Receive An Interview You Might Not Want? The Proper Email Etiquette For Not Burning That Bridge

You’re searching for a new job and applied for one that sounded like the right fit. But now that you’ve been invited to interview, you’re having second thoughts. In your heart, you know the opportunity just isn’t for you…but the company is still one you may want to work for in the future. How do you decline the interview without burning bridges?

First, respond as quickly as possible.

As leading Kansas City recruiters, Morgan Hunter can tell you there are likely plenty of other candidates out there who’d love a chance to interview…and the hiring manager probably wants to fill the position fast. So don’t leave them hanging. Respond to their request for an interview promptly.

Second, express appreciation for the hiring manager’s consideration of your application.

These are busy people who spent time determining whether you’d be a good candidate for the job. Don’t make them feel like you were a waste of their time; otherwise, you might not be considered for future opportunities. Let them know you’re not making the decision lightly.

Third, offer a clear reason as to why you’re turning down the invitation to interview.

If it’s because you’ve accepted another job, then let the hiring manager know that. If it’s because the position just isn’t the right fit for you or your career goals have changed, then be upfront.

Finally, be respectful but clear in your email language.

You can write something along the lines of:

Subject: Interview for ABC Position

Email message:

Dear Beth,

Thank you so much for considering me for the ABC position and inviting me in for an interview. However, I would like to withdraw my application for the job. I recently accepted a promotion within my existing company. I truly appreciate your time in reviewing my application. Again, thank you for your consideration and best of luck in the hiring process.


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The employment market is rapidly changing. Candidates come on the market, only to be offered a new opportunity or counter-offered by their existing employer. Hiring managers understand this. What they don’t like is when their requests for interviews are ignored or treated lightly. So follow the tips above to ensure you handle the situation with care and don’t burn any bridges in the process.

Looking for professional help finding a new job that’s the right fit for you?

Contact Morgan Hunter. As leading Kansas City recruiters, we can help you in every aspect of your job search – from finding opportunities and preparing for interviews to negotiating compensation. Contact us today or search our jobs now.