Job interviews present new opportunities for prospective employees. However, sometimes the location of the interview and of the business don’t work with your current situation. If you’re presented with an interviewing opportunity for a business where you may have to relocate or extend your commute, consider your next steps carefully.

When to Decline an Interview Due to Location

Before you decide to decline an interview, it’s important to have a full picture of the situation. Decide what your parameters are for location and whether that warrants turning down an interview due to location issues. Some reasons you may want to decline an interview due to the location include:

  • The interview is located in an inconvenient location.
  • The new job requires you to relocate.
  • The new job increases your commuting time or costs considerably.
  • The new company doesn't allow employees to work remotely.

Consider if you'd still be interested in interviewing for the job if the location was different. Is that the only element holding you back from accepting the interview or are there other elements about the job that seem unfavorable? Knowing this information will help you determine how to move forward.

Gather the Details First

Be sure to fully research the company before taking any action regarding your interview. Many companies have multiple locations around the world, while others have several offices in one city. When the location is a factor, you should look into the possible places you can work within one company. For example, if you’re located in Chicago, you may be thinking about turning down an interview with a company due to their location in the Himalayas; however, if they have a satellite office in the Chicago metropolitan area, you may be able to work out of that office instead.

Before declining the interview, remember to ask your contact questions to understand more details about the job so you have a comprehensive view. It’s also important to ascertain the company culture and their policies around remote employees, particularly if you feel the business’s location is difficult for you to get to. If you have a phone interview before an in-person interview, this is a good time to ask your questions.

If you’re not able to ask questions prior to the interview, consider attending the interview as a networking opportunity. It’s a chance to meet others in your industry, brush up on your interviewing skills and learn more about the job. You may learn something about the position or the company that changes how you feel about their location.

Write a Formal Letter to the Hiring Manager

When you have finalized your decision to decline the interview due to location, send your regrets in writing by composing a formal business letter. You don’t want to burn any bridges, so be sure to use courteous language. The job search presents an opportunity for networking at every stage, and it’s important to make a good impression with your contacts. Even if this particular opportunity doesn’t work out, you may find another opportunity with the same company in the future.

If the company’s location is truly the only reason stopping you from moving along the interview process, mention this in your letter. If the company is interested in your experience and capabilities, they may offer a solution that enables you to work remotely or from a different office.

However, if there are other reasons in addition to location that affect your decision, don’t include specific details in your letter. Doing so can put you in a bad light with the employer and may affect your chances of landing any future employment with them.

Declining Interview Letter Example

Dear Ms. Jones,

Thank you for considering me for the position of Assistant Manager at MNO Corp. While I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to interview with you, I'd like to withdraw my application from the hiring process as I'm currently not able to relocate to Boston. If your policy regarding remote employees changes, I’d be very interested in being considered for the position at that time.

Thank you for taking the time to review my application.

Best regards,

Joe Danforth