Interview Rejection Letter Templates

interview rejection letter

Navigating the intricacies of the interview rejection letter is a nuanced task for recruiters. Recruiting staff is filled with its own set of challenges, and perhaps one of the most daunting aspects is sending out those rejection letters to candidates who haven’t made the cut.

As an ethical and responsible recruiter, it’s your duty to keep applicants informed about their position in the hiring process. Ensuring every candidate knows their application status isn’t just courteous—it’s best practice.

In this article, we’ll guide you through crafting rejection letters that not only convey the necessary information but do so with elegance and professionalism.

What is a Rejection Letter?

A rejection letter is a formal document or correspondence sent by organizations, predominantly during hiring processes. This letter tactfully informs candidates they haven’t been chosen for a particular position or opportunity.

While it may seem like a straightforward communication, it’s much more than that. Crafting this letter requires sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Being transparent about a candidate’s status is not just about being professional; it’s also about extending respect and consideration.

These applicants have spent time, energy, and often emotional investment in applying, making it imperative for employers to acknowledge their effort.

interview rejection letter

Why Interview Rejection Letters are So Important

Not getting word back on their application process can be frustrating for job seekers it could also paint a negative image of your company of being unresponsive and indifferent. A rejection letter can:

Help instill transparency: A job rejection letter can give applicants insights into the application processing process and help them to track their application process,

It shows that you care: It can help let applicants know that you recognize the effort they put into applying for the job and helps mitigate any negative feelings toward your company. By not getting back to them, candidates may feel that they are still in the running and could be turning down job offers or holding off on applying for other jobs, simply because they’re waiting for your response.

Reduces unnecessary correspondence: sending notification letters can ensure that applicants are not left waiting for an answer and may reduce the number of check-in emails and calls you receive from them.

Endears you to applicants: By reaching out to applicants you create a lasting impression as a responsive company indicating that you have a great company culture add that despite not being the right match you can encourage them to apply for other positions within the company.

interview rejection letter

What to Include in a Well Written Rejection Letter

A good rejection letter should include the following:

Be prompt: Try to send out your rejection letter at the earliest possible opportunity. and don’t wait around to be contacted by candidates.  There is nothing as frustrating as indefinitely waiting for a call back that might never come. Despite being bearers of bad news it is better to get it out of the way as soon as possible.

Include your ‘thank you’: Never forget to thank applicants for their interest in applying at the company and spending time and effort in the application process.

Personalization: Include the candidate’s name and the job title they applied for. If possible, you can include a note from the conversation or mention a specific positive attribute you appreciated in the applicant.

Invitation to apply again: If you feel that the candidate can be a good fit for the company in another capacity, let them know that you would like for them to apply for other opportunities in the future.

interview rejection letter

How to Write an Interview Rejection Letter

As an employer or hiring manager, you sift through countless applications, engage in numerous interviews, and sometimes even verify candidate backgrounds to ensure the selected individual aligns with the company’s needs.

With this rigorous procedure comes the responsibility of informing those not selected about their status. Drafting a gracious rejection letter is crucial in this scenario.

This document should be an embodiment of the company’s values, a testament to its professionalism, and a clear yet compassionate message about the decision made.

Rejection Letter Before Interview Examples

The recruitment journey often involves a pre-interview elimination phase. At this juncture, based on CVs and cover letters, a significant portion of candidates may not move forward to the interviewing stage.

Crafting a rejection letter at this stage becomes essential. The correspondence should provide clear communication about the candidate’s status. Although this is a preliminary phase, maintaining an empathetic and respectful tone is vital.

As an employer, while you focus on distilling the best fit for the job, it’s also crucial to ensure that each applicant feels valued, even if they don’t proceed further in the hiring process.

Remember, the way you reject a candidate can leave a lasting impression about your company’s ethos.

Rejection Letter Example

Dear [candidate name],

Thank you for taking the time to apply at [Company name] and the [Job Title] position you applied for. While we were impressed with your qualifications, however at this time, we have identified more suitable candidates to move forward in the recruitment process. Although you were unable to participate in the recruiting process for this position, your profile will be saved and reviewed for other roles. Your application and interest in this opportunity are greatly appreciated.

