It might be hard to believe you’d ever voluntarily withdraw from being considered for a job after landing the interview you wanted so badly, but things happen. Maybe you got a bad gut feeling during your interview, got a great offer somewhere else, or simply decided that it’s not the best time to change jobs after all.
If you’ve already interviewed but have changed your mind about wanting the position, it’s standard procedure to send formal notice of your decision to withdraw from the hiring process. We’ll explain how to do it and share some sample letters you can use if you’re in this situation.
What is a job application withdrawal letter?
A letter to withdraw from the interview process lets an employer know you’re no longer interested in or available to accept a position. Sending formal notice allows the company to remove you from consideration for the role.
This type of notice letter is sent after you’ve already scheduled or completed at least one interview. There’s no need to send notice if you’ve merely submitted an application but haven’t heard back yet.
Why is a letter important to use?
Letting an employer know as soon as possible when you’ve changed your mind about your candidacy preserves your professional reputation. It’s the courteous move so they can continue their search with other candidates without delaying the process waiting to hear back from you.
Sending a letter to withdraw from the interview process is also important because it allows you to give more context on the reasons for your choice. If you decided the position wasn’t the right fit for a technical reason, like your skills not matching the positions requirements, this is a great thing to let the employer know. If they found you to be a strong candidate, they might have a position now or in the future that’s a better fit for your actual skills.
When to withdraw your application
When you’ve accepted another job
It’s very common for candidates to interview with multiple companies at once, and it’s not unusual to jump at an offer before waiting to hear back from all the other companies. If you already got a job, you should notify the other companies of your intent to not move forward in the hiring process.
When you’ve changed your mind about the position
Maybe after learning more about the job, you found the role wasn’t what you expected or the company culture didn’t meet your needs. This is actually a good thing – after all, the interview process is meant to help candidates and companies mutually decide if they’re a good fit for one another. If not, it’s best to find out before you’ve accepted a job that doesn’t fit you.
When you’ve decided to stop job searching
You may have gotten a promotion at your current job or had other changes in your life that make it a less opportune time to be job searching. It’s perfectly acceptable to withdraw from an interview process because you changed your mind. You don’t have to share the full details of your decision in your letter.
What to include:
A specific subject line
Be direct to ensure that your message is opened. “Jack Roberts – withdrawal from interview process” is a good example.
Your interview details
State the position you were interviewing for and any other relevant details, like the date of your interview if it’s been a few weeks.
A thank you
Express your gratitude for the time the hiring manager spent meeting with you.
A reason for your withdrawal
If you’re comfortable, give a brief explanation for your decision.
A warm closing
Use a professional sign-off and leave the door open to a future relationship (if you’re open to it).
What to omit in the letter
- What you don’t like about the company. Don’t get into the specifics of why the company or job doesn’t meet your expectations.
- Your complaints about the interview process. Avoid criticizing the interviewer or the hiring process in general. If the company is looking for this kind of information, they’ll send a candidate feedback survey.
Example withdrawal letter – accepted another job
Example withdrawal letter – changed mind
Though your letter doesn’t need to be long, keep it polished and professional. You never know when the perfect job for you could open up at the company or if you’ll cross paths with the hiring manager again in the future.