Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Reject A Good Candidate After Interview

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Example : Declining Due To An Alternative Job Offer

How to Give Candidate Feedback After an Interview

Sometimes, you may decline an interview because you have a different job offer lined up that better matches your expectations. If that’s the case, here’s an example email you can use:

Dear Marie,

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to come along for an interview at your company and learn more about your organisation. However, in the time since making my application, I have been offered a position at an alternative company, which I have accepted.

I, therefore, regret to inform you that I’ve decided to decline the invitation to interview on the 1st November 2021. Hopefully, you find someone who’s a perfect fit for the role.

Thank you again.

John Lee

Example 3: declining when the salary fails to meet your expectations

Consider using this example email if the offer fails to meet your salary expectations and you want to decline the interview:

Dear Marie,

I’d like to extend my gratitude to you for taking the time to discuss my salary expectations with me. Unfortunately, the salary that the company wants to settle for doesn’t meet my financial requirements, and I’m unable to accept this role.

Thank you for your time and consideration once again, and I hope you find a suitable candidate for the position.

Kind regards,

Remember How Close You Are To A Job Offer

If youre getting job interviews, youre doing a lot of things right in your job search.

Only a select few candidates are invited to interview for a job. If thats you, then you have skills that employers want, and youre matching up well with the other candidates who are applying.

So dont go change everything or start panicking.

You just need to keep going in your search. Sure, try to improve whenever you can. But also just keep one foot moving in front of the other. The worst thing you could do at this point is to give up or lose hope after a job rejection.

What Is Included In A Rejection Letter Sent After A Job Interview

If you do receive a rejection letter, dont expect it to include a reason why you werent offered a job. Employers are concerned about discrimination issues.

Reasons for rejecting an applicant could be construed as discriminatory if they are based on age, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, pregnancy, or disability.

Its safer, from a legal perspective, for companies to write a simple rejection letter that thanks the interviewee for taking the time to meet with the hiring manager. If the company is interested in considering an applicant for other openings, the letter may state that as well.

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Candidate Experience When Communicating A Rejection

Once the decision has been taken internally, its time to share the news with the candidates. In this article, we are going to focus on rejection and the right way to communicate it. How the talent acquisition manager or hiring manager chooses to communicate rejection will make a big difference in whether or not the candidates apply again or refer others.

According to TalentBoard data, recruiters choose between the following methods: automated email replies , personal emails from recruiters and hiring managers , and personal phone calls from recruiters and hiring managers . Positive candidate experience ratings jump upwards of 22 percent when they receive a phone call versus an automated email rejection, a difference that can go a long way.

To ensure a positive candidate experience at this difficult stage:

When recruiters ask for feedback from candidates, it not only helps improve the hiring process, but it also impacts the perception the candidate has of the company.

Rejection Ratings of Employers and Candidates in 2018, The Talent Board

Among those who had a poor, 1-star experience in the attraction stage, 83 percent said they were not asked for feedback about the research process. For candidates who gave a 5-star rating in an application process, 46.1 percent of them said they were asked to provide feedback.

What Not To Do When You Reject A Job Candidate

7+ Interview Rejection Letters

The first consideration when you reject a job candidate is that you are not rejecting the candidate as an individual human. So, you want to term the rejection in a more positive light. Don’t use the word rejected.

Say instead, “The selection team has decided that they will not pursue your candidacy further. We will retain your application and consider it when additional openings come up.” Additional cautions include these.

  • You may reject applicants using an email up until they have come into your company for a job interview. After an interview, you must call the applicant. Never reject the candidate by email, text message, voicemail, or IM. You owe the candidate the courtesy of a call even if you follow up the call with a rejection letter.
  • Make sure the applicant cannot misconstrue the words you use or find evidence of unlawful discrimination. For example, you may be tempted to tell the applicant that you have decided that you have candidates who are more qualified for the job. The candidate could well ask you to detail the differences. Why go there?
  • Take care that you are careful about any criticisms or advice that you offer even when the applicant requests feedback. This can bite you in the form of an argument or make you vulnerable to a lawsuit.

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Poor No Or The Wrong Candidate Questions

If the candidate cannot answer basic questions like the old chestnut âWhy should I hire you?â showing a strong level of self-awareness, they probably should not make it through to the next round.

Having no questions prepared is also a deal breaker and the candidate deserves to be cut. If you have interviewed thoroughly, even asking for clarification on career development opportunities would highlight a high level of engagement.

