How To Tell Someone They Didn’t Get the Job

Knowing how to tell someone they didn’t get the job can be a make or break for your company’s reputation and may even lead to strong candidates coming back later for future opportunities. After all, they may not be the perfect fit right now, but the right role for a qualified candidate could be right around the corner.

Whether this is your first time as a hiring manager or you have been through the interview process hundreds of times before, we’re here to show you that sending a job rejection letter or making that dreaded phone call can be straightforward and simple. We’ll even give you a rejection letter sample or two to get you started!

How to tell someone they didn’t get the job
  1. Start with empathy. …
  2. Thank them for their time. …
  3. Personalize your response. …
  4. Explain that you’re pursuing other applicants. …
  5. Provide constructive feedback. …
  6. Mention the strengths of the other candidates. …
  7. Let them know that many qualified candidates applied.

How To Tell A Candidate They Didn’t Get The Job

How to tell someone they didn’t get the job

If you must tell a candidate they didnt get picked for the job, its important to respect their time and offer a valid reason. Understanding how to tell someone they were turned down can maintain your companys standing in the workforce. Use these steps:

1. Thank them

Whether youre sending an email or making a phone call, thank the candidate for applying for the position. If youre sending an email, include their name to make the email more personal. Taking the time to individualize every rejection email shows your thoughtfulness.

2. Explain that youre pursuing other applicants

Get to the point of the conversation or correspondence right away. Politely let the candidate know that they didnt get the job. For example, you can say that while you enjoyed meeting them for the interview, youve decided to pursue other candidates or extend an offer to someone else. Let them know that while you seriously considered their application, you decided to go in a different direction. You can also let them know of any positive remarks the hiring team had about their resume or application to boost their confidence despite the letdown.

3. Mention the strengths of the other candidate

If you already know that youre offering the position to another candidate, consider mentioning a few advantages the other candidate had that they didnt. For example, you can say that while you were impressed by their level of experience, another candidate had a higher education level. You can also tell them that the other candidate was already working in a similar position to the one youre hiring for, allowing for a seamless transition.

4. Let them know that many qualified applicants applied

Since some candidates take rejection personally, it helps to let them know that theyre not alone or that your company didnt cheat them. Remind them that they were up against many qualified individuals. For example, you can tell them that while you were impressed by their qualifications, there was a lot of competition for this job opening and apologize for having to inform them that you didnt select them.

5. Encourage strong candidates to apply again

While a candidate may have not been the best fit for the job they applied for, you may find another opportunity for them in the future. Let strong candidates know that youd like to keep them in mind if similar positions arise later on. For example, you can tell them to not hesitate to apply if your company posts another job in the future. You can also tell them that since they were nearly selected for the job, they should consider applying for another position again.

Also, you can let them know that your company often posts about new job openings via social media. Mentioning this helps to end the conversation on a more positive note.

Why is it important to correctly tell someone they didn’t get the job?

The way you tell a candidate they didnt get a job can directly impact your companys reputation. When you can do so professionally and politely, it ensures a strong employer brand and may allow you to keep the candidate in your talent pool for future consideration. If rejected candidates have a positive experience with your company, they may also feel inclined to apply again at a later date.

Templates to tell someone they didn’t get the job

Once you know how to communicate a job rejection to a candidate, consider exactly how you want to do it. The specific format you use should depend on your mode of communication. Use these templates to help you tell someone they didnt get the job via phone or email:

By phone

Heres a template for how to tell someone they didnt get the job via phone:

Hi, [candidate name], this is [your name] at [company name]. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview with us on [day of interview] regarding the [job title] position. We enjoyed meeting you and thought [short explanation of what the hiring team thought of their resume or portfolio]. However, weve decided to [reason for the rejection].

By email

Heres a template for how to tell someone they didnt get the job via email:

Dear [candidate name],

Thank you for meeting with our team about the [job title] position at [company name]. It was a pleasure to learn more about your skills and qualifications. Unfortunately, Im emailing to let you know that you didnt get the job. While were pursuing other candidates, we appreciate the time you took to apply for a position with our company and wish you the best of luck with your job search.

Best regards,

[your name]

Examples of how to tell someone they didn’t get the job

Before you reject a candidate, consider what you want to say to them. Whether you reject them via phone or email, its important to do it professionally and end your communication on a lighter note. Here are some examples of how to reject a candidate via phone and email:

By phone

If you opt to reject a candidate via phone, consider the following example:

Hi, Amy, this is Carmen Jones at Jones Furnishings. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview with us on Monday regarding the administrative assistant position. We enjoyed meeting you and thought you had strong qualifications for the job. However, weve decided to extend the job offer to another candidate whose qualifications and education better match what were looking for.

By email

If you decide to send a rejection email, consider the following example:

Dear Christian,

Thank you for meeting with our team about the news editor position at The Washington Journal. It was a pleasure to learn more about your skill set and qualifications. Unfortunately, Im emailing to let you know that you didnt get the job. While were pursuing other candidates, we appreciate the time you took to apply for a position with our company and wish you the best of luck with your job search.

Best regards,
Alana Thompson

Tips for telling someone they didn’t get the job

To help you tell someone they didnt get the job, consider these tips:

Be timely

Once you know you want to move forward with other candidates, let your rejected candidates know as soon as possible. Doing this shows you value their time. Keep in mind that the interview process also lets candidates get to know your company. Therefore, showing consideration for their time can increase the likelihood of them wanting to reapply in the future.

Get to the point

Whether youre emailing or calling the candidate, get to the point of the conversation right away. Letting them know the reason for your email or call as soon as possible helps minimize any nerves or anxiety they may feel about you reaching out.

Keep it brief

If you speak with the candidate over the phone, keep the conversation under five minutes. If youre writing a rejection email, keep it to no longer than four sentences if youve already spoken to the candidate over the phone.

FAQ

How do you tell a team member they didn’t get the job?

  1. Speak to the employee in person and in private. …
  2. Tell the employee that he did not receive the promotion. …
  3. Sympathize with the employee and tell him that you understand he was excited at the possibility of the promotion and he greatly wanted the new position. …
  4. Explain why you offered the job to someone else.

What to say to a friend who didn’t get a job?

Here’s what I’ve learned on what to say when your friend doesn’t get the job:
  • Let your friend know you empathize. You don’t know exactly how she feels. …
  • Tell your friend that you appreciate her. Sometimes it’s hard not to take a job rejection personally. …
  • Remind her of her strength and tenacity.

How do you apologize to someone who didn’t get the job?

Acknowledge the loss.

A simple but heartfelt “I’m so sorry” is often the best thing to say. Steer away from platitudes, like “everything happens for a reason” or “this is a blessing in disguise.” A phrase like that might come across as trivializing your friend’s pain.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.