How to cancel or reschedule a job interview

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How to cancel or reschedule a job interview

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When job hunting, there’s always a chance that you’ll come up against the uncomfortable and potentially stressful need to reschedule, or cancel, a job interview. How you handle the situation is vital for leaving a good impression.

From preventing your chances of getting the role being damaged to influencing possible future hiring opportunities, your management of the scenario matters.

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How you handle cancelling or rescheduling a job interview may influence future opportunities with the company.


Behind the scenes of a job interview

It’s important to realise how much work goes into organising a job interview on the company’s side when deciding to reschedule or cancel your appointment with them. Sorting out the applications, deciding on potential candidates, organising a time that works for you while juggling their own internal meetings, as well as other interviewees’ needs are just some of the more obvious challenges the company faces. If they’ve brought in recruiters, this process can become even more complicated.

Acknowledging what happens behind the scenes and being respectful of their time and effort is essential should you need to reschedule or cancel your job interview with the company.


Rescheduling a job interview

Provide as much notice as possible

Sometimes, outside events dictate how much notice you can provide a hiring manager that you need to reschedule an interview. However, best practice here is to let them know as soon as you do that the appointment you both settled on no longer works for you. Either email or phone them so they’re aware of the situation.


Keep your message short, polite and respectful

It’s easy to want to provide a detailed explanation of why you need to reschedule or become verbose in your apologies for the situation. Avoid overloading your hiring manager with information. Instead, briefly outline why you can’t make the original time, preferably using only one sentence, and add a concise, respectful apology to show that you understand the issues this causes for them. State also that you’re still eager to have the interview.


Provide two or three alternate times and days you’re available

Ask them if you could reschedule your job interview. To help highlight that you’re still enthusiastic about the opportunity and want to go ahead with the interview, list out two or three alternate times that you’re available. Remember that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reschedule more than once, so when settling on a new appointment, ensure that you’ll definitely be available.

If they do allow you to reschedule, make sure you follow this up by thanking them for letting you do so.





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Make sure you can make the alternate times you suggest for your interview.


Cancelling a job interview

Be sure of your decision

Before you cancel a job interview, ensure it’s the right decision to make as you won’t get the opportunity to change your mind.

If you’re cancelling because you think the job isn’t one that you want, make sure you’re certain. Remember that, as much an in-person interview is a way for a hiring manager to gauge whether you’re the right fit for the company, it’s also a chance for you to gather more information about the role.
Unless you’re 100 per cent certain that the position isn’t for you, you might find going along is worthwhile. It’s also a chance to impress the hiring manager, and maybe be put forward for another, more suitable, position.


Stay professional

Notify the hiring manager as soon as possible that you won’t be attending the interview. Retaining good manners and professionalism in doing this will help prevent any ill will forming over the situation.

An email is an acceptable way to communicate this decision – however, calling them to personally let them know is an additional touch if it’s a company you think you’d like to work for in the future.

Again, keep your explanation short. Though you don’t need to provide a reason when taking yourself out of the interviewing process, if you have one then let them know why you’ve made the decision. Don’t forget to apologise for cancelling your interview and thank them for their time.

If you’d like to know more about the interview process or want help finding a job that you love, reach out to KLC Recruitment today. We’re here to support you in searching for your dream position.


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