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4 Cancel Interview Email Templates That Don't Burn Bridges

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Recruitment doesn’t always go smoothly, so it’s useful to have a few go-to templates in the locker. One of the templates that’ll prove handy is for an interview cancellation email. Being able to cancel interviews politely and professionally lets you take care of candidates without losing them from your candidate pool.

Over 40% of job candidates have experienced a job interview being canceled or rescheduled. Reasons vary for canceled interviews. That’s why it’s crucial to have more than one cancel interview email template you can rely on.

So, is it unprofessional to cancel an interview?

Of course not, sometimes circumstances change and it would be rude not to cancel. But how you cancel an interview with candidates matters.

Note: if you’re a candidate that needs to cancel an interview by email, skip to the “cancel an interview by email” sample at the bottom of this article.

Can you use AI to write an email cancelling for you?

You sure can! Check out this video for step-by-step instructions:

Even better, you can try it right now using this Magical template generator. Just ask the generator to 'write an email cancelling a job interview because my dog was up all last night puking.' Boom—in a few seconds, you have an AI-crafted email template ready to send. You can even set the tone of the email to make sure you sound appropriately 'empathetic' or 'formal.' To generate an unlimited number of email templates, add the free Magical Chrome extension to your browser.

{{ai-generator="/ai-template-generator"}}

How to cancel an interview without burning bridges

A phone call is a preferred way to inform candidates that their interview has been canceled, particularly if it was scheduled for that day.

A phone call gives candidates space to ask questions if they need to.

But, if the candidate pool is still quite large, calling around is time-consuming. You may not reach everyone in time.

In these cases, a cancel interview email is best. Sending a cancellation email is the most common way to inform the interviewer. Regardless of the reason you’re canceling, the same rules will apply.

  • Get straight to the point in the subject line:

This lets the candidates know this email needs to be opened — ASAP.

  • Use the candidate’s name:

Personal touches matter. Generalized emails come across as cold and uncaring.

  • Show empathy in your opening lines:

A lot of effort goes into preparing for interviews. Showing respect for a candidate’s feelings helps to maintain better relationships.

  • Give an honest reason for the cancellation:

It could be that the company decided to put the position on hold. Or the interviewer may have an unexpected conflict of schedule. Whatever it is, be honest.

  • End honestly but positively:

If the interview is to be rescheduled, let the candidate know you’ll be in touch. If the position has closed let them know. If you plan to be in touch about similar opportunities, say so.

How do you politely cancel an interview by email?

So, we have all of the ingredients, but how do we mix those together for different kinds of candidates and cancellations?

Template 1: How to cancel an interview due to a closed position

When there’s no need to reschedule because the business has closed the position, this email politely and kindly lets candidates know their interview has been canceled through no fault of their own.

Note: Using the Magical text expander in combo with email templates means you can send personalized emails to candidates in seconds without having to type out the same messages time and time again. Just summon your frequently-used phrases in a couple of keystrokes, populate candidate details automatically, and customize whichever parts you want.

You can download Magical for free. No complex setup required—it just works like a charm.

Template 2: How to cancel an interview and reschedule by email

Sometimes it’s just unforeseen events that get in the way of interview schedules. When this happens, it’s best to cancel an interview via email and reschedule in the same message.

Links direct to the interview calendar will make the process more manageable for both you and the candidate. Using apps like Calendly or Acuity helps.

Template 3: Canceling an interview for a personal emergency

No one ever plans to have emergencies happen when you have an interview. Yet it still happens-often. When it does, use this template:

Subject: Interview Cancellation - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I regret to inform you that due to an unexpected personal emergency, I must cancel our scheduled interview for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time]. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I am still very interested in the opportunity and hope we can reschedule the interview for a later date. Please let me know your availability in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Template 4: Canceling an interview because you have a scheduling conflict

Sometimes, especially if you're setting up a lot of interviews, you can overbook yourself. When that happens, use this template:

Subject: Need to Reschedule Interview - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I am contacting you regarding the interview scheduled for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time]. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I will not be able to attend the interview at the proposed time.

