Rejection Email After Interview - How to Write One?

In this highly competitive world, many companies offer only a few openings for the position but there will always be countless candidates who apply for that position. As a result, many applicants don’t get the role. They commonly feel defeated after being rejected during the job application process. 

Sending a rejection email after an interview is one polite way to notify those disqualified applicants. Therefore, writing a rejection email after an interview is a very important step that recruiters should not ignore. 

A rejection email after an interview is an email the recruiters/HR send to the applicants who failed to join or fit the position. It can be a very simple notice to the applicants that contains the reason for rejection. For example, the applicant is very skilled but does not fit the position well or the resume shows that the applicant does not qualify for the position; therefore, they are not hired.

Job Application Rejection Sample Letter
Job Application Rejection Sample Letter

Why Rejection Email After an Interview Is Important

During the hiring process, you might have found the best candidates suited for the position, and you will be sending them an email to notify them that they are hired.

What about the disqualified ones? They might be waiting for a reply from the company that they interviewed for. Hence, notifying them with a rejection email after an interview is good manners even though you are bringing them some bad news.

Moreover, there are a few benefits that you should know about sending a rejection letter to unsuccessful candidates after an interview.

Improves the company & also the recruiter’s brand image.

No one likes being ignored even when they are rejected for the position. Sending a rejection application letter shows that your company cares about the applicants even though you will not be hiring them. Thus improving the company and the recruiter’s brand image.

Allows recruiters to maintain contact with the applicant.

Sending a rejection letter after an interview allows you to keep in touch with the applicant and allows you to fill up other openings easier in the future because sometimes when the applicant is very talented or skilled but does not fit the position as others do, you disqualify them, but you know that he/she is good. This is one way to maintain contact with the applicant.

Allows a better job application experience for the candidate.

Most candidates feel defeated or frustrated after knowing that they are rejected by the hiring company. Your rejection letter after an interview can be one way to lighten their spirits while providing a better job application experience, encouraging them to work harder for the next opening/company.

What to Include in Rejection Email

Rejecting a candidate may seem easy, but when it comes to writing a rejection letter after an interview, the contents must be treated seriously.

Appreciation for interest in the company & the job

It is always an honor for you to have candidates who want to apply for the job opening. Therefore, no matter the reason for disqualification, you should start by showing appreciation to him/her for their interest in the company and the position. 

Appreciation for the time & effort spent applying for the job

Preparing documents like a resume/CV is a very time-consuming process because applicants have to edit to make it suitable for the company/position that they are applying to. Showing appreciation for the time and effort spent in a rejection email after an interview can show that you are a compassionate employer.

Rejection (show regret)

After showing appreciation, you have to get to the main point, stating clearly with regret that the applicant is unfortunately rejected for the position. Using sentences that show sympathy is important because your wording might come out rude in the applicants’ eyes.

Invitation to keep in touch or keep out for future openings

Lastly, if you feel like the applicant is very talented, skilled, and/or experienced, it is suggested to add a sentence or two, mentioning that you would like to keep in touch for future openings. This helps you to find potential candidates for the company’s future openings.

Interview Rejection Email Template

[Sender’s name]

[Sender’s position]

[Company name]

[Company address]

[Date of written]

[Applicant’s name]

[Applicant’s address]

Dear Mr./Ms. [Applicant’s last name],

Thank you very much for the effort and time spent interviewing us for the [Position name] at [Company name]

We appreciate the interest you have in the position, but we have decided to move forward with the candidate who matches our requirements better at the moment. 

Again, we appreciate your effort made for the application, and we regret that there weren’t any more openings currently. We will be posting several job listings in the [Date/Duration], and we hope that you can consider applying for these positions.

We wish you the best of luck in career seeking.

Thank you.


[Sender’s full name signature]

Sample Rejection Letter After an Interview

Generic job application rejection letter

Paula Lawson
Human Resource Manager
BYOB Ltd. Co.
128 Withington Ave,
Rio Linda, California(CA), 95673.

Sep 28th, 2023

Cindy Mayson
3271 Sunset Rd,
Phelan, California(CA), 92329.

Dear Ms. Mayson,

It is our honor to have you as an applicant for the accountant position at BYOB Ltd. Co. We appreciate your time and effort spent on this application and interview. 

Although it was not an easy decision to make, we have decided on a candidate who fits the opening best. 

