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  3. How to Cancel an Interview Professionally (Email Examples)
How to Cancel an Interview Professionally (Email Examples)

How to Cancel an Interview Professionally (Email Examples)

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • When is it a good idea to cancel a job interview?
  • How to reschedule or cancel an interview politely in an email
  • 1. Be 100 percent sure
  • 2. Take action quickly
  • 3. Write a polite professional email
  • 4. Provide details
  • 5. Apologize for the inconvenience and show gratitude
  • 6. Reschedule if necessary 
  • Interview cancellation email examples
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • How to cancel or reschedule an interview over the phone
  • Key takeaways

Scheduling conflicts, accepting a job, or some other issue may mean skipping or rescheduling an upcoming interview. There are a few ways you can communicate this request to a recruiter. If you’re in this situation, tips and examples may be beneficial. We provide key details to help you cancel your interview while remaining professional.

Do you have an upcoming job interview that you need to cancel? This happens to the best of us, whether it’s because you landed another job, have an unexpected emergency, or simply forgot an obligation and need to reschedule. No matter the reason, be sure to cancel or reschedule politely and professionally. 

Not to worry, canceling interviews is just another part of the job search process, and it’s possible to do it gracefully, without shutting the door on future opportunities.  In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:

  • When is it a good idea to cancel a job interview?

  • How to reschedule or cancel an interview politely in an email

  • Interview cancellation and rescheduling email examples

  • How to cancel an interview over the phone

When is it a good idea to cancel a job interview?

As you work your way through the application process, you may find that you need to cancel interviews. In most cases, this occurs when you accept a job and no longer need to keep looking. In other cases, you may simply decide that you’re not interested in a job or you might end up with a scheduling conflict.

If you’ve already accepted another job, it’s perfectly fine to cancel. The most important thing is that you say something and let them know. It’s vital not to burn bridges, especially if you might need to speak again in the future, so send an email or give the recruiter a call to cancel. 

If you’re not interested in a job, you can cancel, but it might be a good idea to give it a chance. This is especially the case if you’re having trouble finding work. After all, you never know what a job will be like until you speak with a recruiter. If you have a scheduling conflict, try not to cancel and instead ask if you can reschedule the interview.

How to reschedule or cancel an interview politely in an email

If you need to change your plans, it’s probably best to send an email. Here are some steps you can take to reschedule or cancel your interview in an email:

1. Be 100 percent sure

Before you draft and send your email, make sure that you really don’t want the job. If there’s any chance of another offer falling through, try to keep the appointment and cover your bases. It’s important to remember that you never have to accept a job, and it can’t hurt to explore your options. In most cases, you won’t get another opportunity to interview, so this is often the safest option. If you’re still ready to cancel, go to step two, otherwise, you can reschedule. 

2. Take action quickly

When canceling an interview, acting quickly is essential. Don’t wait to send your email until the last minute. Acting quickly shows respect for the recruiters and their time and may give you time to reschedule. Sending an email the night before is a good way to burn any bridges that you might need in the future. As soon as you choose to cancel or reschedule the interview, draft your email and send it out the same day. 

3. Write a polite professional email

Even if you’re not going to work for a company, try to communicate with its representatives in a polite way. Format your email like you would if emailing a supervisor in your company with a proper salutation and sign-off. Also, ensure that your subject line reflects the subject of the email so that it gets read quickly. Address the recruiter or manager by name and avoid using slang or any abbreviations. 

4. Provide details

When you write your email, make sure that the recruiter knows exactly who you are. Give your name and list the details of your interview to avoid confusion. Mention the position you applied for, as well as the date and time of the interview. If possible, reply to their initial email so that there’s a paper trail that the recruiter can follow. 

5. Apologize for the inconvenience and show gratitude

When you get to the bottom of your email, apologize for the inconvenience. This shows respect for the recruiter’s time and effort and can help you preserve a good relationship. It’s also a good idea to thank them for their time and effort. 

6. Reschedule if necessary 

If you can’t make it to the scheduled interview but still want to speak further, try to reschedule the interview. First, ask your contact if there’s another time that works for them. You can then suggest a range of times that work better for your schedule. 

Interview cancellation email examples

The message you send will depend on the circumstances surrounding your decision to cancel. Not sure how to go about canceling? We have some examples you can use for inspiration. Be sure to modify them depending on your specific situation. 

Example 1

Sometimes, you may get another job offer that seems perfect, and no longer feel the need to attend other interviews. In that case, you could use something like this: 


Dear Judy,

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to apply for the project manager position at GreenCorp. I regret to say that I have to cancel our scheduled interview at 1:30 on August 12th. After some consideration, I have decided to accept a different role and will be starting next week. It was a tough decision, as all my interactions with your team so far have been very positive. 

I appreciate all your time and effort, and I wish you all the best with your hiring efforts. 

Thanks again,  Tom Wilson

Example 2

Occasionally, life gets in the way. Maybe you scheduled an interview, then had childcare fall through, a family member get sick, or your own medical issues. If that happens, you could say:


Hi George, 

I want to thank you for considering me for the role of general manager at Melchior Cafe. I was excited to speak with you and I’m very sorry, but I have to cancel our interview at 4:30 on the 10th. Unfortunately, unanticipated personal circumstances are putting my current job search on hold. 

You and your team were very helpful during the entire application process, and I appreciate your time and effort. I’ll keep an eye out for other opportunities with your cafe in the future!

Sincerely, Marina Gomez

Example 3

Maybe you don’t want to cancel altogether, you just need to reschedule for another time. Then you could use this email: 


Hello Serena,

Thank you so much for scheduling our interview at 2:00 on Wednesday for the finance manager role.  I am excited to speak with you, but, unfortunately, I have an unexpected appointment scheduled at 1:00 on the same day. 

I’m reaching out to ask if it’s possible to reschedule our interview for a different day. I am free all day on Tuesday and Thursday and after 2:00 on Friday. Please let me know if any of those times work for you and your team. If not, please let me know when would be best for you. 

I am so sorry for the inconvenience and I look forward to speaking soon and learning more about this opportunity. 

All the best, David Milley

How to cancel or reschedule an interview over the phone

If you’d rather speak to the recruiter over the phone, call them during standard work hours. Avoid calling very early or late in the day, and try not to call them during lunch. As mentioned above, it’s important to make contact as soon as possible. 

When speaking with the recruiter, give them your full name, as well as the details of your interview. Apologize for the inconvenience and make sure to thank your contact for their time and effort. If you want to reschedule, have a list of dates and times that work for you. 

If you’re looking for help developing the ideal resume, consider Career.io’s Resume Builder so that you can land your next job.

Key takeaways

  1. If you need to cancel an interview, let the recruiter know as soon as possible so that you maintain a good relationship.

  2. Only cancel if you have another job opportunity or if you’re 100 percent sure that you don’t want the job. 

  3. When emailing your contact to cancel, use a professional format, list the details of your interview, apologize for the inconvenience, and thank them for their time. 

  4. If possible, try to reschedule your interview and offer some times that work for you.

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