The Chelsea boss said he held discussions with the Football Association to succeed Steve McClaren as national boss.
Italian Fabio Capello was eventually appointed to the job and led England to the 2010 World Cup, where they were eliminated by Germany in the first knockout round.
Mourinho admitted he had toyed with the idea of taking the job but was ultimately dissuaded from doing so by the lack of day-to-day involvement with the players.
"My plan at that time was just to try to motivate myself for a job (with England) that doesn't fulfil me," Mourinho told the Independent.
"What do I do? During the day I'm not training players, so I have to go and see them train in their clubs. I have to send my goalkeeper coach to work separately. I have to do this, I have to do that.
"At weekends, I see every match. I need a good apartment. I need to analyse and monitor the players.
"When they were speaking to me, the next match was France against England, a friendly in Paris. I thought, 'France-England' (is an attractive prospect)'.
"After that, what's the next game? The next was one month later against Kazakhstan - no, no, no, no. We have contact and I thought about England. I was very young and I was very proud."