Tuesday, July 9, 2024

How To Turn Down An Interview Candidate

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Focus On The Positives To Soften The Blow

Tips on Rejecting Candidates | Talent on Tap

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.

Rejecting Overqualified Candidates Email Template

Subject Line: Your application to for the position

Dear ,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with our team about the role. It was a pleasure to learn more about your skills and accomplishments.

Unfortunately, we have chosen to move forward with a different candidate for the position.

I would like to note that we were all impressed by your skills and your attitude during the interview. Thats why Id like to stay in touch and contact you when a more fitting opportunity opens up one that better matches your profile.

I am happy to answer your questions if you would like any specific feedback about your application or interview.

Thanks again for your interest in and best of luck with your job search.

Kind regards,

Dont Give The Candidate Too Much Information

Turning a person down for a job feels awful. Everyone knows the feeling of not being hired, so itâs natural to want to let the person down gently. However, itâs better to be succinct and honest.

Many candidates want to know why they were rejected. Itâs not always possible to say. You do not have to give feedback, but you can. You need to be cautious because you will open your business up to liability if you inadvertently discuss discriminatory topics, such as age, personality, traits, or other attributes. Itâs better to say too little than to give candidate feedback that could be used against you.

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Explain The Selection Process

As you meet with interviewees over the phone, online and in-person, be sure to explain how the selection process works. Tell them how your company communicates and describe what to expect throughout each step. If possible, provide an estimated timeline. If your company screens candidates by phone before the first interview, this is the best time to let them know about your selection process. Once candidates understand the different variables involved, they’ll be more receptive to a possible rejection later.

Four instances of when to communicate regarding an interviewee’s status include:

  • Application received
  • Results of the interview
  • A job offer or rejection

It is important for hiring managers to communicate well throughout the selection process to remove the possibility of any uncertainty and confusion.

Related:What to Expect at Every Stage of the Hiring Process

Interview Result Email To Candidate

Valid How to Turn Down A Job Interview Sample Letter you ...

The interview outcome email is important at every stage, especially the final one. At this point, you will have spent a significant amount of time with a candidate. A short email isnt going to reflect the time, effort, and potential expense theyve spent on this. Heres how you deliver an interview result email to a candidate with some compassion.

Also Check: How To Have Good Interview Skills

Ask Thecandidate What They Thought

At the end of the day, hiring a new employee is a process.

In order to improve it, you need honest feedback.

Its kind oflike conducting an exit interview for departing employees, you can tap intofree information which can play a pivotal role in improving the way youapproach things in the future.

You can dothis by asking the rejected candidates to:

  • fillout a quick survey via email or
  • tellyou on the phone.

Its always important to do this once you rejected a candidate, as asking them earlier in the hiring process might not give you the honest responses you need to improve.

Consider If Theres Someone In Your Network Who Might Be A Good Fit

Just because a job isnt a good fit for you, doesnt mean it isnt a good fit for someone you know. Before you turn down a job interview, consider whether there is someone in your network who might be a good fit.

If the employer chose you, chances are good they saw something in you that made them pay attention. They trust you. You become a source of goodwill when you politely turn down their offer and recommend a friend who you know would fit their team perfectly.

Dear Company ABC,

Thank you for considering me for the with .

My career is moving in another direction, however, I have a good friend who would be ideal for this role. I am confident s/he is the right person for the job at for these reasons

Does it make sense for me to introduce the two of you?

This way, youve politely declined the offer while maintaining the companys awe.

If the friend turns out to get hired, now you have two people inside Company ABC who have their eyes peeled for ways to bring you in next time maybe at a more senior level?

Either way, youve impressed the hiring committee at Company ABC. They might even share this story of your generosity with others in the industry. This improves not only your reputation but also strengthens your brand.

Meghan McKenzie

Director of Enterprise Sales for Crowd Content Media

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Open Up Lines Of Communication

Be available to candidates and be transparent about your hiring process. Offer details about your hiring time frame and, in the meantime, let candidates know if your process or timeline changes. Make sure candidates have your contact details and encourage them to communicate their questions or concerns at any time.

Example Email: The Job Doesnt Pay Enough

Why Candidates Turn Down Job Offers

If the company is appealing and the position is everything that youre looking for, but the salary wouldnt leave you enough money to eat after paying rent, you might want to address this in your response.

