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Application or interview feedback (unsuccessful) letter

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If you need to inform a candidate that they didn't pass to the next interview stage, send this model letter to provide feedback and thank them for their time.

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
5 mins
Word count
How many words in this letter?
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What is an Application or interview feedback (unsuccessful) letter?

An application or interview feedback (unsuccessful) letter is sent to a job applicant who has been unsuccessful in their job application or interview. The purpose of this letter is to provide constructive feedback to the applicant about why they were not successful, as well as to thank them for their interest in the position and to encourage them to apply for other opportunities in the future.

The feedback should be specific, honest, and constructive, highlighting areas where the applicant performed well and areas where they could improve in the future. The letter should also be written in a professional and courteous tone, expressing appreciation for the time and effort the applicant put into the application or interview process.

It is important to note that feedback should only be provided if the applicant has requested it or if it is part of the company's standard hiring process. Some applicants may not want feedback, and it is important to respect their wishes in this regard.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as reasonably practical after an application has been received, or an interview has taken place
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
  • Equality Act 2010: Ensures that applicants are treated fairly and without discrimination during the application process based on protected characteristics such as age, gender, race, disability, religion, and sexual orientation.
  • Data Protection Act 2018: Requires organisations to handle and process applicant data securely and in accordance with data protection principles, ensuring confidentiality and compliance with privacy laws.
  • Employment Rights Act 1996: Imposes a duty on employers to provide written terms and conditions of employment, which may include acknowledgment of job applications as part of the recruitment process.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Provides guidelines for the lawful processing of personal data, requiring organisations to obtain explicit consent from applicants for storing and processing their personal information.
  • Human Rights Act 1998: Protects the right to privacy and a fair and just recruitment process, ensuring that applicants are treated with dignity and respect throughout the application process.

Other territories

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

Application or interview feedback (unsuccessful) [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Position of [job title]

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the [position] role at [company]. We were impressed with your skills and experience, and appreciate your interest in joining our team.

After careful consideration of all applicants, we regret to inform you that we have decided not to proceed with your application at this time. We received a large number of qualified candidates, and unfortunately, we were not able to accommodate everyone.

Although we were unable to offer you a position, we encourage you to continue to pursue opportunities that align with your career goals and aspirations. We appreciate the time and effort you put into your application, and we would like to thank you for your interest in our company.

If you are interested in feedback, we would be happy to provide you with additional information regarding our decision. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or phone to discuss any concerns you may have.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope that you will consider us for future opportunities.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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