Career Advice

2 Ways On How To Cancel a Job Interview

min read
Vera Chan

Getting one, if not several interviews are great! But what happens when you find the right job and have managed to secure the role? You still have a few more interviews lined up and it can be tough to turn down but is cordial to do so.

Do you cancel via phone or email? For both formats, you want to cancel an interview in a timely manner. This will speak to your professionalism and will maintain your relationship. You never know when you might come into contact with the company again. This could be at your new role — they could be a client for instance or later down the line when you are job hunting again.

When You Should Cancel a Job Interview

Depending on your circumstance, there are several scenarios that warrant a cancellation. You might find yourself in a predicament whereby the subway has broken down. Or your dog gets into an accident. You have to pick up your toddler from the nursery or you fall severely ill. These are last-minute situations that can be handled in a specific manner.

For cancellations with advanced notice, you may find that you have decided to do so for other reasons. This can include landing a job offer that you have decided to accept. Or that you no longer want to attend the interview. A better opportunity may have come up or you no longer find it is up your alley.

In any case, we have put together a few templates to help you part ways in a polite way.

1. Cancelling A Job Interview On Time

So you have found out or decided that you need to cancel a job interview. What next?

Subject Line

Put your name and topic in the subject line to clearly indicate why you are emailing. The interviewer or hiring manager can plenty of incoming emails, so you want to be sure they see yours.


Address the employer properly. If you know their name or position, use it. Otherwise, you can use "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern."

Body Text

Start by expressing your thanks and move on to mentioning the job interview. Repeat when the interview date and time and mention that you can no longer attend.


If you are no longer interested in the role, you do not have to give a reason. You do not want to be seen as a time-waster if you changed your mind and decided that you are no longer interested. But if you accepted another job offer or have another legitimate reason, you can mention it here.


You want to leave a clear but polite message that you will be withdrawing your application. But again talk about your thankfulness for their time.

Top tip

Double-check the email address is correct and keep it brief. Then cordially sign-off.

2. Cancelling A Job Interview Last Minute

Something sudden has come up that you just cannot get out of or requires your physical presence. This is where you use the two-step process — call first and then follow-up with an email.

Call First

Out of courtesy and to make sure the recruiter or employer receives your message — call. You can use the above pointers and these phone etiquette to address the phone call in the same way. Open with a hello and ensure you are talking to the correct point of contact. Tell them why you are calling and mention the cancellation. Use a polite tone of voice that expresses gratitude for the opportunity.

Follow-Up With an Email

For black and white purposes, write an email straight after your phone call. The interviewer or hiring manager may have a busy schedule and completely forget at the end of the day. To make sure you have your communication recorded on paper — email.

The Takeaway

In the end, cancelling an interview is not a necessary blow to your career opportunities. There are valid reasons for cancelling just as there are valid reasons not to accept a job offer. Weigh out the pros and cons, and follow your gut feeling.

If you have decided to go ahead with an interview, here are "7 Job Interview Do's & Don'ts.

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