How to Cancel a Job Interview via Email as an Employee


Canceling an interview might be a difficult task to do as an employee! The fear of losing the opportunity might make you cancel it incorrectly. However, learning to cancel an interview professionally via email might help you maintain a good relationship with the company even after cancellation. In this article, we are going to guide you on all the ways to cancel an interview via email as an employee, with the right examples and templates to get you started!

Top 3 things you will learn:

3 Things To Learn About Job Cancellation

By the end of the article, you will get insights into the following takeaways:

How to cancel a job interview

If you wish to cancel an interview as an employee without any possibility of rescheduling, then you must opt for professional ways to do it. Some of the professional ways to cancel an interview are listed below:

• Email:

You must give notice of cancellation 24 hours before the interview date to the recruiter via email. Your email must begin with a thank you note for the opportunity and state the reason for cancellation while also setting a tone for being in touch in the future!

• Phone:

In case you receive no replies by email, then calling the recruiter is the best way to cancel an interview. You can also leave them a voice message if you cannot get through the call. Your call must be in an entirely professional tone and state the purpose clearly.

• SMS or WhatsApp:

If you have been in touch with the recruiter via SMS or WhatsApp, then you must inform them about the cancellation on the same platform. Your information of cancellation must begin with an apology, then state the reason for the cancellation.

• Online application or interview platform:

If you initially applied for the job or scheduled the interview through an online application or interview platform, there may be an option within the system to cancel or reschedule the interview.

Reasons to Cancel an Interview via Email

Reasons of Cancelling Job Interview

There can be more than one reason to cancel an interview via email. The candidate may have to leave the town immediately, or he may have received a better opportunity. We are going to discuss all the possible reasons for an interview cancellation below:

• Got another job offer:

When you are searching for a job, it is possible that you may have applied to a lot of companies. While your interview is being lined up with other companies, you may have received a better job opportunity in the meantime. In such cases, it is okay to cancel your scheduled interview by simply stating the reason via email. This is one of the most common reasons for interview cancellation, but it is also important to cancel it in the right way.

Email Example Templates and Samples

• Sudden medical issues:

Medical emergencies can hamper your personal and professional plans anytime. If you happen to fall severely sick before or on the date of the interview, then you may cancel your interview and reschedule it for later. Even if your interview is virtual, it is considered best to cancel than to give an interview in bad health.

Email Example Templates and Samples

• Realization of not being the right fit:

It is possible that the job that you have applied for may not be the one you were looking for in the first place. The realization may hit you when you are preparing for an interview and feels unsure about even accepting the offer after the interview. In such cases, candidates consider it best to cancel the interview to save everyones’ time and effort.

Email Example Templates and Samples

Travel or commute challenge:

Travel or commute challenges may arise if your applied job is located far away from your residence, which makes it difficult for you to attend the interview. For instance, if you are relocating, facing transportation issues, or encountering scheduling conflicts, you may not wish to even interview for the position. In such cases, the candidates generally prefer to mention these challenges in an email and cancel the interview.

Email Example Templates and Samples

• Personal and family emergencies:

There may be chances that the candidate may face unforeseen personal or family emergencies which requires them to take immediate action. You may encounter a situation where you have to visit your hometown or be somewhere else. In situations like these, a candidate may cancel the interview by respectfully explaining the situation by email.

Email Example Templates and Samples

How to cancel an interview without burning bridges?

Canceling a job interview is neither rude nor is it unprofessional if you learn to do it in the right way! It is generally advised to inform your recruiter respectfully about the cancellation 24 hours before the interview. The chances are that you are more likely to end the conversation on a positive note. You can also cancel the interview professionally by following the below steps:

• Notify the recruiter in advance:

You must refrain from canceling the interview at the last moment as it may hamper your reputation in the long run. Try to report to the recruiter well in advance about your cancellation, along with the relevant reason to back it up.

• Be honest about the reason:

While writing your regret of cancellation, you must remind the HR recruiter about who you are and when your interview is scheduled. State your reason for cancellation honestly and apologize for the inconvenience caused. Just explain your concern politely and precisely.

• Reflect gratitude for the opportunity:

Remember to thank the recruiter for the interview opportunity and wish the company the best for future endeavors. Try to end your regret of cancellation on a positive note so that you open doors of opportunity for the future too.

• If needed, postpone and reschedule:

If you are still hooked on the opportunity, you must try to reschedule the interview for a better day as per your availability. Discuss the postponement of the interview and arrive at a rescheduled date for the interview.

Email Example Templates and Samples to Politely Cancel an Interview

Email Example Templates and Samples to Professionally and Properly Cancel an Interview

How to decline an interview last minute?

It is not considered ideal to cancel or decline an interview last minute, but if you still happen to cancel the interview last minute, then you must follow the below steps:

• Call immediately:

Try to contact the HR recruiter to cancel the interview as soon as you can. Calling allows for immediate communication and shows that you are sincere and respectful of the company’s time.

• Apologize:

Begin your cancellation information with an expression of regret for the inconvenience caused. Try to mention an honest reason for cancellation and emphasize your regret for not showing up at the last minute.

• Offer to reschedule the interview:

Depending on the reason for cancellation and the employer’s availability, you can inquire about rescheduling the interview. However, you must also be understanding if they decline due to scheduling constraints.

