How to tell a candidate that they did not get the job

How to tell a candidate that they did not get the job
How to tell a candidate that they did not get the job

It is never easy to tell a qualified candidate that you have made the decision to hire someone else. If you've invited them for an interview, it's best to let them know over the phone. If not, you can also reject their application by email. However, the best strategy, whether it is to tell him the news by phone or email, is to be polite, but also to say directly and clearly that he did not get the job.


Method 1 of 2: Inform the candidate by phone

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 1

Step 1. Call the person

While it seems more convenient to send an application decline by email because you might not have to conduct an embarrassing interview, it is more polite and professional to talk to the candidate on the phone. Call any candidate who has come in person for an interview.

Call the person during normal business hours so that they are not disturbed during dinner

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 2

Step 2. Avoid gossip

Make sure the conversation is short - it should be less than five minutes. Introduce yourself briefly, then go directly to the reason for your call. This shows your interviewer that you are on time and don't want to delay it unnecessarily. Don't ask him about his privacy, avoid jokes, and don't ask him what the weather is like.

For example, it is not appropriate to say something like this: "Hello, is that Robert?" This is Julie from Vitamine Plus. It was a pleasure meeting you in person during the interview. I wanted to ask you what the weather is like in your house. I understand there have been heavy rains in your area. "

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 3

Step 3. Explain that the company has offered the position to another candidate

Politely tell the person that you were happy to meet them and that you seriously considered them as a candidate for the job. However, you then decided to give the job to someone else. It is best to say such things as soon as possible. So try to do it right after the mutual greeting.

Say for example: "Hello Isabelle, this is Claudia Dupont from Tech Service. Thanks again for coming to the job interview. We were all very happy to meet you and we also found your resume impressive. However, I am sorry to inform you that we have decided to offer the job to someone else. "

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 4

Step 4. Mention some specific strengths

Many unsuccessful candidates want to know why someone else got the job and they didn't. While it is not practical to do a detailed analysis of their CV and their performance during interviews, there are some strengths of the candidate hired over the person on the phone that should be mentioned.

  • In the case of some rejections, it may be appropriate to say: “While we appreciate your experience gained over the years in this field, the one we have selected has a master's degree and this type of training is very important to us. "
  • You can also say this: “The person we retained worked for another company in the same role, so we know the transition will be smooth. "
Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 5

Step 5. Say that many other qualified candidates have applied

Candidates who are qualified for the job may feel betrayed if they don't get the job offer or feel like they have failed personally in one way or another. In such a case, it is a good idea to remind the person that they have competed against many other qualified candidates for the job.

You could say something like this: “Although you were a strong candidate, the competition for this position was very tough. I am sorry to inform you that, unfortunately, you did not get the job. "

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 6

Step 6. Invite the candidate to follow the company on social media

Conversation can be difficult for the candidate if you are talking to them on the phone. Relax the atmosphere by inviting them to follow the company on social media. It’s also a way of showing that there is no grudge.

  • Then say something like, "We would like to keep in touch with you if there is another vacancy in our company. Can you send an invitation to our human resources department via LinkedIn? "
  • You can also say something like, "We would like to keep in touch with you, as there are many new projects starting up in the company. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to find out more about our upcoming activities! "
Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 7

Step 7. Keep your distance if he tries to change his mind

In some cases, a candidate may say, "If I get a second chance at another job interview, you won't regret it!" "Or:" This is a mistake. I know I was the best candidate for this job. If this happens, don't start a discussion about how the candidate might have done better in the job interview or the strengths and weaknesses of their resume.

To be polite, you can say, “Even if we hire someone else, you must not think that you have done something wrong. I am very sure that you will soon find a position that is perfect for you. "

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 8

Step 8. Encourage good candidates to apply again in the future

Just because a candidate isn't suitable for an offer doesn't mean that there will never be a position for that person in the company. To avoid ruining an existing relationship, tell a good candidate that you would like to stay in touch with them, even if they haven't been accepted for the advertised job. Explain to him that there will probably be another vacancy in the future for which he is better suited.

So you can say something like, "Please don't hesitate to reapply for a vacant position in our company!" We almost hired you, so you should definitely re-apply here. "

Method 2 of 2: Write a rejection email

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 9

Step 1. Send an email as soon as you've hired someone else

Once you've selected a candidate (or HR staff or hiring manager), send a rejection email to unselected candidates who were not interviewed within a relatively short time frame. Thus, the others will not harbor false hopes and they will be able to start looking for another job.

Ideally, you should send a rejection email the next business day after your decision to hire

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 10

Step 2. Limit your message to 3 or 4 sentences

Since this candidate has never been for an interview, keep your email relatively short. Write the person's full name and then write something that might look like this: “Thank you very much for applying for the position of artistic director in our company. Although we were impressed with your CV, we finally decided to recruit another candidate for this position. We wish you the best for your professional future."

Write your full name at the end of the email. Before sending the email, make sure you haven't made any typos or anything else

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 11

Step 3. Don't apologize in the email

It can be difficult for applicants to learn that their application has been rejected. However, for professional reasons, you should not apologize or pretend to disagree with the company's hiring decision. Never let it be known that different opinions were expressed on the post.

For example, don't write, "While I would have liked to hire you, our HR manager had someone else in mind. "

Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Step 12

Step 4. Briefly answer the candidate's questions, if any

If he sends you an email and wants to know the strengths of the successful candidate's case, respond in three or four short sentences. Write your email succinctly and objectively so that you don't get involved in an intermittent email exchange.

For example, write this: "Even though we found your CV convincing, the question of work history arose. You experienced periods of inactivity that spanned several years, which led us to choose another candidate. "


  • Avoid having the phone conversation last too long. Remind the person that there have been many applicants for this position and encourage them to run for other open positions in the future. Keep the conversation short and end politely in less than five minutes.
  • Whenever you recruit, plan to interview no more than five or six candidates. This way you will only have 4 or 5 phone calls to make.
  • Never lie to a candidate about why they were unsuccessful. Even if the job interview did not go well and he was not selected, try to announce the news politely.

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