If the only questions are centred around holiday entitlement, the Friday tab and Christmas party, that should send some alarm bells

How To Write A Candidate Rejection Email After An Interview

While your first priority after a round of interviews may be emailing your lead candidate with a job offer, its important to notify other candidates that you arent offering them the position. This can show candidates you respect their time, value them as professionals, and help build your businesss reputation for honesty. Email is usually the best option to deliver this news since its efficient and allows you to phrase your message precisely. Writing an effective yet positive candidate rejection email can help to build your brands reputation in the business community.

Are you a job seeker? Find Jobs.

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Candidate Rejection Email Templates For You

Good news! You need not spend time writing a fresh email for your rejected candidates each time. Weve done the heavy-lifting and created three templates that you can just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.

Pro tip: You can personalize your email to provide feedback to your candidates and add specifics about why you rejected them, especially if they went through an interview process. You should send a concise, brief message to individuals who have been rejected through your resume screening procedure. Depending on your company’s culture, you could also choose between a formal and casual tone.

How To Write The Perfect Candidate Rejection Email

Candidate Rejection Email After Interview | How to write a Job Rejection Email | Smart HR

A perfect candidate rejection email can help any recruiter do the following:

  • Provide critical information as soon as possible.

  • Give the job seeker emotional closure.

  • Protect your organization’s reputation and improve candidates perception of it.

How to write a candidate rejection email that will not only let candidates know the sad news but also create a good impression about your company? How do you politely reject a candidate through a candidate rejection letter or email? Follow these steps.

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How To Turn Down A Candidate: An Email Template

The great thing about hiring is that youll soon have that extra set of hands on your team.

The not-so-great thing? That you have to turn down the other candidates you liked, but who just werent quite the right fit.

While you might be tempted to take the easy way out and go radio silent, its the professional thing to do to let them know they wont be moving on in the hiring process. To make it easier, weve whipped up this email template you can easily adapt.

Let Them Know You’ll Keep Their Resume On File

When writing your job rejection email, let the candidate know you can keep their resume on file. This shows that you value their work and may consider them for future opportunities. Perhaps this candidate may not be the best fit for the specific role you are currently hiring for, but in the future, they might be a great choice.

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Explain The Reason Behind The Rejection

You would definitely have reasons why you couldnt move the candidate forward in your hiring process. State them clearly in your mail. This could be related to their skill set or the experience required. While doing this, add what you liked in the candidate too. You can find hand-picked examples of gracefully rejecting candidates here. Help yourselves!

Candidate Rejection Email Template: After The Team Interview

Candidate Rejection Email After an Interview (Free Templates)

Email Subject Line: Your application to

Hi ,

It was a great pleasure to meet you and thank you so much for your interest in and the nice chat we had earlier. Unfortunately, Iâm a bringer of bad news.

After careful review, your experience and interests didnât quite line up with what we were looking for. We have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time. We know youâve got a lot of options when seeking a community where your skills and talents will shine, so we really appreciate that you considered us.

While this is a ânoâ for now, it may not be forever. We think you could be a good fit for other future openings and will reach out again if we find a good match, and hopefully our paths will cross again.

Thanks once again for your time and interest.

Kind regards,

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Ask About Their Professional Goals

Often, an employee might apply for an internal transfer for the wrong reasons. Maybe they feel stuck on their current team and are just looking for somethinganythingnew. So, the position they applied for may not actually be in line with their own career aspirations.

This is where it can help to have an open conversation about their professional goals. What title would they love to have one day? Who do they admire professionally? What part of the company or their job gets them most excited? Understanding these aspirations will help you recommend ways they can build on these skills and passions in their current role , and pursue future roles that better align with these goals.

Focus On The Positives To Soften The Blow

Once youve informed your candidate they were unsuccessful its useful to focus on the positives before giving constructive criticism. This could include commenting on their qualifications, professional skills or personality.

Think of a rejection letter as an opportunity to develop for a candidates professional development. Candidates want to know how they can improve their skills, so see it as a free piece of career advice or mini-workshop. Any feedback or constructive criticism will usually be appreciated.

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Get Support From Your Network

Its natural to need a bit of support or need someone to talk to after getting a tough rejection letter or disappointing phone call saying you werent chosen for the job.

So if you feel itll help you, reach out to your personal or professional network, or a family member, and tell them what youre going through.