I am still very interested in the position and hope we can find an alternative date and time that works for both of us. Please let me know your availability for rescheduling.

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Template 5: Canceling an interview because you decided to go back to school full time

You decided to go back to school full time. Good for you! But you still need to let your almost employer know that you won't be interviewing with them. When that happens, use this template:

Subject: Interview Cancellation - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you of a significant change in my circumstances that impacts my availability. Since scheduling our interview for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time], I have made the decision to return to school full-time to pursue further education.

This decision was not made lightly, and as a result, I must respectfully cancel our upcoming interview. I am very grateful for the opportunity to interview with [Company Name] and for the consideration extended to me. It is my sincere hope that this decision will not cause any inconvenience to you or your team.

I remain very impressed with [Company Name] and its mission, and I hope there might be an opportunity to reconnect in the future once I have completed my academic pursuits.

Thank you very much for your understanding and support regarding this decision. I wish you and your team all the best in finding the right candidate for the position.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Template 6: How do you write a cancellation email for an interview?

It’s not just recruiters who need to cancel interviews or reschedule. Candidates may have a better job offer waiting or simply decided a company isn’t the best fit for their career aspirations.

When this is the case, canceling interviews politely by email is the accepted professional response. When writing cancellation emails for interviews, brevity is key.

It also helps to stick to the point and always be polite—you never know when you may cross paths with these people in the future.

If you decide to terminate the application process because you feel the position isn’t suitable, it still pays to be polite and respectful. There is no need to go into great detail.

FAQ's About Canceling An Interview

  1. Is it acceptable to cancel a job interview?
  • Yes, it is acceptable to cancel a job interview if you have a valid reason. However, it's important to do so as professionally and respectfully as possible to maintain a good relationship with the employer.
  1. How should I cancel a job interview?
  • The best way is to send a formal email or make a phone call to the hiring manager or the recruitment team. Be sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity and clearly state your reason for canceling.
  1. When should I inform the employer about canceling the interview?
  • Inform the employer as soon as you decide not to proceed with the interview. This shows respect for their time and allows them to adjust their schedules or make arrangements for other candidates.
  1. Can canceling an interview affect my chances with the company in the future?
  • It can, depending on how you handle the situation. If you cancel respectfully and with a valid reason, most employers will understand. However, canceling at the last minute without a good reason might affect future opportunities with the company.
  1. What reasons are generally considered acceptable for canceling a job interview?
  • Acceptable reasons include personal emergencies, health issues, accepting another job offer, significant changes in personal circumstances (like going back to school), or realizing that the job is not a good fit.
  1. Should I offer to reschedule the interview?
  • If you are still interested in the position and your reason for canceling is temporary, it’s polite to offer to reschedule. However, if you’re no longer interested or your circumstances won’t change, it’s better to be honest about it.
  1. What if I decide to cancel because I've accepted another job offer?
  • Inform the employer promptly and thank them for their consideration. It's common for candidates to halt their job search upon accepting an offer, and most employers understand this.
  1. Is it necessary to provide a detailed reason for canceling?
  • You should provide a reason, but it doesn’t have to be overly detailed. Be honest and concise; there is no need to go into personal details if it's not comfortable or necessary.
  1. Can I cancel an interview via text or social media?
  • It’s not recommended to cancel an interview through informal channels like text or social media unless you've been primarily communicating that way. Email or a phone call is more professional.
  1. What if I change my mind after canceling an interview?

       * If you change your mind, you can reach out to the employer to see if the opportunity is still available. Be honest about your situation and express your continued interest in the role.

When you need to cancel interviews by email, stick with brevity and don’t be afraid to show empathy for the other party and gratitude for the opportunity.

Happy interviewing!

