How to Cancel an Interview

Although it’s a strange concept cancelling an interview, it does happen and even though you may not need or want the job any more it is still important to come across well and because you want to remain professional and you never know when you could regret cancelling that interview and want to go back to the company in question.

how to cancel an interviewhow to cancel an interview

Besides which usually there is no reason why you shouldn’t be courteous and pleasant about not going for an interview. It is certainly important not to burn your bridges as depending on your circumstances you never know when you may want to go back to that company.

The main ways of cancelling an interview are methods of communication as listed below:


If your interview was generated from an email you sent to a company and then they emailed inviting you to an interview, then it seems logical to cancel your interview by email following the same format.

The best way to do this would be to reply to an existing email so that the recipient can see the previous conversation and see quickly how it follows on.

Reply or Reply to All stating the reasons why you do not want to attend the interview and thank them for giving you the opportunity and sorry that on this occasion it has not worked out, however you wish the company all the best for the future.

Phone Call

Not everyone would feel comfortable doing this but again you need to follow the method of communication which has been used and by picking up the phone and calling the company to say that you need to cancel the interview then you know that there is no miscommunication and that you have definitely told them and spoken to someone and they know that you will not be attending and the reason why. It will also to help the company in going forward and finding another candidate.


If you have to leave a message and this is the only option you have then at least make communication but be aware that for whatever reasons they may not get you message so I would always back this up with another method.


You could write a letter to the company or person that has invited you for an interview stating the reasons that you are not going to be attending the interview and that you would like to cancel the interview. Follow the same as email method and ensure that you are polite and courteous and ensure that you thank them for giving you the opportunity etc.

You may have to cancel an interview because of a conflict for example with your current employment and something that you cannot get out of. You clearly in this situation want to reschedule so it is important that although you have a specific reason for cancelling that you are as vague as possible and state that you have a conflict at the same time and is there any way that you can reschedule for another time/day etc.

If you would rather go to another interview rather than this one then make sure you reschedule this interview anyway as you never know, you may not get the job that you want and then it would be impossible to go back to the company that you cancelled the interview for.

Be respectful of other people’s schedules and cancel the interview as soon as you know you are unable to make it. This is especially the case if you are looking to reschedule as they are more likely to believe you and that you are showing you have tried to give them plenty of notice.

Make sure that when you are genuinely cancelling an interview that you do not give a huge life story or tale. Employers are aware that you have a life outside of work but they do not even know you yet and do not want a long tale about why you are unable to attend. Try sticking to the point as honestly as you possibly can and if you have got a new job before attending this interview and you want to stay in your new job, tell them so it does not leave them wondering.


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