advance notice and a sincere apology. That’s especially important if you take into consideration that it takes about nine weeks to find employment on average, according to job searching statistics. Therefore, make sure you’re canceling an interview for the right reason.

When Is It Too Late To Cancel an Interview?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, unfortunately. 

If you have any doubts about arriving on time for an interview, it is better to err on the side of caution and cancel it in advance.

However, if you have already been in contact with the interviewer and confirmed a specific time and date for the meeting, canceling at the last minute is unlikely to reflect well on you.

On the other hand, sometimes you’ll want to cancel an interview because you’re sick or have a family emergency. In those cases, it’s usually best to give the employer as much notice as possible. Additionally, it’s wise to avoid cancelations if you have already been interviewed by the company and are simply trying to reschedule.

How To Cancel a Job Interview via Phone

There are a few scenarios where you might need to cancel a phone interview. For example, maybe you’ve landed a dream job or realized that the job isn’t a good fit for you. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to cancel your phone interview professionally.

The best way to do this is to call the interviewer directly (rather than emailing or texting) and explain why you need to cancel. Remember to apologize for any inconvenience and try to reschedule the interview if possible. If you’re canceling because you’ve landed an in-person interview, remember to express your interest in meeting in person.

By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that you leave a good impression, even if you’re not moving forward with the job.

Interview Cancellation Email Template

Canceling an interview via email can be delicate. You don’t want to seem disrespectful or burn any bridges. Here is an email template you can follow to cancel your interview while still being professional.

Subject line: Canceling my interview on [date]

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

Thank you for considering my application for [position name] and scheduling an interview with me. Unfortunately, something has come up, and I need to cancel my interview on [date and time] at [interview location]. (you can add more details if you want to explain WHY you’re canceling the interview)

I appreciate the opportunity, and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

How To Cancel an Interview — Final Thoughts

Canceling an interview can seem daunting, but with our advice, you can do it respectfully without burning any bridges with the employer. Remember to give ample notice and be honest about your reasons — this will show the interviewer you’re considerate of their time and may get you a place in the company’s good books regarding future opportunities.

FAQ on How To Cancel a Job Interview