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Job Rejection Letter Sample

Use This Job Rejection Letter Following a Candidate's Second Interview


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Human Resources Sample Letters

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JobRejection Letters Make Business Sense

Do you need a sample job rejection letter? This sample job rejection letter is for candidates who interviewed with your organization twice. It is painful to send a job rejection letter to a candidate whom you found qualified enough to tap for a second interview. But, it happens. Use this sample job rejection letter to professionally and politely, with care and concern, tell second interview candidates that they did not get the job.

Your reputation with job candidates, that is built one candidate at a time, is critical to your ongoing ability to attract the best and most skilled employees to your firm. Candidates make decisions about your company based on their treatment by your interview team.

Consequently, and especially after a candidate has invested time and energy in two visits to your firm, you owe him or her a job rejection letter. You need to officially notify your candidate about your decision to hire a different candidate. This sample job rejection letter will guide you.

Start With a Follow-up Phone Call

In the instance of a candidate whom you are rejecting after a second interview, please pick up the phone. You owe a candidate, who has progressed this far in your hiring process, a phone call. Be prepared for the candidate to ask you for feedback about his or her candidacy when you call. The candidate feels as if he knows you and will seek your input when you call to formally notify him that you have selected a different candidate for the job.

Unfortunately, at this stage in your hiring process, the only feedback that you are likely able to provide is that you decided to hire another candidate. I used to tell candidates that we hired a person who is more qualified and a better fit for our job. No more.

I now understand that if a rejected candidate sued the employer for discrimination, this simple statement opened up the possibility that the lawyers could request a copy of the application materials of every candidate who was considered. Part of a resulting trial might be the consideration of whether the other applicants actually were more qualified. Consequently, I don't recommend that employers say that anymore.

After making the phone call, follow up with this, or a similar, job rejection letter.

Sample Job Rejection Letter

Here is a sample job rejection letter for a candidate who was considered through a second interview by your firm.


John Tompkins

94307 Applewood Drive

Small Town, Virginia 24577

Dear John:

The Johnson Company interview team wants to thank you for taking the time to participate in our hiring process through the second interview stage. This letter is to let you know that we have selected another candidate.

You were an exceptional candidate for our job and we hope that you apply for openings at Johnson Company for which you qualify in the future. While you were not selected for the current opening, the interview team did not make this decision lightly. Your future applications will receive thorough review.

Again, thank you for taking the time to come to Johnson Company to meet our interview team. We enjoyed meeting you and our discussions indicated that you have much to offer your next employer.

We wish you both personal and professional success in your job search and in the future. We appreciate your interest in our organization.


Real Person's Name and Signature

Example: HR Director for the Employee Selection Team

The job rejection letter is your last opportunity to build a relationship with the candidate. Especially after getting to know a candidate through a second interview, you will want the candidate to think favorably of your company. Your reputation as an employer is affected by this candidate and by the opinions of the people who are affected by this candidate's treatment. Don't ever believe that this is unimportant for your reputation as a potential employer.

Send a formal job rejection letter to a candidate after he or she is not selected for the job following a second interview.

Disclaimer – Please Note:

Susan Heathfield makes every effort to offer accurate, common-sense, ethical Human Resources management, employer, and workplace advice both on this website, and linked to from this website, but she is not an attorney, and the content on the site, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality, and is not to be construed as legal advice.

The site has a world-wide audience and employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country, so the site cannot be definitive on all of them for your workplace. When in doubt, always seek legal counsel or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. The information on this site is for guidance, ideas, and assistance only.

Standard Application Acknowledgement Letter

More About Sample Candidate Rejection Letters

Letters for Successful Candidates

What if the candidate you are contacting was successful in his or her application? Following are sample job offer letters to let the candidate know the good news.

Sample Job Offer Letters

More Sample Employer Letters

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