Getting an opportunity for an interview is a good news in itself, especially when considering that usually only shortlisted applicants are invited to an interview session. But what happens if you are no longer interested in continuing the recruitment process or accidently getting another interview schedule at the same time for a more attractive job?
For most of the time, what happens is that a prospective employer rejects a candidate rather than the otherwise. However, for some reason, it is not impossible when there is a time where you are the one who decided to cancel and reject the interview invitation. As mentioned earlier, you might receive multiple interview requests from different companies at about the same time, so you have to choose one of the most potential and prospective ones. Or, it could be that after learning further details about the company you are applying, you find that you do not share the same vision as the company’s or do not really like the written job description.
Of course, you can just choose not to come to the interview at the scheduled time, but such action is less ethical and you can be labeled as being irresponsible and unprofessional. Therefore, the best thing to do is to send a cancellation notification via email or phone that you intend to withdraw from the hiring process. Now your homework is to find the best way to convey your intention in a polite and professional manner because your name and reputation will be at stake. In addition, you should make sure that you are not burning bridges in case in the future you have to get in touch with the employer again.
Here's how to walk away from a job interview in a respectful way:
1. Confirm as soon as possible
If you have decided to withdraw from the interview and do not want to reschedule, then you must immediately confirm to the employer about it. You can send a notification via email if there is enough time, for example the interview will be held within the next week. But if it turns out you just decided to cancel it in the last minute such as 24 hours before the scheduled time, then making a call is the best way to let them know so they can prepare other candidates.
2. Provide convincing reason
No one likes rejection, including the hiring manager. When you know you need to walk away from an interview, you should be able to give genuine and convincing reasons for your decision. Let them know your situation which then makes you decide not to continue the process. Do not make lame excuses which sounds too long-winded because it will make you look unprofessional. Instead, employer will appreciate if you are being honest with them.
3. Say something simple
When telling your reasons, you do not need to give a detailed description of what is happening. Stick to simple explanation as why you cancel the interview while expressing your gratitude for being given the opportunity, then end the conversation. If you’ve got another job offer, tell them that you are off the market and no longer searching for employment. Do not be rude or disrespectful to the employer, because you do not know if you will cross path with them in the future.