How to Cancel An Interview (With Email Templates)

Sometimes unplanned activities or unexpected job offers arise which lead you towards canceling an interview you’ve already scheduled. Whether you’re still job searching or are about to go back to work, it’s important to cancel your interview professionally (and actually give the hiring manager some notice). This helps prevent burned bridges or leaving a bad impression on someone you might need to connect with in the future. In this article, we’ll discuss how to cancel an interview and include some email templates and examples you can use to end your job search on a positive note.

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How to Cancel An Interview

1. Give advanced notice

When canceling an interview, it’s important to give some heads up. You don’t want to give them a last minute cancellation notice, such as the hour before. Overall, you want to make sure you’ve given them at least a day’s notice, if possible. You should email or call to let them know you won’t be going ahead with the interview and wait for a reply. If they don’t reply, that’s out of your control. But you can always say something like, “please confirm you’ve received this” to ensure they let you know they’ve got the message. If you receive an offer within the day of the interview, you can let them know the same day just include the point that you had just accepted an offer an hour ago to help them understand that you would’ve told them sooner.

2. Be honest about your cancellation reason

When you need to cancel an interview, be honest about the cancellation reason. You don’t need to trauma dump on your recruiter if something bad happens. Just give a brief one sentence explanation as to why you won’t be going ahead with the interview. For example, you might include reasons, such as feeling ill, family emergency, or that you’re no longer interested in the job as explanations as to why you need to cancel the interview. You don’t need to explain yourself beyond these simple explanations.

3. Ask about rescheduling, if needed

Sometimes canceling an interview is more so about that specific time not working out for you, but another time being better. If that’s the case, then great. Share that you’d like to reschedule your interview for another day or time. Remember, most interviews are in batches, so the early bird usually gets the worm. Avoid delaying the day in most cases as it can prevent you from getting the job. However, if you need an extra couple of hours, just let the hiring manager or recruiter know so they can plan ahead. If asking for more time, you also want to set more time to prepare so that you showcase that you were worth waiting for.

4. Express gratitude and regrets

When canceling an interview, showcase your gratitude and let them know your regrets. You might say something like, “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make the interview today because I’ve received another offer. I just wanted to say it was lovely meeting you to learn more about your company and the role in the last interview. Feel free to stay in touch.”

5. Decide on whether to apply again, if needed

If you’re canceling an interview because the timing isn’t right or if the role isn’t a good fit. You might let the hiring manager know that this isn’t the right role for you but that you’d be interested in exploring other options for other roles in the future. In this case, it’s important not to burn bridges but to be open to possible other opportunities as well. If you cancel the interview, you might need to apply again in the future for another role. Maybe you really like the company you interviewed at but the role isn’t the best fit for you.

6. Be professional

When sending an email or making a phone call to cancel an interview, you want to be professional. You don’t want to say “um” or “uh” awkwardly when speaking to them on the phone. Canceling an interview may be awkward to you, but to an interviewer, they’re used to it. Even if they’re really excited about you as a candidate, there’ll be other great people applying for the role for them to chat with. You also want to avoid making any negative comments about interviewers or the company as a whole, even if you had a negative experience. Sometimes, people don’t realize how something comes across to others. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Ultimately, if you’re canceling an interview, you won’t need to see them again anyway. So, end on positive terms, if possible.

7. Use Huntr

When you need to cancel an interview but aren’t able to write something up yourself, you can use Huntr’s AI to write the email for you. With Huntr, you can have professionally written emails for all interview stages, including canceling an interview. If you have other interviews on the go, you can use Huntr to help you negotiate your offer and even accept one. Huntr’s AI helps with interview prep too, so if you’re still planning on doing more interviews and this isn’t the right company for you, you can get access to mock interview questions to help you better prepare for your interviews.

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Tips for when you don’t want to reschedule

1. Make sure your offer won’t be rescinded

If you don’t plan to reschedule, because you’ve received an offer, make sure you’ve got a solid offer in hand. With all the layoffs happening right now, you want to make sure the company you’re applying to is cash flow positive, hasn’t done layoffs in the past, and is a sure thing. There have been horror stories of people having their offers rescinded days before starting their new job. It doesn’t hurt to keep options open until you’re officially starting your next job. Ultimately, you need to protect yourself financially to ensure you’ve got a solid offer in hand before stopping your interview process.

2. Call or email the hiring manager

When you don’t want to reschedule your interview, you’ll want to call or email the hiring manager. Calling is professional provided you have their number. Don’t call them on their personal phone after work hours or by Googling. If they’ve called you before, you can call them back. But if you haven’t had a phone interview, stick with email. Send them a professional note to tell them that the role isn’t a right fit for you or that you’ve accepted another offer to explain that you won’t be exploring this position further and that you aren’t interested in rescheduling with them.