Sometimes, simply sharing whats happened in recent events can take a weight off and allow you to recover faster so that you can reflect on what to do differently next time and start preparing for that next opportunity.

Make It Short And Sweet

How To Reject A Candidate – Part 1

No one wants to read a novel about why they arent getting a job. Keep your rejection letter short and sweet. One to two paragraphs that include all of the critical information will suffice. Let them know that they wont be moving forward, that you appreciated their time, add any additional information that you feel is necessary, and then move on. If they reach back out for more information, try to keep that quick and concise as well.

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Template #: To Candidates Rejected In The Final Round

Subject: Your application to < COMPANY NAME>


We appreciate you taking the time and going through our hiring process till now.

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision of not taking your candidature to the next step. Given the roles criticality, we have decided to continue our search for someone with more < insert what you wanted to see in the candidate but did not>

Our team loved your < highlight the candidates strengths you found to be promising> . You stood out of the crowd with some incredible ideas and insights, and an impressive demeanor. We hope to be able to collaborate with you in the near future.


P.S. < CANDIDATE NAME> , please visit our < CAREERS PAGE> and our < SOCIAL HANDLES> for updates on new positions at < COMPANY NAME> . We would like to see you join us in the near future.

Find more email templates here: 15 bookmark-worthy recruiting email templates for you.

We totally understand how jam-packed a recruiter’s calendar is and how some of you end up eating your lunch at your work desk. You might spend a lot of time going through hundreds of resumes to simply screen applicants who meet your minimum requirements. But don’t forget to send that one last email to your rejected candidates. In fact, you can screen candidates quicker when recruitment automation is in place, but there is no replacement for the human element in your rejection email that can silently build a brand for your company where you least expect it.

Donts & Dos Of Rejecting Candidates

Dont try to fabricate reasons on why the candidate wasnt selected and dont try to be overly polite for fear of offending the candidate. Thats not fair to the individual.

Do spend some time to give the candidate feedback so that he or she can improve him or himself. Be as honest and authentic as you can while not being crude. In Zarina’s experience, she remembered giving feedback to a candidate she felt a personal connection with while she was working at SAP a few years ago. Although the candidate had every skill and competency that was required for the job, she was unduly apologetic. Zarina gave her a phone call and told her that she would never get the job at subsequent interviews if she continued being so apologetic. The candidate sent Zarina a beautiful note thanking her for the feedback. When she saw the candidate a while ago, she said that the piece of advice was life-changing for her.

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Redirect To Other Positions

People who apply to specific job positions often lack the level of experience or complete skill set desired to fill a certain role, yet command a professional presence that hiring managers find valuable. In these instances, encourage them to apply to other positions within the company they may be better suited for. For example, candidates with a strong marketing background may have skills that better support the position of a marketing assistant than a writer. Candidates who lack management experience may do better as part of a team instead of leading a team.

Deliver The Bad News With An Explanation

FREE 8+ Rejection Letter Templates in MS Word

The next step is the hard part where you want to spit out the bad news, but then again, it doesnt have to be as wrong as it feels.

Instead of saying You are not a good fit for our company, try to provide a satisfying explanation and identify your candidates strength.

According to LinkedIn research, talent is 4 times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback.

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Job Rejection Email Template

It’s helpful to create a template that you can use for all of your rejection emails. Here’s a template that you can customise:

Dear ,

We appreciate you applying for the position at . After meeting with several candidates, we have decided to move forward with another candidate for this position. We appreciate you taking the time to meet with us and learn more about our company. Our hiring team enjoyed learning more about your experiences, skills, and qualifications.

While we were impressed by your , we were looking for a candidate with . One thing that stood out during your interview was . In the future, we may enjoy learning more about these experiences.

As you continue looking for jobs, please consider the other roles in our hiring portal. If we ever find a position we feel you are suited for, we can reach out directly as we have your resume on file. We appreciate the time you took to meet with us and wish you the best of luck in your job search.


Here is an example of a rejection email you can send after interviewing a candidate:

Subject line: Social media strategist at Social Corp

Dear Nathan,

We appreciate you applying for the social media strategist position at Social Corp. After meeting with several candidates, we have decided to move forward with another candidate for this position. We appreciate you taking the time to meet with us and learn more about our company. Our hiring team enjoyed learning more about your experiences, skills, and qualifications.

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