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Interview cancellation email from employer

Having to inform a candidate that you’re cancelling your scheduled interview can put you in an unpleasant position. Use this email template to let candidates know without burning bridges.

During your hiring process, you might need to cancel interviews for reasons that have nothing to do with candidates’ qualifications (e.g. your company decided to put the position on hold or there are unexpected conflicts in the interviewer’s schedule.) Whatever the case, explain why you’re cancelling the interview. This way, you’ll be able to maintain good relationships with candidates and invite them to interviews in the future.

Keep candidates warm if you plan to reschedule your interview. If possible, schedule a new appointment, or tell candidates when they should expect to hear back from you. However, if you know that the position won’t be open again (e.g. your company’s staffing plans changed or you decided to fill the position internally) it’s best to be honest to avoid raising false hopes.

Interview cancellation from employer email template

Email subject line

Cancelling interview for the [Job_title] position

Email body

Hi [Candidate_Name] / Dear [Candidate_Name],

I’d like to inform you that, unfortunately, we need to cancel our interview for the [Job_title] position that we had arranged for [date and time.]

[Briefly mention why you’re cancelling and when/whether you are going to reach out again, e.g. Our hiring plans have changed and we decided to put this position on hold for at least three months, so we won’t be conducting any interviews at this time. However, as we were very impressed with your qualifications, we’d like to reach out again once the role is open and schedule a new appointment, if you’re still available to meet. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on any updates about this or similar roles.]

Email sign off

Thank you, again, for taking the time to apply at [Company_name] and please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience.


[Your name]

What should be included in an interview cancellation email?

An interview cancellation email from an employer is a sensitive piece of communication that requires tact and clarity. It’s essential to convey the message with professionalism while ensuring the candidate feels respected and valued, even if the interview isn’t proceeding as initially planned.

The email should begin with a courteous greeting, addressing the candidate by their name to establish a direct and personal connection. Following this, it’s crucial to get straight to the point, informing the candidate of the interview’s cancellation. Transparency is key here.

While you don’t need to go into exhaustive detail, providing a brief reason for the cancellation, whether it’s due to internal changes, a sudden emergency, or a shift in hiring needs, can help the candidate understand the situation better.

Apologizing for the inconvenience is a must. Candidates often rearrange their schedules, prepare extensively, or even decline other opportunities in anticipation of an interview. Acknowledging the effort and time they’ve invested demonstrates empathy and respect on the employer’s part.

If the company intends to reschedule the interview, this should be clearly communicated. Offering potential alternative dates or stating that a representative will be in touch soon to arrange a new time can provide some reassurance to the candidate. However, if the role has been filled or the hiring process has been halted indefinitely, it’s essential to convey this as well, ensuring the candidate isn’t left in limbo.

The email should also provide the candidate with an opportunity to respond or ask questions. Encouraging open communication can help alleviate any potential disappointment or confusion on the candidate’s part.

Frequently asked questions

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