The situation is as follows:

An e-mail is sent to the people scheduling an on-site interview notifying them that I would like to cancel the interview. However, the day of the interview, there has been no reply to the e-mail or acknowledgment that they received it.

What is the most polite way to ensure that the people coordinating the interview know that I am no longer interested in the interview? I am aware that if they did not receive it, it would likely seem that I was a no-show, which would reflect poorly on my future prospects should I wish to work at that company in the future.

Would it be best to directly call the person who coordinated the interview via a phone call?

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    Ideally, a phone call would be the way to go.
    – M'vy
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


The problem with email is that it isn't real time and there isn't any inherent acknowledgement mechanism. As with many things in professional life, if you want to make sure the other party has received a message, sometimes the best thing to do when you can't tell them face to face is: pick up the phone and call them.


For most important emails, I utilize either or both of the following features from Outlook - delivery receipts and read receipts. In emails where I don't expect a response I will set the email to send me a delivery receipt.

This typically works well for me and has allowed me to better track important emails in both my work and personal lives.

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    Good to know, though for this situation I'm not using Outlook so that option is unfortunately unavailable.
    – Andrew Fan
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 14:29
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    Outlook delivery receipts and read receipts are not reliable. Getting them depends on the configuration of the recipient's email server and/or actions taken when receiving the email. It's possible to never receive either receipt type for an email that someone has received and opened. There is basically no 100% reliable method to determining if another party has read an email. Commercial marketing mail systems typically use tricks in HTML or in images embedded in the emails, but even that can be defeated by clients who open emails as text-only or take other steps (deliberately or not).
    – dwizum
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 15:15
  • @dwizum It sounds like at least the issue is only false negatives rather than false positives. That way you know if you get a receipt it's definitely been read, but if you don't get a receipt there's a chance they have read it. It's still not a bad method as long as you keep that in mind.
    – David K
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 15:19
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    In general, yes. But in light of the OP's situation - where they want to be sure the other party got the email - a possibility of a false negative means you can't be sure. While getting the receipt would surely indicate they got it, not getting a receipt means you don't know if they got it or not.
    – dwizum
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 15:24
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    For the record - I don't want to sound nit picky or like I'm making an argument against your answer. I just wanted to point out that the receipts are not reliable, since many people who use them seem surprised when they learn that.
    – dwizum
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 16:15

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