How to Turn Down an Initial Interview

Most of the time, taking the first interview is in your best interest. Interviewing can do great and unexpected things for your career. Besides, managing your career is time well spent. You never know what will happen after you’re introduced to an organization. But when you’re on the job hunt, timing is everything. And sometimes, it’s just off. There will be times when you need to turn down an initial job interview.

Maybe you’ve applied to several roles, but have firmly decided to stay put. Perhaps you’ve realized a company you’ve applied for isn’t going to be the right fit after all. Maybe relocating to the other side of the country has lost its appeal. If you’re not interested in taking the first interview with a company, it’s a good idea to let them know as soon as possible so they can continue their search and move forward with other candidates.

Rather than pull a disappearing stunt, learn how to turn down interviews gracefully with a simple email.

In just five minutes, you can dash off a quick email to the recruiter or hiring manager and let them know you are no longer interested in pursuing the role.

Sample Email:

Hi Hiring Manager,

Thanks for reaching out to me about the Account Executive role with IBM. Although I remain interested in IBM as an organization and would like to be considered for future opportunities down the road, I’m afraid our timing is off on this one.

If I think of anyone who might be a good fit for your Account Executive role, I’ll be sure to send you their information.

Thanks again for your consideration!

Best,

Awesome Account Executive Candidate

Acknowledge and Respond to Interview Inquiries

Though it may feel awkward turning down potential employers, be sure to respond when a hiring manager reaches out to you about setting up an interview. Don’t let them call you five times before getting back to them. There’s no need to criticize or go into lengthy explanations about why you’re not interested in taking the initial meeting. After all, the hiring manager is going to be most interested in candidates who not only fit the hiring profile but are currently in the market for new opportunities, and eager to make a change.

Because a hiring manager is usually recruiting for multiple openings, they will be judicious with their time and invest it with applicants who are interested in pursuing their current roles. Don’t be offended if you never hear back from the hiring manager after you let them know you’re not interested in exploring their open positions. You’ve done your part and have allowed them to move on with other candidates.