When you are knee-deep in your job search, you feel on top of the world when a recruiter or HR professional reaches out to you about scheduling an interview. But in today’s red-hot job market, receiving yet another interview request can make you shake your head. There can be a few reasons you need to decline an interview invitation. Maybe you just accepted another job offer, your employment situation has changed, or there are too many red flags that make you shy away from the invitation. Regardless of your reason, here is how to professionally decline a job interview request.
Why it’s essential to respond to an interview request
Your first thought when someone sends you an interview request that you are not interested in is to ignore the email. That may be the easier solution, but it’s the one that can come back to haunt you. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s never okay to ghost a recruiter or prospective employer. It’s a small world, and you never know when your employment situation might change. The last thing you want to do is just ignore the request and go about your day. It can feel awkward to decline a job interview request, but it’s the professional thing to do if you are no longer interested.
How you should decline an interview request
So now that you know it’s crucial to respond to the request, how do you do it? First of all, make sure you are sure. Think long and hard about your decision before you fire off that “no thank you” email. Once you are confident in your decision to decline, do so as soon as you can. You are probably really busy, especially if you recently accepted another opportunity, but it’s important to respond promptly.
When creating your response, start with gratitude. Thank the recruiter or HR professional for thinking of you and extending an interview invitation – similar to how you begin a post-interview thank-you note. After you thank them for the opportunity, briefly explain your reasoning. Your response should be vague (there is no need to get lost in the details). Next, wish them luck on their search and offer to stay connected with them in case something changes on either side. Bonus points if you can recommend a friend or colleague for the role you are turning down!
Example for declining a job interview
Thank you for taking the time to review my application materials and inviting me to interview for the [Position Title] role. However, I, unfortunately, need to withdraw my application from consideration at this time. I recently accepted an offer from another organization.
I wish you the best of luck filling this role. I would love to stay connected, and hopefully, we can work together in the future. Thank you again for your consideration.