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How to Withdraw from an Interview Process in 2023

How to Withdraw from an Interview Process

When it rains, it pours. You are unemployed and have been for some time. This leads to crisis after crisis; the car breaks down, the roof starts leaking, and your favorite jeans have torn right down the middle.

Then one day, you get an e-mail. That one night you applied for a new job on a recruitment site has paid off. You are set for an interview! But then, you get another, and another, and another because you applied for several positions that night, not only one. All of them were marked “urgent hire” as well.

So, if you need to know How to Withdraw from an Interview Process…we”ll help you do it in the most professional manner!

Have You Had Any Offers?

Never withdraw from any interview process prematurely. Just because your preferred employer has offered an interview does not mean that you have it in the bag yet. You also have no idea how the respective employers compare. Perhaps the salary was advertised, but you won’t truly know until the part in the interview process where you get to ask about perks and benefits. 

Once you have come across a deal-breaker, or you know that one company is definitely going to be a better deal, with a written offer, of course, then you may decide to opt out and withdraw from other interview processes.  

Possible Deal-Breakers

Possible Deal-Breakers

There may be a few deal-breakers that you need to consider when deciding whether or not you would like to continue with an interviewing process. Of course, these are not deal-breakers for all people. Some are willing to compromise for the sake of earning the income and not being without a job at all, or they are willing to take the job in hopes of it being a stepping stone to something greater. 

Many things may also conflict with your personal convictions; if you take the job anyway, you will have to “suck it up” and compartmentalize any feelings you personally hold regarding the job.

Perhaps it’s personal issues… 

You may also face challenges in your personal life when those who know you learn that you work for a company that does not hold the same values as you do. Additionally, you will have to take into consideration how this will affect your reputation in your industry in the future.

Examples Of Possible Concerns Or Deal Breakers:

Examples Of Possible Concerns Or Deal Breakers

  • You may need to relocate for the job, away from your friends and family, or to an undesirable area.
  • Your religious background or lack thereof may clash with the company/organization’s values.
  • Your political views may not be in line with that of the company/organization.
  • The salary offered may be well below what the industry standard is.
  • You may be over-qualified for the position.
  • The work hours may be too much to handle; some companies expect employees to work through weekends and holidays.
  • The employer is unable to accommodate any needs you may have concerning your possible disabilities.
  • After speaking to the employer/interviewer/other employees, you realize that the organizational culture is not complementary to your personality and that you will have a hard time adjusting.
  • Upon further research, you realize that the company is in disrepute, and working for them may harm your career by association.
  • Upon further research, you realize the company may be experiencing a financial crisis which means that your long-term employment is not guaranteed.
  • The position’s description was vague; during the interviewing process, you find out that it entails many duties that you cannot perform or have trouble with.

How To Withdraw From An Interview Process

Do it as soon as possible

Do it as soon as possible

Without rushing yourself, ensuring that you have other offers, and being sure about your decision, it is best for all involved to get it over and done with as soon as possible. You will feel guilty and stressed out for as long as it looms over your head. They will appreciate you not wasting any more of their time than necessary.

Tell your main point of contact

If your interview process was set up with an employment agency, tell your recruiter. If it was with the line manager or boss, tell them. It will be unprofessional of you to leave a message with an assistant or secretary. 

If you cannot reach them by phone, or you feel a bit shy, an email will do. You do not have to give them any reason for backing out if you do not wish to do so. You can simply thank them for the opportunity and state that upon further consideration, you cannot continue with the interviewing process or accept their offer if they made one. 

Walk away or negotiate…

Walk away or negotiate...

However, if you think that you may still want to work for them but that they would have to sweeten the deal to match or better another employer’s offer, you can still negotiate for it. In this case, you can simply state that you would like to work for them, but you would like them to know what you would expect from their offer, should they choose you as their candidate, without being arrogant about it. 

Offering An Alternative

It could happen that you do not work for the company now but end up there in a year or two anyway. This would only happen if you did not leave your interviewing process on a sour note. Being helpful to them is always a plus. And having someone you know there is even better. 

So, although you are declining to continue with the interviewing process, you can always recommend a friend or colleague that you think will be an excellent candidate. In a few years, when you apply for another position at the same company, you may benefit from the connection and familiarity of a friendly face.

Let’s Make Sure You’re Ready For The Next One!

So, you had to cancel or reschedule? Well, the upside is you have more time to prepare! Just check out the following interview guides, such as the Knock ’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers, and The Key to Landing A Job – The Interview, or how to answer High-Impact Interview Questions.

In addition, I found how to interview in 60 Seconds and You’re Hired!, as well as How to Answer Interview Questions, the Fire Interview: The Storyteller Method, and The Key to Landing A Job – Interview Secrets Employers and Headhunters Don’t Want You to Know all available online in 2021.

At the end of the interview comes your turn to ask the questions! I highly recommend reading the Master The Interviewing Process: Questions To Ask The Interviewer, or even Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job, and The Job Interview Problem Solver: 10 Sneaky Questions Interviewers Ask to Determine if You Are a Good Culture Fit, which we found very informative!

How to Withdraw from an Interview Process – Final Thoughts

Do not do any of the following:

  • Act rudely or unprofessional.
  • Ignore or ghost the company.
  • Fail to show up for scheduled meetings.
  • Overshare your personal convictions, grievances, and views.

Any of these are counterproductive and will flag you in the industry – people talk! Your recruiter may act like your biggest advocate, but in the end, they make money from employers, not from you. 

If you appear to be a “problem” candidate, they will be less likely to recommend you for a position in the future. 

So, stay professional and all the very best!

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