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Rejection before interview letter

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Use this model rejection before interview letter to inform candidates that they have not been selected for interview, with text to describe the reason(s) for that decision.

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
10 mins
Word count
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What is a Rejection before interview letter?

The purpose of a rejection after interview letter template is to formally and professionally inform job applicants that they have not been selected for the position they applied for and interviewed for. It serves as a courteous way to close the loop on the hiring process and provide closure to candidates who have invested time and effort in pursuing the opportunity.

Key purposes of a rejection after interview letter template include:

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

  2. Professionalism: Sending a rejection letter demonstrates professionalism and respect for the candidates. It reflects well on the company and its values, even in delivering disappointing news.

  3. Positive Image: A well-crafted rejection letter can leave a positive impression on the candidates about the company, even though they were not selected. This can be valuable for the company's reputation and may encourage unsuccessful candidates to consider future opportunities with the organization.

  4. Feedback (optional): Some rejection letters may include constructive feedback to help candidates understand why they were not selected. While not always required, providing feedback can be valuable for candidates' professional growth and future job search efforts.

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

  6. Maintain Relationships: Sending a rejection letter helps to maintain a positive relationship with the candidate. They may be suitable for future roles or even refer other potential candidates to the company.

  7. Transparency: A rejection letter promotes transparency in the hiring process, making it clear to candidates that the selection was based on specific qualifications, experience, and fit for the role.

Overall, a rejection after interview letter template is a respectful and responsible way to handle the communication with candidates who were not successful in securing the position, ensuring a positive candidate experience and fostering goodwill between the candidate and the company.

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: 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 demonstrates fairness and compliance with this law.

  2. Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides various employment rights for employees and job applicants. Candidates have the right to receive a written statement of reasons for not being offered a job if requested within 21 days of the decision. While rejection letters don't always have to provide detailed reasons, the Act ensures transparency and accountability.

  3. Data Protection Act 2018: 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): Applies to data processing activities within the UK and ensures transparent and lawful data handling. Candidates' personal data, including that collected during the application and interview process, must be managed in accordance with GDPR principles.

  5. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006: Prohibits age discrimination in employment matters. Sending rejection letters ensures that age-related comments or biases are not present in communication with candidates.

  6. The Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations: Sets 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: Covers 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: Protects the rights of temporary agency workers and ensures 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.

  9. The Immigration, Asylum, and Nationality Act 2006: Requires employers to conduct right-to-work checks on potential employees. Sending rejection letters ensures that all candidates receive equal consideration regardless of their immigration status.

Other territories

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

Rejection before interview [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Re: [insert job title]

Thank you for your application for the role of [role] with [Company]. I appreciate your patience whilst I reviewed your CV.

This has been a very popular role and I have received applications from other candidates with skills or experience that more closely matched our requirements, so unfortunately I will not be able to take your application further at this time.

I am sorry for the disappointing news.

Best of luck in your job search and thank you again for your interest in working for [Company], and I hope that you will not be discouraged from applying for jobs which may arise in the future.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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An Application Acknowledgement Letter confirms receipt of a job application, expresses appreciation, and sets expectations for further communication.

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