How To Reply To Decline Interview Invitation?

There are several reasons to decline an interview invitation. It could be as a result of loss in interest or non-conformity to what you had envisioned. There are a myriad of reasons to say NO. Let’s start with How To Reply To Decline Interview Invitation.

How To Reply To Decline Interview Invitation?

Now that you are no longer interested, how do you politely decline an interview invitation? 

If you are in this situation and would like to know how to respectfully decline an invite, you are at the right place. It takes the bold and experienced to draft out an organized and properly articulated response to an invitation you had applied for. Nevertheless, if you are inexperienced or unclear about how to communicate your response, continue reading as we break the ice.

When To Say Yes Or No To An Interview Invitation.

The second you receive an email that displays a header from the HR manager at a job you had recently applied for – there is no doubt that your heart begins to pound faster than usual. In this scenario, two things are bound to happen. Either you say “YES” or “NO”. If this was the ideal job you had always wanted all your life, then it is only right to go for it. In this case, your typical response could be “Can you schedule the interview” or “I’m willing to take the position. When do we meet?”. On the contrary, when you decide that the job doesn’t fit your interest at the time due to a myriad of reasons such as inability to function in the post, low pay, non-conformity to work ethic, or personal reasons. Whatever reason it may be, you are expected to send a declination email as to whether you would not be able to take the job at the time or due to your busy schedule, you will prefer to pass the opportunity till some other time when you are available to take on the job. 

It is essential that your response is well-thought and explains the reason for your decision. This way, the recruiter will understand whether to include you in upcoming opportunities or just ditch you forever.  

Considerable Reasons To Decline An Interview Invitation.

For several reasons, you might decide to say NO to an interview and that is okay. Sometimes, it could be as a result of a lack of interest or misalignment with your person – but either way, you need to respond to the invitation, communicating your disinterest to continue the process. Highlighted below but not limited to, are considerable reasons why you might want to decline an invitation.

Non-Conformity to Your Objectives:

As a person, there are possibilities that you have an outlined vision or a pattern of work ethic that you are religiously adapted to. In instances where your vision does not tally with the organization, you are liable to decline the invitation and move further to a place where your philosophy of work would be acknowledged. Oftentimes, the reason for this problem is attributed to the late responses from recruiters. In desperate times, people apply to ‘any and every’ job that comes their way, and with time, they begin to filter their priorities and cut down on their options. Perhaps, after your application, you have taken professional courses to upskill or even realized how competitive you are for higher positions, it will be appropriate that you decline the invitation and move forward. 

You Have A Better Offer:

As a professional in your field, there are possibilities that your service is well sought after in the industry – due to the low number of skilled persons in your niche. Chances are organizations will reach out to you with mouth-watering offers, hoping to win you over their competitors. In such a situation, without question, you will go ahead with the organization that gives the best offer. You may consider the pay, collaboration, working environment, work schedule, and many other things. After choosing your preferred organization amidst other options, you must notify other organizations that you are no longer available. To do this, you should convey your reason for declining the offer formally and respectably. Examples would be shown in the latter part of this article. 

Reconsideration and Policy Change:

Change is constant and there are possibilities that your desire at the time of application had changed when you received the invitation to interview. Still, you are expected to convey your response to the company. The policy change could be as a result of relocation or welcoming a newborn baby, whatever reason it is, your new plans do not give you enough chance for the job and you are bound to discuss adjustment in work terms or just opt out completely. 

Guides And Templates For Declining An Invitation.

Now, to respond to that email that had made your heartbeat irregular earlier, you can use any of these templates or tweak it to your context. Know that these templates are guides and you are not expected to follow them religiously. You can decide to change some of its words or use it as a muse to create yours. Enjoy!

Declining because you got a better offer.

Hello {insert name of recipient},

Thank you for your consideration. I appreciate the time and effort invested in my application for the {applied role}. However, I would not be accepting this offer. I recently got an offer from another organization – due to this, I tender my declination letter. 

I wish you the best of luck scouting to fill this role and hopefully keep in touch. 

{your name}

{signature} optional.

Declining because you are no longer interested. 

Hi {insert name of recipient},

I appreciate the time and effort put in to consider my application for the {applied role} at your organization. Unfortunately, I will be withdrawing my application at the moment and would like to discontinue the process. 

Again, thank you for your time and consideration. 

Best regards,

{your name}

{signature} optional

Declining because of a change in plan.

Hello {insert name of recipient},

I’m pleased to have made it to your final list. Thank you for considering my application for {the applied role} in your organization. However, due to some unforeseen changes since the submission of the application, I can no longer continue this process. Perhaps, if there are chances to adjust the term of work, I’d give it a second thought, otherwise, I would pass this one.

Thanks for your time and consideration. 

All the best, 

{your name}

{signature} optional.


Whether job interview, campaign, or even invitation – sometimes, we are unable to honor this invitation even though we might have initially tendered applications. It is important to inform the recipient of your intention to withdraw. 

Writing a declination mail may be puzzling. You can however take your time to browse relevant templates till you find one that conveys your message accurately. 

Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: How long should I wait before sending a declination mail?

A: As soon as the decision to discontinue the process is made.

Q: What should I consider before declining an interview invitation? 

A: Work ethics, payment range, flexibility, change in plan, and access to better offers.

Q: Is it necessary I send an email to decline an invitation? 

A: It is conventional to send an email to decline an offer, to give the recruiter clarification on their options and way-to-go.