3. Interviews are still great practice

While it’s not necessarily a good idea to lead a hiring manager on when you’ve decided to take on another role, interviews are always great practice. In the event that you’re feeling anxious about this interview and want to cancel because something feels off, remember that it’s important to practice your interview skills while looking for a job. If you don’t need to commute to your interview location, and it’s a simple video chat, do the interview. If you have to commute to a location, you can cancel. Interviewing is something you don’t practice a ton until you need to do it. You might be interviewing for a few weeks once every three to four years, so it’s always a good idea to get in as much interview practice as you can when possible.

Tips for if you do reschedule an interview

1. Send an email with a new time

If you’re planning to reschedule your interview instead of completely canceling it, you should add a few suggested times in your email just in case. You might tell them that an unplanned emergency came up, and say that you’re still very interested in potentially working at this company, and include 3-5 times that would be better for you. You could also give time ranges, such as, “anytime in the afternoon on Thursday.”

2. Prepare for several days

If you’re rescheduling an interview, you should take some extra time to prepare. Read through the company website, rehearse as many interview questions as you can, have a friend or family member help you practice mock interviews with, and more. If you’re making someone wait to meet you, you should give them your best impression. Show them that you’re worth the wait.

3. Practice enthusiasm

When you need to reschedule an interview, it can lead to frustration for your interviewer. That said, nothing beats a first impression like a bit of enthusiasm. Showcasing a beaming smile and genuine interest in a role is a great way to stand out to a hiring manager. Most hiring managers make decisions off of a person’s vibe. Does the person feel like a good person to be around? Skills will get you the interview, but it’ll be your personality that makes the difference in whether or not you get hired over other candidates with the same level of experience as you.

Reasons for Canceling an Interview

1. You’ve become sick

2. You’ve got to deal with a family emergency

3. You suddenly have an unplanned work commitment

4. You’ve run into transportation issues

5. You have a scheduling conflict

6. You’ve already received a job offer

7. You know it’s not the best job for you

8. You can’t find someone to take care of your children

9. You’re not prepared for the interview

10. You’re no longer interested in the job

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How to Cancel an Interview Email Templates

1. For canceling an interview with no explanation

Dear Rachel,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to inform you that I must cancel my scheduled interview for the Marketing Manager role at ABC Company on July 14 at 2 p.m. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to attend the interview as planned.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. If possible, I would like to reschedule the interview for a later date. Please let me know your availability in the coming weeks, and I will do my best to accommodate your schedule.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


2. For canceling an interview but wanting to reschedule

Dear Rachel,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to request the rescheduling of my interview for the Marketing Manager role at ABC Company, which is currently set for July 14 at 2 p.m.

Unfortunately, a family emergency has arisen, and I will be unable to attend the interview as planned. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and greatly appreciate your understanding during this time.

I am still very interested in the opportunity at ABC Company and would like to reschedule the interview at your earliest convenience. I’m available any time tomorrow and between 2-5pm on Friday. Do any of these times work for you? Open to other suggestions.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


3. For canceling an interview because you’ve accepted another offer

Dear Rachel,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to inform you that I need to cancel my scheduled interview for the Marketing Manager role at ABC Company on July 14 at 2 p.m..

After careful consideration, I have decided to accept another job offer that aligns with my career goals. This was a difficult decision, as I was very interested in the opportunity at ABC Company, but I believe this is the best step for my professional development at this time.

I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview with your team and for the consideration you have given my application. I have great respect for ABC Company and hope our paths cross again in the future.

Thank you again for your understanding.

Best regards,


Final Thoughts

Canceling an interview isn’t actually as big of a deal as you might think it is. Hiring managers see it happen all the time. Avoid overthinking the right thing to say and just be truthful. If you’re struggling to come up with an email that feels right, you can sign up for Huntr to generate an email template you can use to help you cancel an interview with a hiring manager. You can also use Huntr to negotiate your job offer for you should you have just received one. If you’re still interviewing or need some help with canceling your interview, sign up for Huntr today.

Nicole Martins Ferreira

Nicole Martins Ferreira

Nicole Martins Ferreira, Senior Writer at Huntr, brings a rich background in marketing, tech, and ecommerce to craft insightful content on job search strategies and career advancement. With experience from Super Magic Taste to Shopify, she excels in creating engaging, actionable advice for job seekers.

Nicole's expertise in SEO and content marketing, honed across diverse roles, enables her to effectively guide individuals through the complexities of the job market. Her contributions at Huntr are vital, offering readers valuable tips and strategies to navigate their professional journeys successfully, making her work an invaluable resource for job seekers everywhere.

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