Situation: I had a technical interview over the phone with a particular place and they want to set up to have me for an on-site interview, which would require air travel. At this point though, after considering things, I want to move forward with other opportunities. This so far has been coordinated through an HR person.

I've tried calling the HR person today three times, but have not been able to contact her. Since I have interviewed with this place and they're obviously interested in me, I would prefer to talk to them in person to let them know my decision. I have not left a voicemail. It sounded like they were hoping to get things set up for an on-site interview very quickly (either setting things up today (Friday) or the following Monday for a week from now) so I'm hoping to contact them today if possible.

At what point should I send an email informing the HR person of my decision instead of trying to contact her via phone?


At what point should I send an email informing the HR person of my decision instead of trying to contact her via phone?


If this were a social situation you'd owe her a rejection by the same method you were invited to the interview (by voice in this case).

But this is business - send the email now to prevent her from spending more time on you.
All of the time she spends on you is a waste of her time at this point.

Dear (her name),

Thanks so much for wanting to bring me in for an interview.
At this time it appears that some other opportunities are more promising, so I don't think an in-person interview is necessary.

(insert a compliment of her, the company itself or one of the interviewers)

Best wishes,
(your name)


If you'd prefer a personal touch, there'd be nothing wrong with waiting for a call back and then communicating over the phone. If they are hoping to set up an on-site interview, they should be returning your calls before too long, and there are a lot of reasons that someone might not be able to get back to you in a single work day: meetings, being out of the office, etc.

I don't think there'd be anything wrong with waiting until Monday or Tuesday before sending an email to withdraw as an applicant.

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