Salary requirements are usually addressed at some point in the hiring process, but if your negotiation attempts fail to avail you, you could address this in your response to the job offer.

Make sure to convey your gratitude and reiterate your excitement for the position, but state that you need to decline because the salary does not meet your needs.

Dear Mr. Cheap Bastard,

I would like to thank you again for taking the time to meet with me last week. It was great to meet the team and learn more about the Money Counter position, and I appreciate the offer to join your team.

Although I am very grateful for this opportunity and would be very excited to join your company, I have to decline your offer, as the salary does not meet my needs. According to my research, the typical salary range for someone in this position is between $35,000 and $40,000.

If you feel that you would be willing to accommodate my salary requirements, I would greatly appreciate it and would love the opportunity to work with your company. Again, thank you for your time and support.

Best regards,

A Poor Person

And thats how you reject a job offer because of salary! If youre successful, an employer will respond to you with a better offer once they see that youre willing to leave their offer behind.

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A Good Example Of How To Withdraw From An Interview Process As A Candidate

When a candidate was involved in the interview process for a position with one of our clients, they reached out to us via phone 24 hours before the final interview to inform us that they accepted an offer with another company. The candidate also sent an email to us that was addressed to the hiring manager. This message thanked them for their time and referred a colleague whom they believed would be an excellent fit for the position and company.

This was a great move by the candidate because it informed us of their change in circumstances with a decent amount of notice, which allowed us to remove them from consideration as well as have time to schedule interviews with other applicants. Furthermore, taking the time to write a letter to the hiring manager demonstrated that the candidate valued their time and wanted to provide them with value in return by recommending someone else who could fill the role. That also accomplished putting it in writing, which is always a good measure for record-keeping purposes.

This is a prime example of how to decline a job interview without burning bridges. The candidate:

  • Was transparent about their change of circumstance,
  • Quickly informed us about their change of intentions,
  • Saved us time by recommending a colleague who could perform the role well.

The Candidates Career Path Doesnt Align With Your Organizations Long

Sometimes, whether a prospective hire will be the right fit comes down to career path alignment. Assuming your candidate has the desired soft and hard skills, before you extend a job offer to them, discuss where they see their careers several years from now. Is their professional development cohesive with your companys strategic plans? Candidates who want to specialize in an area your company isnt focused on have an extremely high attrition risk. Therefore, you should consider this when making your decision.

Source: Unsplash

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Don’t Settle For An Employee Who Is Not Your Best Choice

Additionally, as an employer, if you’ve decided that the candidate is not the right person for the job, retaining the applicant tempts you to settle for an under-qualified or less than you had hoped for, staff person. This is not a cornerstone of a successful selection process.

One caveat, if you have determined that a person is both well-qualified and a good cultural fit, call the applicant to let them know the status of their application. Tell the applicant that you are still considering them for the position, but that you also have several other qualified candidates to interview.

In this way, you have not rejected an acceptable candidate and the candidate is not left in the dark while you consider your other options. This is courteous and respectful and it may help you avoid having to restart your recruitment.

A candidate who is not updated about your process may accept a position elsewhere. By staying in touch, you continue to build a positive relationship with a potential employee and their personal and business network.

Would You Reconsider If We Make Some Changes In The Deal

How To Turn Down An Applicant After Interview ...

This is another classic recruiter technique to make you reconsider your decision if you have answered maybe or no when asked are you willing to relocate?

You can tackle the question in the following manner.

Sample answer:

Thank you for considering my candidature for the position.

Honestly, the job role offered is a perfect fit for me and I know my previous experiences will surely add value to the team.

I would love to accept the job but the concerns as discussed are also genuine.

I am open to discussion if you can provide solutions to my stated concerns.

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Be Clear About The Reasons Behind Your Decision

An in-person meeting requires a bit of planning on your part. Youll need to think critically about what youre going to say and how youre going to say it .

Its important that youre clear not only about your decision, but also the reasons behind it. The thing about an internal transfer versus an external candidate is that the person is already deemed a culture fitwhich means the reasons they didnt get the job are most likely about their experience or lack thereof. So, youre in a better position to give them honest, direct feedback that will make sense to them and ultimately help them improve.

