Okay, now you received an e-mail or a LinkedIn notification telling you how you’ve been selected for an upcoming interview at a particular firm. Great!
But think about this: in an event where you are no longer interested in the interview probably because you are not disposed, or you’ve got a better option elsewhere. What do you do?
You decline. Simple! The problem however is: how do you decline without coming off as rude, without having to burn a bridge, etc.
But unfortunately, a few people known to me see this conversation as tough and tricky. And I know the problem lies in their inability to sincerely, open up their intentions to the recruiter without causing the recruiter any form of emotional distress.
On a realistic note however, what is actually needed, is for you to handle the situation in a professional standard.
And that’s exactly what this guide is about—providing you with 5 professional strategies to help you come off as professional when declining an interview request.
In light of that, let’s take a walk through these professional strategies.
5 Professional Strategies To Decline A Job Interview
First off, understand that the aim of these strategies is to help you come across as professional without stirring emotional distress. And these strategies won’t be effective unless it’s being used properly.
But not to worry, they are simple enough for you to handle provided, you’re are going to practice them judiciously. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Feel Free To Say “No”
Often times I see people who are unwilling to give “no” as an answer even though they really wanted to say it. Some find themselves prevaricating or sugarcoating the whole stuff while some can even go as far as saying “yes” just because they can’t say “no”.
In most cases, it’s usually because of the fear of appearing bad or rude. But what they are ignorant of is: giving “no” as an answer serves as a demonstration of confidence, courageous and professional disposition.
In an event where you are certain that a particular job isn’t the right fit for you, clearly tell them “no” in a polite manner and move on without guilt-tripping yourself. Trust me, your straightforwardness and honesty will be appreciated by the recruiter because you’ve also saved his/her time.
Express Some Gratitude
You’re going to turn down the invitation for interview and that’s quite alright. Nevertheless, you should make some gestures of gratitude. This is definitely a professional move. And busy recruiters will appreciate it.
Irrespective of the fact that you’re not telling them what they want to hear, you are exhibiting some respect for their time and effort and that will help keep the relationship in place even though you don’t have to work there.
Always appreciate the recruiter for putting you into consideration and try as much as possible to highlight at least one or two positive part of the experience which you would’ve love to participate in. Such a projection helps to boost gratitude.
Keep It Short, Simple And Sweet
Often times, when some people are faced with such a situation, they tend to go on prevaricating about the whole situation, giving tons of excuses as to why they can’t make it to the interview.
But it shouldn’t be like that; rather, keep it short by going straight to the point, keep it simple and sweet by stating clear reasons for the unfortunate situation, instead of killing everyone’s time with bunch of excuses. The less you say, the better.
Finally, if you haven’t received a call yet from the recruiter, maybe you can try sending them an email, stating your valid reasons for declining the interview invitation. It’s quite alright they might be disappointed but that doesn’t mean they are ready to read a lengthy mail of reasons. Keep it short and simple!
If for some reason, the interviewer, needs some information or further explanation from you, they will definitely reach out.
Use Honesty To Handle Wrong Timing
Some recruiters can be somewhat confusing and unpredictable, using their personal timeline to cause problems for candidates—calling you out of the blue, to a time you least expected an interview.
Perhaps you’ve got an invitation elsewhere to honor, a therapist to see, a specific goal to reach in your current employment or even a date. Whatever the hell is your reason, the point is: you can’t attend the interview because the timing is wrong!
In such an event, you don’t have to flare up on the recruiter. What you should do instead is let him/her understand that the timing is conflicting with your schedule and for that reason, you’d like to pick a different date(tomorrow preferably) for the interview. Also, hint that you’d love to hear from them again.
Such move helps to save everyone’s time while leaving the door open for more opportunities. Sometimes, the recruiter will ask further questions about your reason for declining or about your career goals.
And it’s best you answer honestly to the former while your response to the latter should be defined clearly. This is definitely a professional standard of handling situations such as this.
Use The Phone If You Have A Past
If you are being interviewed or recruited by a person you’ve spoken to, or met before, then a phone call is very necessary. In fact, as a matter of importance, the phone call is mandatory.
Making such move is highly recommended as it calls for a proper dialogue rather than a mandate. Even in the midst of the dialogue, be laconic. This is to prevent them from trying to convince you to change your mind.
Be sure not to get involved in any form of discussion that will leave a bad impression about you. Just focus on stating your valid reasons and your professional goals in the future.
These strategies are exactly what you need to come off as professional when declining an interview.
Remember: you just have to choose one of the strategies, practice it until you are good at it. But I’d recommended you practice at least three out of the five. It will help you to be flexible in your disposition.
You might find yourself in a situation where a particular strategy can’t work properly and then you’re left with no other alternative. But if you get acquainted with about three different strategies, you can easily introduce another option and surmount the challenge.