Email Example Templates and Samples to Decline an Interview Last Minute

How to respond to a canceled interview email?

respond to a canceled interview email

Sometimes a candidate may receive an interview cancellation mail from the recruiter, which leaves them with many unanswered questions. In cases like these, you must follow these things:

• Refrain from making assumptions:

Never shoot an array of assumptions when you receive an interview cancellation email. Try looking at the cancellation from other points of view and express your disappointment respectfully.

• Call the HR recruiter:

Make a few attempts to contact the recruiter or hiring manager directly by phone, aiming to speak with them. If you cannot reach them after your second call, leave a voicemail message expressing your concern and questions on why the cancellation occurred.

• Follow up through emails:

If you still don’t hear from the recruiter, try sending them follow-up notes to reschedule the interview. In your message, you must inquire about the status of the job and whether you should proceed with your job search.

Email Example Templates and Samples to Respond to a Canceled Interview Email

How to reschedule a job interview?

Rescheduling an interview can be a daunting task if you have no idea how to do it professionally! Candidates can reschedule the interview either by calling the recruiter or leaving them a polite text. Read the below pointers to find out how you can reschedule an interview in the right way:

• Contact the recruiter early:

As discussed above, you must contact the recruiter about cancellation as early as you can. Once you do that, you are more likely to get your interview rescheduled with the company.

• Express your confidence:

Show your interest and enthusiasm in the rescheduled opportunity. The recruiter must get the gist that you are not going to take rescheduling lightly this time.

• Quickly brief your reason:

 While discussing the reschedule with the recruiter, you must also quickly remind them about the reason for the first cancellation of the interview. You can either do so either via message or call.

• Provide alternative times for rescheduling:

If possible, provide a range of available times for the interview. This offers flexibility to the hiring manager in finding a suitable slot in their schedule and facilitates a collaborative effort in determining a new meeting time.

• Regret the inconvenience:

Express sincere apologies for the inability to show up for the interview the first time. A little act of courtesy will go a long way in building good relations in your workplace, so make sure to utilize it in this opportunity too!

• Confirm the new interview details:

Once the rescheduling is confirmed, make sure to receive the updated interview details. Take notes of the new date, time, location (if applicable), and any other relevant information. Double-check the details to avoid any confusion in the rescheduling.

• Express gratitude for the opportunity:

Towards the end of the conversation, you must express your gratitude for their understanding and flexibility in fulfilling the rescheduling request. A positive end to a conversation may establish a rapport with the HR recruiter and may help you in the entire interview process.

Email Example Templates and Samples to Write Email for Rescheduling Interview

Email Example Templates and Samples to Reschedule Phone Interview

Email Example Templates and Samples to Reschedule an Interview Gracefully

Email Example Templates and Samples to Reschedule an Interview Last Minute

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Email Example Templates and Samples to Thank for Rescheduling Interview

Email Example Templates and Samples to Reschedule Interview Email Due to Illness or Sickness

Email Example Templates and Samples to Reschedule Interview Because of Anxiety

When You Shouldn't Cancel an Interview?

dont cancel interview

While we have discussed plenty of reasons for the cancellation of an interview, there are some scenarios where you must avoid canceling. Here are all the major conditions where you must not cancel an interview:

• No valid reason:

if you have no valid reason, then you must not cancel an interview. Doing so can negatively impact your image before the recruiter and end up looking unprofessional on your part.

• Initial stage of the interview:

If you are in the early stages of the interview process, such as the initial screening or first-round interview, it is generally recommended to proceed with the interview unless you are facing an unavoidable circumstance. Hence, you must avoid canceling in cases like this.

• Favorable company and position:

If you possess a genuine interest in the company and believe the position aligns well with your career goals, it is generally advisable to prioritize the interview. In such situations, you must not cancel the interview and risk your chances of getting selected.

Mistakes to avoid while canceling your job interview?

4 mistakes to avoid while cancelling interview

While canceling an interview, there are some common mistakes that every candidate makes! Here are some of the common interview cancellation mistakes that you must not make while applying for a job:


Procrastination is the enemy of professionalism. It is important to actively inform the employer as soon as you make up your mind to cancel the interview. If you procrastinate on the interview cancellation, then it can reflect unprofessionalism on your part and minimize your chances of being selected. Hence it is advised that you must communicate it promptly to the recruiter without procrastinating.

Canceling unnecessarily

Canceling an interview without a valid reason can harm your reputation and burn your bridges with the employer. Your cancellation must be backed up with valid reasons like unforeseen circumstances, medical issues and other relevant reasons. Therefore you must never cancel your interview unnecessarily and blow your chances of being selected.

Ignoring to cancel when you have no interest in the job

While searching for a job, you may encounter many job interviews which can directly or indirectly influence your preferences for a job. It is possible that you may lose interest in a job or may have accepted another job offer with better pay. In such scenarios, you must always go cancel the job instead of showing up for the interview. Failing to cancel when you have no genuine interest can waste the employer’s time and prevent them from allocating resources to other candidates.

Burning bridges

Having a good network with recruiters is needed for long-term gain as an employee. If you burn bridges with the recruiter by not informing them promptly about the cancellation, it can hamper your image to a great extent. Hence it’s essential to maintain a professional and respectful attitude. Burning bridges with the employer can have long-lasting consequences, as your reputation within the industry matters.

Key takeaways

Canceling an interview requires the right amount of professionalism and promptness. You can do it on call, text, or via email as per the prevailing mode of communication with the recruiter. If you do it promptly, professionally, and politely, you can surely cancel it on a positive note with the recruiter.

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Infographics - How to Cancel a Job Interview via Email as an Employee
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