how to tell candidates they didn t get the job

how to tell candidates they didn t get the job

How to tell Candidates they Didn’t Get the Job

Rejecting job applicants is an unavoidable part of the hiring process, but informing candidates that they have been unsuccessful can be difficult and uncomfortable. To ensure that you’re treating all candidates with respect, it is important to know how to reject them professionally and tactfully.

Steps for Rejecting Applicants

  • Provide timely feedback – Turning people down quickly and respectfully is important, and most people appreciate a prompt response. If the process is taking longer than expected, a brief ‘we are still making our decision’ message will be well-received.
  • Be honest but sympathetic – Candidates can sometimes take rejections personally, so make sure to explain why the decision has been made. Brevity is key, but provide enough details to demonstrate that you have considered the application thoroughly and tried to be as objective as possible. It can also be helpful to mention any positive aspects of the applicant’s profile.
  • Keep communication professional – Be careful to avoid insults or demeaning language and focus instead on objectively describing the decision. Resist the temptation to point out any personal characteristics that might have contributed to the rejection.
  • End on a positive note – Even if the applicant hasn’t been successful, thank them for their time and show some appreciation for their interest. This will end the conversation on a respectful and polite note and may even leave the door open for future opportunities.


Rejecting applicants is often difficult and uncomfortable, but it is important to handle the process professionally, sympathetically and with respect. By following these steps, you’ll be able to reject candidates and still preserve a positive employer-employee relationship.


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