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How to Cancel an Interview

Sometimes, circumstances arise where you can no longer move forward with a job interview. If it’s beyond a mere timing conflict and you need to fully back out of the interview process rather than reschedule, sending a letter to cancel an interview is the simple and polite solution.

What does sending a letter accomplish?

A letter to cancel an interview is a candidate’s formal way of giving notice that they are no longer interested in being considered for a job. It allows the company to remove their application from the process and focus on other applicants, while freeing up the candidate to accept a different job or continue their search elsewhere.

Why cancel in writing?

Failing to show up for a job interview, like any scheduled meeting, is highly unprofessional. It’s important to cancel in advance so as not to waste the interviewer’s time, which could reflect very poorly on you. 

More broadly, it’s important to give notice if you’ve decided not to pursue the position so that the company can fully consider other applicants. In a tight labor market, top candidates move quickly, so delaying their search by even a day or two could be a significant setback. Canceling in a prompt manner is the courteous thing to do.

When you should cancel an interview

You should give as much notice as possible when canceling an interview. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reschedule if you change your mind, though, so be sure you’re confident in your decision to withdraw from the process before canceling.

Here are some circumstances that might cause you to cancel a job interview:

  • You’ve accepted an offer from another company
  • You’ve decided the position isn’t the right fit
  • You’ve decided not to leave your current job
  • Your plans have changed, like going back to school or moving

What to include when canceling

  • A thank you for the opportunity to interview.
  • Your interview time and date so they can remove it from their calendar.
  • A brief statement of your decision to cancel. Make it clear that you’re canceling rather than asking to reschedule.
  • A warm closing. Leave the door open rather than burning a bridge.

Example letter

Mr. Johnson, 

Thank you for considering me for the position of office manager. Unfortunately, I need to cancel the interview we had scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday. My circumstances have changed and I am no longer looking for a new job. 

I wish you the best in your search. 


Cecilia Jones

By sending a short and simple letter to cancel your interview, you’ll be respectful of the interviewer’s time while freeing yourself up to move on in a different direction.