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How to Cancel a Job Interview: The Right Etiquette


There is a situation for candidates where they have been scheduled with an interview with an employer but are tangled in some other issue. Candidates face situations in life where they are required to cancel their interviews for many reasons.

It is not always a good idea to cancel an interview, but in the worst situations, the employers understand the situation and reschedule the same interview.

When candidates find themselves in an unavoidable situation they can make sure to approach the employer professionally to reschedule the interview without burning bridges.

A brief procedure is mentioned for canceling the interview and cannot be avoided as desired. Here are a few hints which can be followed about how to cancel a job interview.

how to cancel a job interview

Etiquette to Cancel a Job Interview Without Burning Bridges:

The following mentioned are a few tips on how to cancel an interview and reschedule an interview.

1. Furnishing an advanced notice:

Once you know that you tangled and may not be able to attend an interview make sure to provide well advanced notice to your employer. When you give ample time to your employer he may think of rescheduling your interview correctly.

Under tight situations, if you’re unable to inform your interviewer, you can assign someone to do the responsible task on your behalf. Though you may be in a tight situation, thinking to inform the interviewer is important.

2. Make a direct contact:

Canceling a job interview is an important matter and hence calling the interviewer directly and speaking to them regarding your situation is the best choice. Emails, voice messages or text messages are not the right way to do this chore and hence can be avoided.

Call the person who is responsible for conducting the interview and speak directly, this will also present that you’re a responsible professional. This is the best and perfect way to cancel an interview.

3. Honest reasons:

Make sure you furnish the right reason to your interviewer for canceling the interview. Be honest in whatever you say and tell the real situation but do not be too personal or share your private matters.

If you have to care for your dear ones, if you’re ill, you can mention your interviewer about the situation and alert them about your medical emergency. You can mention the urge to cancel and reschedule an interview. This way you show your professional attitude.

4. Asking for a reschedule:

When calling the interviewer regarding canceling the interview, you should be polite enough and ask them for an interview reschedule. Mention that you’re interested in the job position and request for a reschedule for the interview date.

Rescheduling a job interview offers you another chance to prove yourself and hence performing well is necessary.

5. Thank them if you recruited already:

When you invited for a job interview but are recruited already elsewhere. You can call the employer, mention that you aren’t interested in the position, you can mention that you are recruited for some other posting and can thank them for selecting you and calling for an interview. This would show that you have good manners and professionalism.

6. Apologize for canceling:

Before asking for a reschedule, if you’re canceling your interview remember to apologize for the inconvenience caused. By apologizing you’re showing your professionalism to the employer. You also show that you’re a polite human being by this nature. By the conclusion of the conversation, remember to thank the employer for understanding your position.

7. Sending a personal note:

Irrespective of the outcome of canceling an interview, make sure to send a personal note to the employer, make a summary of your apology and thus showing your interest in the company. In this way, you’re showing your interest in the position and looking forward to if the interview would be rescheduled.

8. Keep it as the last option:

All of you know that the first impression is the best. You may face a tough situation but make sure to make interview cancellation the last option. Try your level best to attend an interview, in the worst cases you can go in for cancellation.

9. Make brief explanations:

If you’re describing your situation and reason for not attending an interview, make the description short and precise. When you explain too much it may seem as if it’s a lie and hence making short and appropriate descriptions regarding the situation can help.

10. Explaining regarding career aspects:

Suppose you have a situation where you have an important meeting or training in your present job and unable to attend the interview, you can very well tell the employer the same. The employer will see professionalism in you. He would appreciate your work ethic and take initiatives to reschedule job interview.

11. Cancel job interview only for mandate reasons:

An interview canceled and rescheduled only for mandatory reasons and not for silly reasons like leaving to home town or going for a tour. Before canceling an interview check your calendar and other schedules so that again you do not get tangled with any other issues. Cancel only if there is a family emergency or any death within the family; otherwise, carry on with the interview.

12. Do not provide silly reasons:

Many people offer silly reasons for canceling a job interview. This would surely damage your credibility and hence providing valid reasons is a must. Some wacky reasons for canceling an interview that should not be used are mentioned.

You wanted to cancel your interview because you ran over your dog and broke your leg this morning, was out of petrol on your way, your car was stolen, you got bird flu on the same day, you forgot and lot more.

13. Interviewees knowledge about the company:

There are situations at times where the interviewees may find some information about the company to interview for which may affect the interest you have with the company. When you find some negative information about the company, bear in mind not to tell the employer about the negative thoughts of the company.

Instead, you can mention that you’re focusing your job hunt in another direction and hence you decide to cancel the interview. You must thank the interviewer for appointing for an interview and quit the situation without burning bridges.

14. Securing another slot:

When you have called the employer for canceling an interview, you can also suggest a date so that you fall into another slot for an interview. When you mention a date you can make sure you are free from all personal as well as other issues and hence can be confident for attending on the assigned date. Hence offer a date to the interviewer for rescheduling an interview.

15. Speaking with confidence:

Once you have decided to cancel an interview, make a direct call to the employer and speak boldly. Do not stammer or fear to talk to the interviewer, speak the truth and honest scenarios to the interviewer.

16. Never burn bridges:

Canceling an interview must be done professionally and perfectly. Remember that you may have to contact the same employer for some other reasons in the future and hence you should be aware not to break their relationship or earn a bad name from them. Hence to face future situations and avoid burning bridges, professionally canceling the interview is mandatory.


Many interview cancellations take place these days for wacky reasons. The candidate should first know to cancel an interview professionally without burning bridges.

It is always good to cancel an interview personally by directly involving and calling the concerned person. The above-mentioned pointers are useful for candidates who are in tough situations and baffled in handling the scenario.

They may think canceling is harm and would think of ways and seek for advice regarding an interview cancellation. These tips would surely be useful to such candidates.

People may think that canceling just means avoiding an interview but it has a detailed procedure where one needs to be professional. By following these steps the candidate can avoid breaking a relationship with the employer. Run through the points and benefits of canceling an interview.