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Rejection letter to employer before interview

How To Write a Rejection Letter Before an Interview (Examples)

Sometimes your cup really does runneth over. It’s a very competitive job market. Skilled professionals are taking salary cuts or even relocating just to get their foot in the door. Not long ago, you might have been one of them. Now, everything has changed. Maybe you’ve accepted a great offer, complete with a high salary and benefits package. Perhaps you are no longer moving, so the location isn’t viable. Regardless of reason, you have an interview scheduled that you no longer need to keep. 


Of course there are plenty of solid reasons to do the interview anyway. The more you interview, the better you get at it. Plus, the person you’ll be speaking to is a potentially valuable networking opportunity. They may know of better jobs in their company. You could even use their offer to improve the offer you already have. Still, if you’re dead set against going, it’s impolite to just ghost the interviewer. So what are the techniques for composing a rejection letter to the employer before the interview?

Protect Those Bridges


Our world has gotten smaller. The employer you reject today could be an important contact tomorrow. Hiring managers network like everyone else. One of them might even be a client someday. So do yourself a favor and leave that overpass intact. Take the time to follow them on Twitter and add them to your LinkedIn profile. Most importantly, touch base with them before the interview. Put yourself in their Louboutins. How would you feel sitting at your desk, wondering if your videoconferencing software is wonky again? Have you ever had a potential employer bail at the last minute? Then you know how much time you wasted prepping. So do them the courtesy of letting them know as far in advance as possible that you won’t be interviewing with them.  A rejection letter to the employer before the interview is the best way to handle this. Just keep in mind, there’s no going back. Once you hit “send,” changing your mind about the job will only make you look flaky –– not a good look on anyone, let alone a potential hire. 


Subject and Salutation


If you’re still reliant on snail mail, take heart. A tree gave its life for what is sure to be a treasured heirloom. All those tricks they taught in eighth grade English apply. Begin with your address either centered or on the top right-hand side of the page. Skip a line, include the current date followed by the company’s address, which should be on the left-hand side. Feel free to take a look at various templates –– most of which are designed for rejecting employers, not employees.


Otherwise, an email is sufficient. In the subject line put the position you were interviewing for and the time for which it was scheduled. The salutation can be formal: “Dear Mr. or Ms. Hiring Manager.”

The Body


Be nonspecific. Have you ever received a rejection letter for a job you’d hoped you’d land? Then you know how they are short, sweet, and to the point. Follow that format. Don’t say you’ve decided to move in with your college roommate’s boyfriend’s cousin’s parents. Tell them your circumstances have changed. Avoid saying you’ve accepted a position with better pay and benefits. Tell them you’ve accepted a position at another company. 


Close your letter with a brief thank you for their time and interest. Never complain. Never explain. And don’t be surprised if they follow up with a better offer or reach out in a year. Kindness is karma. 

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