We will be keeping your resume on file, and inform you if there will be further openings that better fit your profile.

Again, thank you for your application. We wish you the best of luck in your job search.

Paula Lawson

Rejection letter after an interview (with feedback)

Janet Chong
Human Resource Manager
Planel Co.
Po Box 957135
Duluth, Georgia (GA), 30095

Nov 15th, 2023

Joe Simon
225 Lovebridge
Calhoun, Georgia(GA), 30701

Dear Mr. Simon,

Thank you very much for the time spent having an interview with our team for the Technician position at Planel Co.

Unfortunately, we have decided to offer the position to someone else who seems more credible for the role. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because you have a great personality but your presentation did not leave a very strong impression. 

We have another opening in a few weeks, and I believe you might fit that position well. We hope that you will consider the upcoming opening because we highly appreciate someone who has the skills and personality like you.

If you have further questions to ask, don’t hesitate to reply to this letter. Thank you again for the application, and we wish you all the best in your job search.

Janet Chong 

Tips on How to Send a Rejection Email After an Interview

Knowing how to write a rejection letter after an interview can make your writing process easier. Hence, we’ve made some tips for you to take note of.

💡 Provide feedback if applicable.

Providing feedback for the disqualified applicants allows them to know that they were treated seriously. Applicants would know which part should he/she start correcting or what changes can he/she make for future job search processes.

It also softens the impact when they receive the news of being rejected by the company.

5 possible reasons for rejection that you can give:

  • We appreciate your hard work, but unfortunately, we have to tell you that we’ve decided to move on with someone who meets our requirements better at this time.
  • After the interview, we acknowledged that you have a great personality, which is always needed in the service industry. However, we have decided to take on someone who has more experience in the field.
  • After taking the information given in the resume, and your answers in the interview, we have decided to move forward with someone with better credentials and leadership skills.
  • After having discussions with the HR team, it is necessary to let you know that selecting the candidate for the position is not an easy decision to make. I am sorry to say that we did not select you for further consideration.
  • We are very impressed by your experience in the field, but unfortunately, we have to tell you that we have decided to move on with someone more innovative.

💡 Do not send out the rejection email too soon.

Sending out a rejection email after an interview means that you made the decision not to accept the candidate for that position. If you haven’t made up your mind about the candidate you want for the position, don’t rush to send out the rejection email after an interview. 

You wouldn’t want to send another letter to the applicant telling them that you want to retrieve the rejection letter and welcome them to the company. Hence, you should only send the rejection email after you have made up your mind.

💡 Be personal & empathetic.

Take note that adjusting the tone of sentences can make a big difference in the rejection letter after an interview. Having subtle adjustments like providing feedback to show empathy can show that you have looked into every interview seriously.

Although you will not be their supervisor in the future, you still need to leave a good impression on the company.

💡 Personalize the letter.

One more tip is to take time to fill in the applicant’s name and reason for rejection. Using a template may ease your work writing, but it does not sound personal. Spending some time to include some details that they’ve mentioned in the interview that caught your attention is a good way to personalize the letter. For example: “We were impressed by your experience in leading the design team and the collaborating team to complete the commercial project.

This is also a great way to build your employer brand.

💡 Only reject a candidate by phone under this condition.

If your hiring process has multiple stages of interviews, you should take your time to reject them by phone. It is an important step that shows your respect for the time and effort they have made for the interview because it is not easy for them to attend multiple sessions of the interview.

💡 Take your time to think before rejecting an internal candidate.

Sometimes you might have a current employee who is seeking the opportunity to have a raise in position or to have a chance to transfer to another department. Since it is an employee under the same company, it would be easier for you to evaluate his/her contribution to the company, and if providing this chance would be beneficial for the company.

Therefore, you should not rush through the application process when it comes to an internal candidate’s application.

💡 Write a concise rejection letter after an interview.

A rejection application letter is a simple letter that states the fact that the applicants have been disqualified no matter the reason. This means that you don’t need to explain why they were disqualified in long paragraphs.

Instead, use short sentences to tell the message. Keeping it straight to the point allows them to understand the message the moment they read the email. 

Want to recruit gems from your talent pool? Follow our blog to read more about hiring tips, resources, and tutorials, or simply use our Recruitment Service to acquire talents from all industries.

— Originally written by Ryan Goh —

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