How to cancel a Residency Interview?

How to cancel a Residency Interview?

Imagine after years and years of study in medical school, then spending hours in research, and after all these now, you’re ready for residency interviews. Still, due to some reasons/situations, you’re not able to attend the residency interview. I know you would be in great panic, but there are some solutions to control the situation like an expert.

Applying for a job is easier than canceling it. A lot of people are confused about canceling these interviews because of fear of being unprofessional. But there are a few people who don’t even inform the hiring manager about the cancellation. It’s normal to cancel your residency interviews if you don’t want to have them. Many of the students of medical schools, except for a few specialties, have their interviews simultaneously. This often leads to canceling some of the residency interviews.

The most simple and effective way to cancel a residency interview is to inform them professionally at least three weeks before the meeting. The most unprofessional way is to not inform them about canceling the interview. This not just shows your carelessness for the job but also makes you highly unprofessional. This also affects other students of your medical school. The hiring organization may stop hiring professionals from your medical school because of your ignorance and unprofessional behavior.

What are Residency Interviews?

Residency interviews allow aspiring medical practitioners to showcase their skills and knowledge to equip them for the program. These are supervised practical training programs that medical professionals are required to complete after completing their medical schools. These interviews are held to evaluate the compatibility of practitioners with the supervising training physician and the healthcare capability.

Reasons for Cancelling Residency Interview 

For a medical practitioner, it’s common to apply at a significant number of places for residency interviews. But due to the pandemic, as all the interviews are going virtual, it’s difficult for the medical practitioners to attend all. So here are a few significant reasons for canceling residency interviews.

  • Applied for too many Interviews. As I said earlier, it’s not a big problem to apply for a large number of interviews. But the problem arises when their timings clash. This is most probably due to overseas timings which we do not pay much attention to while applying for them. Due to the pandemic from last year, the pattern for taking interviews has changed. It’s all virtual now, which makes it easier to clash the timing of one with other interview timing.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm. When you’re done with 15 interviews already it’s impossible to maintain the enthusiasm you had for your first interview. After attending a series of interviews you become well aware of all the questions and you start feeling bored. However, it’s good for your future interviews. This is one of the major reasons for canceling residency interviews.
  • Already Got Selected. This can also be a reason for canceling residency interviews. After giving 20 interviews, you probably get selected or shortlisted. This is on your confidence. If you feel like you had a wonderful interview you may cancel the rest of the residency interviews.
  • Don’t think you are perfect for the position. Whenever we apply for an interview, we often do a lot of research about the company and the position. Sometimes after research, you find that things are not similar as thought and you find yourself imperfect or unfit for the position. The same case may also happen with the hiring company. 
  • Cannot move to Company’s Location. Some positions expect the candidate to move to another place which is not possible in some scenarios. Sometimes suddenly we have to move away from the interview location. This may also become an important cause for canceling the residency interviews.

Common Mistakes We Make While Cancelling Residency Interviews

It’s alright to cancel residency interviews due to any reasons mentioned above or something else. But it is the most critical stage where you have to cancel the interview and stand professional at the same time.

  • Ghosting – Ghosting the interviews indicates to vanish suddenly after applying for interviews. Most of the candidates do this because they don’t feel the importance of sending any information to the interviewer. This makes them extremely unprofessional.
  • Last-Minute Denial – It’s highly unprofessional to inform the company about your cancellation at the last minute. You must send them a mail at least 2-3 weeks earlier so that they may consider any other candidate for the position.
  • Not Rechecking if Company Received Your Cancellation Mail – If you are canceling an interview your duty not just ends with sending a mail to the organization. As a professional, you must recheck if they received your cancellation mail regarding the interview. 

Ways to Cancel Residency Interviews 

We have discussed the reasons for canceling the residency interviews and the common mistakes we make while canceling them. Now I’m going to tell you the professional way to cancel your residency Interviews.

  • Send them a Mail – Yes, that’s the proper way to cancel a residency interview. You should send a mail mentioning your reasons for canceling the interview with the organization.
  • Notice Period for Mail – When you decide to cancel a residency interview, be quick to inform the hiring manager. The biggest problem arises with the timing of sending the mail. You should send the mail at least 2-3 weeks before the deadline of the interview. This shows your respect towards their time and helps them to reconsider other candidates for the position.
  • Reschedule if possible – Sometimes it’s the timing of the interview which makes you cancel the residency interviews. Reconsider it and talk about it to your hiring manager, if you’re a strong candidate for the position they will make some arrangements for you.
  • Mention your Details – Most of the candidates don’t pay much attention to the content of the mail for canceling the interview. Be sure to mention your name, date, time, position you were going forward in the interview and the reason to cancel the residency interview.

What should we do to avoid these situations?

While being a professional, it’s important to respect other individuals’ time. Therefore, whenever you are called for an interview, you are expected to inform about the acceptance or denial of the offer. Furthermore, you must inform the hiring organization about your unavailability for the interview if you can’t make it. These are the etiquette that is expected from every candidate. Sometimes interviews are held in the time which is called the interview season. The organization generally does this to get the best candidate for the position. Most of the candidates, while prioritizing their interviews, cancel those in which they are least interested. This enables organizations to obtain the aspirant who is ambitious about the position and wants to do the job with great effort.

The first thing we may do to avoid such situations is to research the organization before applying for a residency interview. This helps us later when we are in front of the hiring manager, and he asks about the reason behind applying for the particular organization. The other important thing is the significance of the interview you are going for. It’s normal for any medical graduate to apply for many residency interviews, but its significance is shown by prioritizing them in order. Few interviews are associated with a good position in a renowned organization. These are must-do interviews. Then some interviews seem to be of less importance but good for the preparation of other interviews. And at last, there are a few interviews of no importance which only takes our time, energy and money. So by prioritizing them according to your preferences, you do not miss the important ones.


The best possible way to not get into the situation is to research the hiring organization and get all the necessary information about the position you are applying for in the company. Canceling the unuseful residency interviews saves your time, money, and energy. Canceling your interviews soon as you can, enables the organization to continue its hiring procedure without assuming you. This is beneficial for you and the interviewer to reschedule their time and look for other applicants who suit their needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I withdraw from my residency interview? Call the hiring manager and inform them at least 2 weeks earlier.
  2. Is it unprofessional to cancel an interview? No, absolutely not, it’s a common thing.
  3. How do I cancel my interview after accepting another job? Send them a mail or call them informing them about the situation.
  4. What to do if you accept a job and then get a better offer? It’s better to call the hiring manager and tell them the situation. Try to be polite and honest.
How to cancel a Residency Interview?

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