Interview Rejection Email (Including Template and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Rejection emails, especially after an interview, can be disappointing to send. However, they can also be helpful in their own way. With the right structure and message, a rejection email can inspire candidates to improve on their applications. In this article, we discuss why it's important to send an interview rejection email, provide and tips on how to send an appropriate one and review a rejection email template and example.

What is an interview rejection email?

An interview rejection email is a formal notification to candidates to inform them of the company's intention to reject their application. The hiring manager sends this email following a candidate's interview with the company. The most appreciated kind of post-interview rejection email is non-generic and includes feedback for the candidate. Deciding how to write this letter can help provide feedback to the applicant about their application and the interview.

Why it's important to send a rejection email after the interview

If you're wondering whether to send a rejection email after an interview or not, here are some reasons to do it:

It's professional

Sending a rejection email to a candidate after an unsuccessful interview is a sign of professionalism. It's only fair that, as a hiring manager or member of the HR team, you inform candidates on time when their application is being dropped. Candidates tend to respect companies that are considerate enough to keep them in the loop even when it's about their application being rejected.

It can boost the candidate's confidence

Despite the assumed perception of rejection emails, they can boost candidates' confidence as they continue with other application processes. One way a rejection email can achieve this is by providing tailored feedback. As a hiring manager, they're likely to appreciate your perspective, telling them what they did right or how they can improve in the future.

Read more: Positive Feedback: Why It's Important and How to Give It

It can improve the reputation of your company

Another reason it's important to send post-interview emails is that they can protect a company's reputation. This is because informing candidates when they're unsuccessful can help in maintaining a positive image. Also, sending such emails promptly can be a sign that the company you represent is considerate.

Read more: What Is Employer Branding, and Why Is It Important?

It can help maintain a relationship with a prospective candidate

It's possible for candidates who are initially unsuccessful to gain even more skills and experience that meet future job requirements. Sending rejection emails after an unsuccessful interview is one way the company you work for can maintain a relationship with a prospective candidate. When your rejection email contains feedback and suggestions for how the candidate can improve, they're more likely to notice your prompt for them to apply again in the future.

It can keep the candidate as a customer

A well-written rejection email sent after an unsuccessful interview can maintain a good relationship between the company you represent and the candidate. One reason why it's important to follow up with the email is that the candidates could also be customers of the company. Sending a post-interview email is one way to keep the candidate satisfied, which can help maintain a good image of the company.

Read more: 5 Ways To Be a Good Interviewer

Tips on how to write a post-interview email

As an interviewer, you want to aim for an uplifting post-interview email. Below are some tips on how to achieve that:

Give feedback

A good post-interview email contains feedback that can be helpful for the candidate's future applications. Where possible, as a hiring manager, you can include in the email the strengths of the candidate and areas they can improve in. Candidates appreciate tailored feedback because they can incorporate it in future applications.

Read more: How To Give Interview Feedback (With Simple Steps and Tips)

Be compassionate

When sending a post-interview email, you want to ensure that you consider the candidate's feelings. A rejection email after an interview can be more difficult for a candidate who may have felt like they were closer to getting the job. Incorporating useful feedback can be one such way to deliver the message more compassionately because it can give them a better idea of what to do next time.

Address the candidate personally

With a post-interview email, you want to ensure to address the candidate personally. As a hiring manager, it's best if you avoid generic emails as they seem too impersonal. Following a template allows for good structure and can help you incorporate all that is necessary. Still, you want to ensure that you personalise it for each candidate, as impersonal rejection emails can make a company seem inconsiderate.

Avoid waiting too long to send it

After an interview, a candidate is more eager to know whether they got the job. It's best as a hiring manager to inform candidates whose applications are being dropped as soon as possible, as this can reduce the level of anxiety they already feel and help them move forward. It can also improve your brand image, especially if your company does it in a shorter period than others.

Keep it short

Make sure your post-interview email is brief and straightforward. It can be more disappointing for a candidate to read through a long email to discover it's a rejection letter regarding their application. Keeping the email concise can be a way to show respect for their time.

State the reason for the rejection

Stating the reason for the rejection is one way to personalise a post-interview email. It also gives the candidate a better idea of why the company didn't select their application. This can serve as part of the feedback that can boost a candidate's confidence and direct them in areas to work on.

Suggest alternative positions

Sometimes companies reject a candidate because their skills and experience do not match the position they applied for. In their feedback, hiring managers can inform such candidates about the mismatch and equally suggest positions better suited to the candidate. This is one way to ensure that the company doesn't miss out on valuable talent.

Inform them of intent to keep their record

A post-interview email can contain your company's intention to keep the candidate's record in the system. This is now a requirement by law, and candidates are to be given a chance to accept or refuse their records being kept further. Therefore, the email is also to inform the candidate about this option.

Show appreciation for the candidate's time

As a hiring manager, it's good to show appreciation for the time the candidate took to attend the interview. This can be a sign that you respect their time and work ethic. In a post-interview email, beginning and ending the email by thanking them for finding time for the interview is polite and professional.

End positively

At the end of the rejection email, you can say something positive to the candidate. A good example of a way to end positively is by wishing them luck in future applications. Before emailing, make sure to proofread it for any mistakes.

Post-interview email template

Here's a template of what an appropriate rejection email being sent after an interview can look like:

Dear [Insert candidate name],

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview for the [insert position title]. We appreciate your interest in [insert company name].

Even though we thought you were a strong candidate, unfortunately [Insert the reason for rejection].

[Recommend solutions for how to improve their future application] and if you're able to do this, we will be happy to receive your application again.

In the meantime, [state intention to keep their records]

Thank you once again and [wish them luck].

Yours sincerely,

[Insert your name], Hiring Manager

Example of post-interview email

Following the template, here is an example of a post-interview email can look like:

Dear Jules,

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview for the position of senior talent consultant. We appreciate your interest in Technology Inc.

Even though we thought you were a strong candidate, unfortunately at this time we have decided to go with another applicant whose experience is a better match for the job requirements of the position.

It can benefit you to gain more experience in the technology industry and if you're able to get this experience we will be happy to receive your application again in the future.

In the meantime, we intend to keep your CV in our records in case another position we believe is a better fit for you opens up. You can reply to this email if you don't want us to do that.

Thank you once again and good luck with your future applications.

Yours sincerely,


Hiring Manager

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