Thank you again for your interest in [name of your company]. We wish you the best of luck with your job search.


[sender name]

Rejection Email Before Interview Template

[Your Company’s name]

[Your address]


[Applicant’s name]

[Applicant’s address]

Dear [applicant’s name],

Thank you for your interest in [Company name] and the [name of position] role for which you applied. We’ve reviewed your qualifications, and due to [include reasoning], we have selected other candidates with more hands-on experience for further consideration.

We appreciate your application and the time you invested in it. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope we’ll have a chance to meet again soon.


[Your name]

[Your role]

interview rejection letter

Rejection Letter After Interview Examples

After the meticulous process of interviewing, there’s a necessity to communicate to the candidates who didn’t make the cut. This is a sensitive juncture, as these individuals have invested not only their time but also their hopes in the prospect of joining your organization.

Drafting a post-interview rejection letter is a delicate task. It’s essential to be forthright, yet gentle in your communication.

Your goal is to convey the message clearly while ensuring the applicant’s experience with your organization remains positive, despite the outcome.

As such you will need to issue a post-interview rejection letter notifying them that they are no longer in contention for the advertised post. You can also check out our other resources on good interview questions to ask candidates and video interview tips.

Rejection Letter After Interview Example

[Your Company’s name]

[Your address]


[Applicant’s name]

[Applicant’s address]

Dear [applicant’s name],

Thank you so much for your interest in the [name of job position] here at  [Company’s name], and for taking the time to come in and meet with the team.

While we were all impressed with your skill set and experience, we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate who has more experience. However, we feel you’re an excellent culture fit and encourage you to apply for other openings that will be available in the coming months.

Thank you again for the time in applying and interviewing for this role. We wish you the best of luck in your job search and all future endeavors.


[Your name]

[Your role]

interview rejection letter

Pre-Interview Vs. Post-Interview Rejection Letters

Drafting rejection letters before and after interviews may seem similar, but they differ in several ways. Here’s a comparison to help you understand those differences:

Features/AttributesRejection Before InterviewRejection After Interview
PurposeNotify candidates not shortlisted for the interview round.Inform candidates they didn't make the cut after the interview round.
TimingSent after initial review of resumes and qualifications.Sent after the interview process is completed for all candidates.
Feedback InclusionGenerally limited, as interaction with the candidate is minimal.More specific, can include details from the interview.
Future Opportunity MentionEncourage candidates to look out for other roles in the future.Mention of future roles and fit within company culture.
ToneFormal and appreciative of their application.More personalized, reflecting the interaction during the interview.

interview rejection letter

Interview Rejection Letter Tips

Ensuring timely and considerate communication post-interview is crucial. Whether it’s an initial rejection or after an interview, extending this courtesy is a reflection of your company’s ethos.

Promptly informing candidates of their status alleviates their anxiety and uncertainty about the next steps in their career search. This kind of timely feedback not only curtails the stressful waiting period for the applicants but also fortifies your company’s reputation.

Displaying this level of professionalism and empathy emphasizes that your organization values every individual’s effort and time, further enhancing your employer brand in the competitive market.

Write a personalized rejection letter: remember to include the name of the candidate and the position being applied. This lets recipients know that remember you took the time to remember them and are addressing them rather than sending bulk rejection letters. A tailored rejection letter can go a long way in softening the blow from being rejected for a job.

Keep the letter concise: Don’t beat around the bush keep your letters short and conscience by also being polite.

Remain professional and considerate: Offer as much explanation as possible on why the candidate did not make the cut. Be sure to give them your feedback, compliment them on their experience and skillset let them know that you’re impressed with them.

Don’t forget to thank them for their time: Do not forget to thank them for spending their time and effort in applying for the position in question. It helps to let them know that you appreciate their patience.

As we conclude our guide on crafting effective interview rejection letters, it’s essential to maintain a sense of humor, even in the face of rejection. To lighten the mood, check out this video of a daring person writing back to Harvard University, rejecting their rejection letter. It’s a playful reminder that every setback can be a setup for a great comeback. Enjoy!

Image: Depositphotos

More in: ,

Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.