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Rejection after interview letter

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Use this model rejection after interview letter to inform candidates after interviews that they didn't pass to the next round, with free text to describe the reason(s) for that decision.

The template incudes some suggestions for rejection wording.

Reading time
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10 mins
Word count
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What is a Rejection after interview letter?

The purpose of a rejection after an interview letter template is to formally notify job applicants that they have not been selected for the position they applied for. It is a courteous and professional way to inform candidates that they were not chosen to move forward in the hiring process.

A rejection letter serves several important purposes:

  1. Closure: It provides closure to the candidates, letting them know that the hiring decision has been made, and the position has been filled by another candidate.

  2. Professionalism: Sending a rejection letter shows that the company values professionalism and respects the time and effort the candidates invested in the application and interview process.

  3. Feedback (optional): Some rejection letters may include constructive feedback to help candidates understand why they were not selected. This feedback can be valuable for candidates to improve their future job search efforts.

  4. Positive Image: Even though it delivers disappointing news, a well-crafted rejection letter can leave a positive impression of the company on the candidates. This can be beneficial in case they decide to apply for future job openings or speak about their experience with others.

  5. Legal and Ethical Reasons: In some countries or jurisdictions, sending rejection letters is legally required as part of the hiring process. Moreover, it aligns with ethical recruitment practices.

While rejection letters can be challenging to receive, they are a crucial part of the hiring process, helping maintain transparency and professionalism throughout the candidate selection journey.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as possible after a decision is made
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Candidate
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom
  1. Equality Act 2010: This legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Sending rejection letters to all candidates, regardless of the outcome, demonstrates fairness and compliance with this law.

  2. Employment Rights Act 1996: This Act sets out various employment rights for employees and job applicants. One such right is to receive a written statement of reasons for not being offered a job if requested within 21 days of the decision. While rejection letters typically don't have to provide detailed reasons, if a candidate requests feedback, employers need to consider providing constructive feedback in response.

  3. Data Protection Act 2018: This Act governs the processing of personal data, including that of job applicants. Rejection letters must be handled in compliance with data protection principles, ensuring that personal information is handled securely and with respect to the individual's rights.

  4. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): As part of the EU-wide GDPR framework, it applies to data processing activities within the UK. Companies must be transparent about how they handle candidate data, including the information collected during the application and interview process.

  5. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006: This legislation prohibits age discrimination in employment matters. When sending rejection letters, employers must ensure that age-related comments or biases are not present in their communication.

  6. The Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations: These regulations set out procedures for handling disputes in the workplace. Clear and timely rejection letters can help avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes arising from the hiring process.

  7. The Working Time Regulations 1998: These regulations cover working hours, rest breaks, and annual leave entitlements. Providing rejection letters promptly helps candidates manage their job search effectively and understand their status in the hiring process.

  8. The Agency Workers Regulations 2010: These regulations protect the rights of temporary agency workers and ensure they receive equal treatment in terms of job opportunities. Sending rejection letters to agency workers who applied for permanent positions demonstrates compliance with this regulation.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Rejection after interview [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Re: [insert job title]

Thank you for attending an interview for this job.

After careful consideration I regret to inform you that you have not been successful on this occasion. [I enclose the unopened health questionnaire or declaration and criminal convictions form that you handed in when you came for interview.]


After careful deliberation, we have decided that another candidate for the position you applied for was better qualified for the job specifications. This does not reflect on your background or character. Those in our company who interviewed you were impressed with your experience and background.


After careful deliberation, while your background and experience would certainly benefit many employers. we have selected another candidate who better meets our current requirements.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the work you have put into applying for this job and in attending the interview. I realise this decision may be disappointing for you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the company. I hope that you will not be discouraged from applying for jobs that may arise in the future.

[If you would like feedback on the outcome of your application I will be happy to arrange this. Please contact [insert name and contact details].]

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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