Cancel job interview: Applicants often send countless letters and CVs in the high phase of their job search. There are a variety of companies that offer a suitable job and with each application increases the chance to finally get the longed-for dream job. Many invitations to face-to-face conversations are the declared goal, but that also means that you have the option of not being able to handle all appointments. If in doubt, only to cancel a job interview. But how do you do that properly? The positive and professional impression should be preserved in the event that the call should be made up. We answer the most important and most frequently asked questions and show what to look out for when you cancel a job interview ...
Table of Contents: That's what you'll find in this article
- Cancel a job interview: But why?
- What are the reasons for canceling a job interview?
- How should a job interview be canceled?
- Cancel job interview at short notice
- Cancel job interview by the applicant: Exemplary formulations
- Cancellation of the interview due to another commitment
- Cancellation of the interview due to appointment problems
- Cancellation of the interview due to removal
- Cancel job interview due to illness
- Postpone interview: That's how it works
- More tips for an interview
Cancel a job interview: But why?
Right at the beginning: If you cannot or do not want to make the appointment for a job interview, you should definitely cancel it. There is no meaningful alternative. Many applicants feel uncomfortable about canceling a job interview that has already been agreed upon, but you should not be tempted by it and try to pull yourself out of the affair. You may be afraid that HR may resent you. In fact, many recruiters are very happy when a candidate cancels the interview as early as possible if this cannot take place. Even if you are unsure, a cancellation is always the best way - for a variety of reasons:
The application process should be characterized by respect - on both sides. It would be unbelievably rude and most unprofessional if you simply stay away from a promised job interview. This shows you very directly what you think of the HR and the company and how much respectful treatment you mean - nothing at all.
You give other applicants a chance.
For a vacancy usually, only a few discussions are held to select the best candidate. This also means: By your invitation and commitment to the interview, another candidate will receive a rejection. However, if you are not interested in the job interview, you should be fair enough to give others a chance to move on for you.
HR can use his/her time differently.
For HR professionals, a job interview is far more work because it takes more time to actually interview a candidate. If the applicant does not inform the HR, the job interview is being prepared and HR will spend time waiting for the applicant because the applicant could have been late. That's a lot of time and work that could have been used much better. In addition, interviews often involve not only a staff member but also supervisors or even a board member. Those who do not reject the job interview, intentionally wasting the time of several people - which can truly cause some frustration and annoyance.
You leave a good impression.
Now you do not need to take the job interview because you may have already received another offer. But If you stay in your current industry, your next application may end up on the same employee's desk again.
If you're lucky, it will not be remembered that you've moved it once, but if it does, your chances will instantly drop to an absolute minimum. A very big risk for the low effort it means just to cancel a job interview.
Some people also come up with the idea to go through the job interview, even though they have previously received an offer for another job and are no longer interested in the job. It may seem better in the first instance than having the appointment burst completely and without rejection, but in the end, it will be a great waste of time for everyone involved - that too is not an option.
By the way: Even if you have not yet promised the job interview or have not yet received any feedback on your application, you should not remain inactive if it is clear to you that you no longer want to have a job. In that case, you should withdraw your application.
What are the reasons for canceling a job interview?
A job interview is not simply declined for no good reason. Not so long ago when applying for a job, the goal was still to get that job, and the job interview is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
What can cause a job interview to be canceled anyway? The classic is that in the meantime you have been offered a different job. They have submitted a large number of applications, some of which are processed faster, some slower. It happens more often that candidates are already hiring at another company, while elsewhere the application process is still running.
But that is far from the only motive that makes it necessary to cancel a job interview:
- You are sick. Illness always comes at the most unfavorable time, so also shortly before a scheduled job interview. If you can not attend the job interview for health reasons, it is a clear reason to cancel it. With a fever and a bad cold, you can not present yourself at your best - and would still infect the others.
- You stay in your previous job. You started a job search because you were no longer satisfied with your current job. But what if the situation changes in the meantime? If the hoped-for promotion or salary increase is just coming up, applicants may think differently and choose to stay in their old job.
- You do not want to go to this employer anymore. Yes, when you submitted the application, you could well imagine hiring at the company. But opinions can change again, especially if you have new information. Maybe you found in your further research on rather unsightly reports on the working atmosphere or a friend has told you that there are countless unpaid overtime is made.
- You continue your job search elsewhere. You have written applications, received some answers and even arranged a job interview. Not infrequently, a job search falls into the period of a change, which can also go hand in hand with the change of place of residence. This may mean that you are canceling a job interview and searching again in your new home.
There can be many justifications for canceling a job interview. The question that follows directly is: Should you really indicate the reason in your cancellation? First of all, you should definitely give a reason. An unsubstantiated rejection is unfriendly and disinterested.
In most cases, honesty pays off. You can admit without further ado that you are unfortunately ill and also that you have already taken another job, does not affect negatively. Combined with a sincere thanks for the sacrificed time and the interest you have shown, such a cancellation of the interview makes a good impression.
The big but: You should not tell the truth for every reason. For example, as the rumor circulates that employees are exploited in the company, the end of honesty is reached. Here you should better opt for a more innocent reason.
How should a job interview be canceled?
You do not get around to a rejection of the interview, but how should you approach it? Basically, there are several options available to you: You can cancel in writing - by e-mail or in letter form - you can call the HR manager and they could personally deliver your cancellation.
A personal appointment may initially seem very professional but is rather exaggerated for the occasion. This will ask the HR Manager to take time for an appointment telling him/her to cancel another appointment.
