A job search can be a stressful time for applicants and it can be discouraging to receive an interview rejection email. But these messages can’t be avoided.

Why is it worth writing a rejection letter?

Part of an employer’s job during the recruiting process is sending employee rejection letters to candidates who didn’t make the cut during the hiring process. Rejecting a candidate may be uncomfortable for some personalities, but it is bad business etiquette to leave applicants hanging.

Always send a professional note thanking them for their application. This courtesy reinforces your employer’s brand and reputation. It also increases the likelihood that qualified candidates show interest in joining down the road.

Subject line for the rejection letter

When you send a rejection email, keep the subject line precise. Do not use any language that could be misleading or get a candidate’s hopes up. Use something like “Status on [insert position title] application.”

How long should my rejection letter be?

Job rejection emails should be brief and professional. Let the applicant know right away that you decided to move in a different direction. However, you should be tactful and gracious. Thank them for their time and tell them to feel free to apply for future openings. Just because a candidate wasn’t a good fit for the current job opening doesn’t mean they won’t be qualified for other roles in the future.

How to write the perfect candidate interview rejection email

Be polite all the time, but especially when you must deliver bad news. Here are the four components of a good applicant rejection email.

Thank the applicant

Always begin the message by thanking the applicant. This shows that you appreciate their efforts and value their time. It also boosts your brand’s reputation and demonstrates a respectful work culture.

Share the news

Don’t beat around the bush. Applicants deserve to know where they stand in the application process. Let them know they did not get the job with language like, “While you have valuable skills and experience, we have decided not to advance your application.”

Explain the reason

While you don’t need to go into great detail, it is helpful to explain your reasons for not advancing the applicant. Interview feedback may help the candidate improve their job search strategy or update their resume. If they are missing certain skills or experience, let them know. If you chose to advance candidates who were better qualified, let them know.

End on a positive note

Always end the message with positivity. Wish the applicant well on their job search and encourage them to apply for future positions if they are a good fit. This lets them know you care about their time and appreciate their interest.

Job Rejection Email Templates

If you need some guidance with writing an interview rejection email, here are some templates:

Template 1:

Dear [Applicant Name],

Thank you for applying for the role of [insert job title] at [Company Name]. We appreciate your interest in our company.

We regret to inform you that you were not selected for the final stage of the recruitment process. We had many talented applicants and decided to move forward with other candidates whose skills and experience better match our needs.

We appreciate the effort you put into your application and wish you the best of luck in your job search.


[Your Name]

Template 2:

Dear [Applicant Name],

Thank you for your interest in the [Position title] job at [Company Name]. We appreciate you taking the time to apply to our organization.

After careful consideration, we have decided not to move your application forward in our recruitment process. Many qualified candidates applied, and we chose those who were a better fit for the position.

We appreciate your interest in our company. Please apply for any other jobs you may be qualified for.


[Your Name]


Writing candidate interview rejection emails can be an unpleasant part of the recruitment process. But with the four key components of a courteous and professional rejection message, the process is easy.

First, thank the candidate for their application. Second, get to the point and deliver the bad news. Third, provide a brief explanation. Finally, end on a positive note. Wish them well on their job search and invite them to apply for future openings.

While you must find the right person with the skills and experience you seek, it is important to deliver courteous and professional rejection letters to applicants who didn’t make the cut.