Interview Rejection Letter Templates

interview rejection letter

Recruiting staff can be a challenging experience with the hardest parts being to send out rejection letters to candidates that did not make the final cut.  As a responsible recruiter, it is incumbent on you to let applicants know where they stand in the hiring process. It is good practice to let every candidate know the status of their application process. In this article, we are going to show some examples of how to write rejection letters with class and style.

What is a Rejection Letter?

Essentially a rejection letter is a letter that informs job applicants that they have been turned down for a job they have applied for. Though the task might be uncomfortable it is important that you, as an employer, let applicants know where they stand in terms of the application process. You not only are being upfront about the process but also showing courtesy towards those that they took time and effort towards applying for the job.

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.

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.

How to Write an Interview Rejection Letter

When you are looking for recruits to join your company you are playing an important role in making sure that you are employing the most competent candidates. You will need to sort through several application letters, resumes, sit for interviews, and if possible, contact references before offering the job to the lucky candidate.

Each stage of the recruitment process entails cutting out applicants that did not make the final cut. Below are some great examples to take inspiration from during your recruiting process.

Rejection Letter Before Interview Examples

A rejection letter is probably the first of a series of rejection letters to inform candidates before you reach the interview process. At this stage of the recruitment process, you will need to start culling the number of candidates that have submitted their resumes for your review leaving you with candidates that are better suited to take on the job that was advertised. A good rejection letter will need to be clear and conscience; be professional and kind; and have the standard letter format that includes salutation, body, and closing.

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]

Rejection Letter After Interview Examples

Following the initial interview round with selected candidates, you will need to tell unsuccessful candidates that they did not pass the interview round and that they are no longer competing in the recruitment process. 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 Tips

It is important to contact candidates as soon as you’ve made the decision this includes the initial rejection letter and the post-interview rejection letter. It will help ease the applicants’ stress and help them to know that they will need to look for other job opportunities. Swift responses help to bring to an end to the uncomfortable waiting period and help your company project an image of an organization that cares about applicants’ experiences.

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.

Image: Depositphotos

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Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector. He is passionate about public outreach, branding, media relations and marketing.

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