When choosing between a written and a telephone cancellation of the interview, many opt for an e-mail. This is easier for many than a personal phone call. Here, many fear the demands of the staff, they could bring an explanation. Properly implemented, however, a call can be as professional as it is respectful through personal contact.
For which of the two options you decide ultimately depends on your personality, your self-confidence and also on the timing because the short-notice is your rejection of the interview, the more meaningful faster the company should learn from this.
Cancel job interview at short-notice
The shorter a cancellation is, the more unpleasant it is to deliver it - and to receive it. Everyone knows this from the private sector and is just as valid in professional life. However, such short-notice cancellations of a job interview cannot be completely prevented. You do not choose when you get sick or get the commitment of another company that offers the absolute dream job, where no is simply not an option.
But what should be considered when the appointment for the job interview is just around the corner or maybe even the same day? First of all, do not panic. Even at short notice, you can still cancel your interview. You do not have to feel particularly bad or worry that the staff will remember you negatively. However, you should note a few points for a very short-notice cancellation:
The shorter the time until the job interview, the more meaningful it will be to announce your cancellation by telephone. Although mail also reaches the recipient quickly, there is always the risk that these will only be read at a much later date. In addition, you can personally apologize again by phone for the inconvenience of the short-notice cancellation.
Also in the reasoning, you should take into account that you have chosen very short notice for a cancellation. Meaning: Of course, you can become so ill on the same day that you cannot perceive the date for the interview, but many other reasons of prevention were certainly known to you earlier. Therefore refrain from explanations for very short-notice cancellations. Unfortunately, I have an urgent appointment that can not be postponed.
This has probably been around for quite a while and you would have had the chance to worry about another date long ago. This shows that you are either not well organized and have time management issues - or are not really interested in the job when other appointments are more important than the job interview.
Cancel job interview by the applicant: Exemplary formulations
To deny it sounds easy in theory. However, in practice, candidates sit in front of their computers and their phones for a long time and simply do not know what words to choose. Above all, do not make it too complicated. The cancellation of a job interview should be clear and concise. You do not need to go far as to how you've been infected with a friend, nor is it important to tell how happy you are that you've received the commitment from another employer you'd rather go by.
Basically, it takes only a few building blocks for the formulation of the refusal: The rejection itself, a short apology, a thank you and a farewell. For illustration and orientation, we have prepared some sample formulations with various justifications for you:
Cancellation of the interview due to another commitment
Dear Ms. Fischer,
Thank you for your invitation to a job interview and the interest shown to you. However, I have decided to accept the offer of another company and will therefore not take the appointment with you.
For the resulting circumstances, I apologize and at the same time thank you for your understanding.
Cancellation of the interview due to appointment problems
Dear Mr. Phanuphan,
I am very pleased about the opportunity to get to know you in a personal conversation. Unfortunately, I can not make it to the appointment as planned and would be happy if we could postpone it to another day.
Alternative dates would be March 28, 2019, or March 31, 2019. Since I am still very interested in the job, I am also available by phone for further arrangements.
I look forward to your reply.
Cancellation of the interview because of distance
Dear Ms. Nedchanok,
I was very pleased about your invitation to a personal job interview on 11.04.2017. However, I was not aware that this will take place in your main headquarters in Munich and not in your branch in Hamburg, for which I have applied. For this reason, unfortunately, I have to cancel the appointment.
Nevertheless, I sincerely thank you for the confidence you have placed in me.
Cancel job interview due to illness
Discontinuing a job interview because of illness often poses a particular challenge to candidates. In most cases, the desire to get the job is still there. With the cancellation, therefore, all opportunities should continue to be kept open. Nobody wants to be considered sickly or, in the worst case, even unsuitable for a position even before he had the chance to present himself in a job interview.
The recipe for this is simpler than you thought: less is more. Avoid details of your condition or the backgrounds as much as possible. The more you report, the greater the chance that a false impression will emerge or the HR will interpret more than is actually there.
A possible wording to cancel the job interview because of a disease:
Dear Mrs. Fischer,
Unfortunately, I have to inform you that I am ill at short notice and unfortunately cannot accept your invitation to the interview tomorrow at 14:30. Since I am very interested in the position and hope that we postpone the appointment and maybe catch up next week.
Please excuse the inconvenience of my short notice cancellation. I look forward to your answer and hope that we can catch up on the appointment shortly.
Postpone interview: That's how it works
The cancellation of a job interview does not necessarily mean that it can not be held at a later date. Often, candidates even explicitly wish to postpone the appointment to another day or perhaps postpone the meeting by one week.
In the best case, you will be asked to postpone the job interview at the beginning when the appointment is called for the first time. If in the short notice - as in the case of illness - it prevents you from meeting the agreed date, you can ask the HR manager later if it is possible to find a new appointment.
For your chance, it usually has no meaning when you postpone a conversation. It depends on convincing the HR manager - whether you do that a few days later does not matter. For many jobs, there are already several appointments for job interviews. However, the request to postpone the job interview should be packed correctly. With these 3 simple tips it works:
A postponed job interview should not give the impression that your interest in the job has waned. In the formulation of your mail or in the telephone conversation, you should, therefore, make it clear that you are still very interested in the position and would like to carry on the conversation at the next opportunity.
When moving is like a cancellation: You should justify your desire. Should it be possible, HR specialists are usually willing to find another appointment to facilitate the conversation. But they also deserve an explanation of why they cannot meet the first date.
If you ask for a new appointment, you should not impose it on the HR staff alone to find a suitable date. It would be a good idea to offer several possible alternatives that would suit you well in order to make up for the canceled job interview.
More tips for an interview