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4 Cancel Interview Email Templates That Don't Burn Bridges

Recruitment doesn’t always go smoothly, so it’s useful to have a few go-to templates in the locker. One of the templates that’ll prove handy is for an interview cancellation email. Being able to cancel interviews politely and professionally lets you take care of candidates without losing them from your candidate pool.

Over 40% of job candidates have experienced a job interview being canceled or rescheduled. Reasons vary for canceled interviews. That’s why it’s crucial to have more than one cancel interview email template you can rely on.

So, is it unprofessional to cancel an interview?

Of course not, sometimes circumstances change and it would be rude not to cancel. But how you cancel an interview with candidates matters.

Note: if you’re a candidate that needs to cancel an interview by email, skip to the “cancel an interview by email” sample at the bottom of this article.

Can you use AI to write an email cancelling for you?

You sure can! Check out this video for step-by-step instructions:

Even better, you can try it right now using this Magical template generator. Just ask the generator to 'write an email cancelling a job interview because my dog was up all last night puking.' Boom—in a few seconds, you have an AI-crafted email template ready to send. You can even set the tone of the email to make sure you sound appropriately 'empathetic' or 'formal.' To generate an unlimited number of email templates, add the free Magical Chrome extension to your browser.

{{ai-generator="/ai-template-generator"}}

How to cancel an interview without burning bridges

A phone call is a preferred way to inform candidates that their interview has been canceled, particularly if it was scheduled for that day.

A phone call gives candidates space to ask questions if they need to.

But, if the candidate pool is still quite large, calling around is time-consuming. You may not reach everyone in time.

In these cases, a cancel interview email is best. Sending a cancellation email is the most common way to inform the interviewer. Regardless of the reason you’re canceling, the same rules will apply.

  • Get straight to the point in the subject line:

This lets the candidates know this email needs to be opened — ASAP.

  • Use the candidate’s name:

Personal touches matter. Generalized emails come across as cold and uncaring.

  • Show empathy in your opening lines:

A lot of effort goes into preparing for interviews. Showing respect for a candidate’s feelings helps to maintain better relationships.

  • Give an honest reason for the cancellation:

It could be that the company decided to put the position on hold. Or the interviewer may have an unexpected conflict of schedule. Whatever it is, be honest.

  • End honestly but positively:

If the interview is to be rescheduled, let the candidate know you’ll be in touch. If the position has closed let them know. If you plan to be in touch about similar opportunities, say so.

How do you politely cancel an interview by email?

So, we have all of the ingredients, but how do we mix those together for different kinds of candidates and cancellations?

Template 1: How to cancel an interview due to a closed position

When there’s no need to reschedule because the business has closed the position, this email politely and kindly lets candidates know their interview has been canceled through no fault of their own.

Note: Using the Magical text expander in combo with email templates means you can send personalized emails to candidates in seconds without having to type out the same messages time and time again. Just summon your frequently-used phrases in a couple of keystrokes, populate candidate details automatically, and customize whichever parts you want.

You can download Magical for free. No complex setup required—it just works like a charm.

Template 2: How to cancel an interview and reschedule by email

Sometimes it’s just unforeseen events that get in the way of interview schedules. When this happens, it’s best to cancel an interview via email and reschedule in the same message.

Links direct to the interview calendar will make the process more manageable for both you and the candidate. Using apps like Calendly or Acuity helps.

Template 3: Canceling an interview for a personal emergency

No one ever plans to have emergencies happen when you have an interview. Yet it still happens-often. When it does, use this template:

Subject: Interview Cancellation - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I regret to inform you that due to an unexpected personal emergency, I must cancel our scheduled interview for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time]. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I am still very interested in the opportunity and hope we can reschedule the interview for a later date. Please let me know your availability in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Template 4: Canceling an interview because you have a scheduling conflict

Sometimes, especially if you're setting up a lot of interviews, you can overbook yourself. When that happens, use this template:

Subject: Need to Reschedule Interview - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I am contacting you regarding the interview scheduled for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time]. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I will not be able to attend the interview at the proposed time.

