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Canceling an interview

Things can crop up unexpectedly at any time which can force either the applicant or the company to cancel an interview. The less notice you give, the more unpleasant writing an email like this can get.

It is therefore important that you give a reason for canceling wherever possible and suggest an alternative date and time for interviewing the candidate. Try and word your message as transparently as possible.

Three tips for writing to cancel an interview

  1. Provide alternatives: By suggesting a different time to hold the interview, you are showing the candidate that the cancelation has nothing to do with your desire to get to know them.
  2. Timing: Tell the candidates as soon as you know that you cannot make the interview. An applicant might have structured their day around their interview and may still be able to change their plans if they are notified promptly.
  3. Give your reasons: If something has cropped up at work, be transparent and tell the applicant as much. They will appreciate your honesty and understand that things like this can happen.

Template for canceling an interview

Dear Ms. Doe,

Unfortunately, we must inform you that we are unable to make the interview at [time] on [date]. We have only just found out that [reason, e.g. the head of department will be on sick leave for the next week].

We hope you understand the situation and we would like to rearrange our interview for [date, e.g. the following week], if possible.

Please let us know if that would be of interest to you. Thank you for your understanding.

[Your name]


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