For example, if the applicant didnt have an important skill needed for the job, specify what that skill was. If another candidate was a better fit, explain why. Whatever you do, dont leave the person without any explanation at all.

Clearly Explain The Reasons Behind Your Decision

During the one on one meeting, dont just tell the internal candidate what you have decided.

You should also tell them the reasons behind the decision. With internal candidates, they are already working for your organization, therefore you already know that they are a good culture fit for the organization.

Therefore, if they have been passed over for an open position, the reason behind the decision is probably something to do with their experience.

Therefore, you should take this as a moment to provide the employee with honest feedback that not only makes sense to them, but feedback that will also help them get better.

For instance, if the employee lacked a skill that was necessary for the position they had applied for, let them know.

If another candidate was picked because they were better suited for the position, explain why this candidate was the better fit.

You want to make sure that the internal candidate clearly understands why they did not get picked for the position.

When explaining the reason behind the decision, resist the temptation to give a false or misleading reason for your decision, even if you feel doing so will cushion the employee from the impact of the news you are sharing.

Giving misleading information could even leave you vulnerable to a legal complaint of employee discrimination.

Another ting to keep in mind is that you should not turn the meeting into a performance review.

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How To Decline An Interview

Email is the simplest way to decline an Interview. Not only is it simple, but it allows you to craft a clear, concise, and polite response. A live phone conversation can put you on the spot and have you saying the wrong things.

However, there are circumstances where a live phone conversation is your only option. If the interview request is via phone and you are already sure you are going to decline it, you may not have a choice. Voicemail is another option.

If you have been communicating exclusively with one person or have already had at least one interview for the position, you should send an email and call.

There is one big no-no. This no-no is even bigger than being rude. Dont text. It is far too casual a form of communication, and it will come off as extremely unprofessional.

When sending your email, be sure to send it to your primary contact within the organization. If you have been in consistent contact with several members of the organization, you should send separate messages to each one.

Remember that this is a professional conversation. Speak professionally on the phone, use a proper subject in your emails, and begin and end your emails properly.

  • Example Answer 1: RIGHT Interview Rejection via Live Phone Call

    Thank you so much for the opportunity. Unfortunately, I must decline, I have been offered a position at another company, and I have already accepted.

  • Guide To Rejecting Candidates

    Job Interview Red Flags: DECLINE JOB OFFER!

    Learn how to navigate this stage of hiring with grace.

    Creating a positive rejection process

    Rejecting candidates with grace is part of building a positive hiring experience and it can shape a lasting impression of your company. Carelessly deliver the news and youll leave candidates with a negative impression. Do it thoughtfully, however, and they may want to stay connected for future roles or even refer colleagues. Candidate rejection is a critical part of the hiring process. With consistent communication, constructive feedback, and a forum for candidate evaluation, your pipeline of candidates for future roles will inevitably grow.

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    Poor Soft Skills Evaluation

    While a candidate might tick all the right boxes as far as tech competencies are concerned, they will still need to be checked for soft skills like communication, collaboration, or assertiveness. Your HR and/or the direct manager should evaluate whether the candidate seems like a good fit for the team.

    How To Turn Down An Interviewee Email Example

    Here’s an example of what a follow-up email may look like:

    Dear Bruce,

    I wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview with our company for the research assistant position. We enjoyed meeting with you and hearing more about your past experiences with geological research. Unfortunately, at this time, we have decided to continue our selection process with another candidate who possesses experience more closely related to our company’s mission.

    This was not an easy decision because of your impressive resume and wonderful personality. We would like to keep your information on file so that we may contact you when a job position opens that better fits your profile. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

    I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.


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    Rejecting A Candidate With An Email

    Email – the most common professional way of communicating may seem as a reasonable choice for delivering the news. It is easy, you can just use the candidate rejection email templates, which can be personalized and sent in bulks using your Applicant Tracking System. And thats it – you are done. A piece of cake!

    The problem is that sending a rejection email can be seen as impersonal and cold. Imagine disappointed faces on the other side of the screen when they read this type of email and find out that they didn’t get the job.

    Even though it might seem like email is the easiest way to deliver bad news to your candidates, you should consider other options that are more in line with your Talent Acquisition strategy.

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