There are plenty of reasons one may not be interested in an invitation for a job interview. And so, it is important to learn how to decline an interview when it is offered.
When Should You Decline an Interview
There are many reasons you may want to decline a job interview. Here are some of the more common reasons.
1. You accepted another job offer
This is a common reason to cancel or decline an interview. Often candidates are applying for multiple positions at once, so, it is not uncommon to receive an offer while other applications are still pending.
2. Your career plans have changed
Recruiters and hiring managers may often reach out concerning potential opportunities that fit with your current work experience. But if your current work experience has caused you to reconsider your career path, there is no reason to entertain interviews for similar positions.
3. The job sounds uninteresting
Sometimes you read a job description and it has no appeal whatsoever. That is alright. Not every position is meant to excite you, and it is perfectly reasonable to not entertain job opportunities you will not enjoy or that seem boring.
In addition to the three foregoing reasons, here are some other common reasons to decline a job interview:
How to Politely Decline an Interview
Once you have decided an opportunity is not for you, the next step is to learn how to decline the job interview.
1. Respond Quickly
The first step in learning how to respectfully decline an interview is to promptly respond. That does not mean you need to respond within minutes, but if someone is looking to set up a time to speak, you should not ignore the message for several days.
2. Be kind and grateful
You may think the company is terrible or the job position reeks of boredom. But that does not mean you need to be rude or harsh to the person trying to get you an interview. Simply thank them for reaching out and considering your application, but kindly let them know that you are not looking to pursue a position with that company.
3. Offer a Simple Explanation
There is no need to explain the entirety of your reasons for declining an interview. You should probably not divulge if you think the company is lousy or the job is boring. If you are stuck, simply revert to saying that the position does not align with your current career plans.
4. Bonus: Recommend Another Candidate
Just because you are not interested in the position, that does not prevent you from recommending someone else. If you truly feel you know someone who would qualify and enjoy the position, you can elevate your professional status and reputation by recommending another candidate in your place.
How to Decline an Interview Example
Are you struggling to find the right words on how to decline an interview? Here is a template you can use or build on.
Dear [Name of Recruiter/Hiring Manager],
I appreciate you taking the time to review my application and reach out to set up a time for a job interview. Since submitting my application for [Position] with [Company], I received and accepted an offer somewhere else. And so, I must respectfully decline your interview offer but wish you luck and success as you continue interviewing the remaining candidates.
On that note, I have a colleague I believe would be a great fit for this role. If you would like to speak with [him/her], please let me know.
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