I'm in an awkward situation. I applied for an internal position at my company for a slight promotion from my current role. It would be within the same department. The management structure of my department suddenly changed today and due to this change I am no longer interested in the role. I would really like to stay in my current role. My interview is set for Monday and I am wondering how best to approach this situation in a professional manner without tarnishing my current role and reputation. I am hoping there is a correct answer on how to approach this.

Do I:

  • Interview as if I am still interested and then turn down the offer if offered?

  • Attend the interview and use it as an opportunity to explain that I am no longer interested and why?

  • Email my director and HR rep this weekend to announce that I am no longer interested and would like to retract my application, and explain why?

  • Email my director and HR rep this weekend to ask for a meeting Monday morning to discuss the concerns I have in proceeding with the interview for this role.

  • A combo of the last two?

I feel I have good reason for my change of mind and that they will be understanding. I would like to also save everyone's time and effort, but would like to do so in a professional way that doesn't look bad on me or my current role.



4 Answers 4


A few of things to keep in mind,

  1. If you to to an interview you have no interest in, you are wasting their time, not a good idea.
  2. If you ever fail by giving it less than a best effort, you may be branded as a failure and may never be considered for anything again.

I would email and say that you reconsidered and you are very happy in your current position and as much as your appreciate being considered, you would like to withdraw your name from consideration.

If they will be OK hearing about what you think of the changes in the management structure, go ahead and include that but most times, management makes changes because they think it is an improvement and if you tell them you don't like the new way, you will be labeled as a troublemaker.


Here's the language you need.

Ideally, you should have done this immediately after the management changes announced.

"Hi Jane - regarding the big management changes. You know how I applied for that XYZ position - is that really relevant now? It's probably not worth proceeding with that interview given the big changes. What do you think? Cheers Jill."

the communication points are

  1. immediately mention the big management changes

  2. point out that "in view of those" it may be

  3. a "waste of their time" to proceed (you're making it that you're "helping matters")

  4. in negotiation, always ask questions - finish with a question.

If you run in to Jane in the hallway, you'd say this..

Ah Jane - about those big new changes - don't you think I should cancel that interview for XYZ?

... and leave her to talk.

That's how to do it.

Since the interview is now totally pointless, you have to put the decision to delete it on Jane - not on you. Make it a problem for Jane.

If she ultimately says "I think you should do the interview" use language that makes it clear you're doing a pointless task, on her say so. "For sure! Even if it's a bit pointless with those massive changes, I'm happy to go to the interview if you say so. Cheers!"


Option #3 I think is the best.

Email my director and HR rep this weekend to announce that I am no longer interested and would like to retract my application, and explain why?

If you don't want the new position, the sooner you let them know, the better for everyone.

I don't think it should impact your current situation negatively. However if you proceed with the interview, only to tell them you're not interested, this might look bad for you. HR reps and managers devote time and effort into conducting interviews, and wouldn't appreciate their time being wasted.


If you cancel, you can probably forget getting any other internal transfer at your current company. Also, if you fail the interview in one way or the other, you can also forget about further internal transfers.

So, you are in trouble either way :)

But nowadays it is quite common to simply change companies whenever you need a change of pace or a promotion.

  • Failing an internal interview would also not be a healthy career move. Think of it this way, the OP is currently employed by the company, but is apparently unhappy/unsatisfied in her current role, and unsuitable for a more senior role. This will not look good to a manager. I think it best not to interview for an internal role, unless you're very confident of being successful. Nov 10, 2018 at 14:08
  • Also, if anyone in the process knew the OP well and could tell he was deliberately flunking, he would be permanently marked as a timewaster. Nov 10, 2018 at 18:23
  • In other words, OP made a big mistake. Nov 10, 2018 at 19:58
  • "If you cancel, you can probably forget getting any other internal transfer at your current company. " I think this is perfectly correct, and the downvotes are incorrect.
    – Fattie
    Nov 11, 2018 at 5:39
  • @Fattie It might be correct that cancelling has negative consequences, it depends on the attitude of OP's managers. That doesn't stop it being a better course of action than going through the interview process and trying to engineer a failure. As a regular interviewer myself, I'd take a far dimmer view of someone being dishonest with me than simply telling me they'd changed their mind. Nov 11, 2018 at 8:46

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