The situation is something like this. You are doing an onsite interview, consisting of 4 or 5 interviews. Some of these are technical, and some of these are behavioral.

Say you completely bomb a critical interview early in the day - a technical one, and you know with certainty (whether because the recruiter has said this is one you must pass or from what you know of past experience) you won't get the job.

Should you continue with the rest of the interviews? Is it considered rude to let the company know you won't continue the onsite to the end?

  • 6
    Just take it as interview practice. Maybe you'll still get lucky, who knows. But for sure you'll have learnt something anyway about how interviews go.
    – ChatterOne
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 6:32
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    You might also want to check this question: Is it rude to leave an interview early if you have already made your decision? Or from the employer's perspective: When is it appropriate to stop an interview early?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 10:02
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    "Should you continue the onsite interview if you know you won't get the job?" Why would a company continue to interview you if you have no possibility of getting the job?
    – sf02
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 11:17
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    @sf02 often interviews are scheduled right after each other with only a 5 minute bathroom break between them. Even if you completely fail one interview, HR might only known once the interviewer has written his report
    – Manziel
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 11:51
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    @Lilienthal, such interviews are typical e.g. in tier 1 consulting. I've also experienced them in 1 or 2 tech/digital giants. At least in consulting you normally get to hear the decision after the last interview. But sometimes you know after the first one in the morning that you've failed. I understand OP's dilemma, cause if you have e.g. 5 days full of interviews in 2 weeks it can be tiring and every second you can spend preparing for the next one matters.
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 19:23

5 Answers 5


Should you continue with the rest of the interviews? Is it considered rude to let the company know you won't continue the onsite to the end?

It depends on what you want. Do you really want the job? Then keep going. They might not care much about the bomb, if you performed well in the other areas.

If you just want to give up, then just send them a kind message, informing them that for personal reasons, you no longer pursue the job at the current time.

Brainstorming, regarding the bomb: they might just want to re-test you again somehow, to understand why you did not perform well at the first attempt. So again, not a good reason for you to give up.

... if you know you won't get the job?

And how can that be, if they did not tell you to go away? As long as they do not thank you for your time, there is still hope.

  • Love this. Also - it's worth the experience of the other interviews for next time. Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 21:23
  • Also, people are generally the worst judges of their own performance. I'm sure everyone has a story of an interview we thought went well but didn't, and vice versa.
    – mcknz
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 4:30

Another reason to continue the interviews, it's good practice. It's not just a one way street where the company are testing you and your skills out, but you can use the time to see how you evaluate the company and what observations you want to take to future interviews.

The only real exception to this, is if you don't have the time, but if you're interviewing and already have them booked in, no harm in going. Think of it as learning the guitar, you can be really good then not have a go for 6 months and it will take time before you get back into the swing of things. Use this time to practice and improve your own interview skills, so when a future opportunity appears, you're ready for it.


Another good reason to go on : passing interview is a skill. Opportunities to train this skill are scarce. Go on and do your best anyways, and try to guess what works or not.

Even better : if you know you're not gonna get the job, you might try new approaches in the interview, and try to get feedback from those tries. This is not gonna net you the job - but it can be very helpful for the next one, as you'll be better prepared.


Definitely yes, if you’re on certain government unemployment benefits.

The unemployment benefits offered by certain countries (for instance, the Australian Jobseeker benefit) come with an obligation to look for work, attend all job interviews offered for appropriate work, avoid deliberately sabotaging your performance with those interviews, and accept all job offers given.

If you’re a person who is receiving one of these benefits, you would be obligated to continue with the subsequent interview tasks until the business decides otherwise, even if you’re sure that you’ve failed a previous section of the interview. Failing to do so may result in the revocation of your benefits.


Is it considered rude to let the company know you won't continue the onsite to the end?

Node exactly rude... But giving up everything and running away after a major failure is hardly a sign of a good employee. If worded like that, it probably won't buy you much respect at that company.

So if you're concerned about burning the bridges, then give them your best in the rest of interviews.

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