Cancellation after application: How bad news becomes a chance

Neither the employer nor the employee, it is nice to cancel a job application or a job interview. What many companies misjudge: The bad news is actually a great opportunity.

When I saw this post on a network some time ago, my first thought was about the old employer’s behavior: Wow, it has style!

Application, cancellation, withdrawal, termination

A cancellation or termination should not mislead an employer into bad words or negative communication. (Photo: Screenshot / LinkedIn)

My second thought: an exit can also be an entry. Not only in terms of how employers deal with dismissals, but also how applicants are canceled.

Basically, everything starts with the application process. Informing applicants regularly about the state of things gives them the good feeling that they have not been forgotten. Who of us does not know it: the lengthy silence. And then the invitation comes to the conversation or the cancellation.

Communication still works from person to person. If it is not a personal e-mail – as in the featured post – then it should be possible to prepare automated messages that regularly inform the applicant. That alone makes for a good impression of the company.

The cancellation as sanctuary of the application process

The cancellation is the holy grail of the application process. Of course, in the event of a cancellation, the applicant would like to know why it did not work out. But many companies give today no information. Too bad, because it works differently.

You are looking for a job? You can find over 20,000 job openings in the tech and digital industry in the BT job market!

Several years ago, I applied to a large German company. It had offered a dream job. The only catch: Part of the job was writing speeches. Something I had never done before.

I will never forget the conversation itself. It literally started and then quickly developed into a dialogue free muzzle – from both sides. I like it very much when someone comes straight to the point and clearly names things. Of course, this is only possible if the chemistry is right.

That was the case with my interlocutor and myself – who should have been my superior as well. Quickly we found out that the place would be perfect for me. Except for this one point. My interlocutor was looking for someone who would relieve him of the tiresome task of making speeches. My weakness.

Take advantage of opportunities and tear down bridges

I got a cancellation. But I remember it so positively that I like to report it as a best practice example. I received a personal call from the HR management who was also in the conversation.

She explained the cancellation and every second I had the feeling that she sincerely regretted that I would not join the team. At the same time, I could understand the reasoning absolutely. The decision to hire my competitor because she could write speeches would have hit me as well.

The phone call went well and we networked on Xing with the request that we keep an eye on each other if it should work elsewhere.


A refusal can therefore always be a door that is not completely closed, but opens to another period – for both sides. Any company can take advantage of this opportunity and strengthen its brand.

Dealing with applicants and former employees is a key factor in employer branding. Maybe there is no need for corporate influencers. Maybe it’s enough just to be human.

Also interesting:

  • Buzzword “New Work”: No newfangled stuff from the internet
  • These are the 10 best employers in Germany
  • Magdalena Rogl: “If the employer regulates everything, the content is obsolete”
  • Amazon automatically fires unproductive employees

Your job market in the digital world

We do what we love every day. You can do that too! Over 20,000 dream jobs in the IT and digital world are just waiting for you in the BASIC thinking job market. Just take a look and discover!