I am still very interested in the position and hope we can find an alternative date and time that works for both of us. Please let me know your availability for rescheduling.

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Template 5: Canceling an interview because you decided to go back to school full time

You decided to go back to school full time. Good for you! But you still need to let your almost employer know that you won't be interviewing with them. When that happens, use this template:

Subject: Interview Cancellation - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you of a significant change in my circumstances that impacts my availability. Since scheduling our interview for the [Position Name] on [Date and Time], I have made the decision to return to school full-time to pursue further education.

This decision was not made lightly, and as a result, I must respectfully cancel our upcoming interview. I am very grateful for the opportunity to interview with [Company Name] and for the consideration extended to me. It is my sincere hope that this decision will not cause any inconvenience to you or your team.

I remain very impressed with [Company Name] and its mission, and I hope there might be an opportunity to reconnect in the future once I have completed my academic pursuits.

Thank you very much for your understanding and support regarding this decision. I wish you and your team all the best in finding the right candidate for the position.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Template 6: How do you write a cancellation email for an interview?

It’s not just recruiters who need to cancel interviews or reschedule. Candidates may have a better job offer waiting or simply decided a company isn’t the best fit for their career aspirations.

When this is the case, canceling interviews politely by email is the accepted professional response. When writing cancellation emails for interviews, brevity is key.

It also helps to stick to the point and always be polite—you never know when you may cross paths with these people in the future.

If you decide to terminate the application process because you feel the position isn’t suitable, it still pays to be polite and respectful. There is no need to go into great detail.

FAQ's About Canceling An Interview

  1. Is it acceptable to cancel a job interview?
  • Yes, it is acceptable to cancel a job interview if you have a valid reason. However, it's important to do so as professionally and respectfully as possible to maintain a good relationship with the employer.
  1. How should I cancel a job interview?
  • The best way is to send a formal email or make a phone call to the hiring manager or the recruitment team. Be sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity and clearly state your reason for canceling.
  1. When should I inform the employer about canceling the interview?
  • Inform the employer as soon as you decide not to proceed with the interview. This shows respect for their time and allows them to adjust their schedules or make arrangements for other candidates.
  1. Can canceling an interview affect my chances with the company in the future?
  • It can, depending on how you handle the situation. If you cancel respectfully and with a valid reason, most employers will understand. However, canceling at the last minute without a good reason might affect future opportunities with the company.
  1. What reasons are generally considered acceptable for canceling a job interview?
  • Acceptable reasons include personal emergencies, health issues, accepting another job offer, significant changes in personal circumstances (like going back to school), or realizing that the job is not a good fit.
  1. Should I offer to reschedule the interview?
  • If you are still interested in the position and your reason for canceling is temporary, it’s polite to offer to reschedule. However, if you’re no longer interested or your circumstances won’t change, it’s better to be honest about it.
  1. What if I decide to cancel because I've accepted another job offer?
  • Inform the employer promptly and thank them for their consideration. It's common for candidates to halt their job search upon accepting an offer, and most employers understand this.
  1. Is it necessary to provide a detailed reason for canceling?
  • You should provide a reason, but it doesn’t have to be overly detailed. Be honest and concise; there is no need to go into personal details if it's not comfortable or necessary.
  1. Can I cancel an interview via text or social media?
  • It’s not recommended to cancel an interview through informal channels like text or social media unless you've been primarily communicating that way. Email or a phone call is more professional.
  1. What if I change my mind after canceling an interview?

       * If you change your mind, you can reach out to the employer to see if the opportunity is still available. Be honest about your situation and express your continued interest in the role.

When you need to cancel interviews by email, stick with brevity and don’t be afraid to show empathy for the other party and gratitude for the opportunity.

Happy interviewing!

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