Life is so unpredictable, isn’t it? You may schedule a job interview with a potential employer and later realize you can’t come. Whether you have another appointment at that exact time, or your dog just passed away, or you have a migraine attack – you need to let the hiring manager know that you will not be able to attend the interview. We’re only humans, after all.
However, not all candidates bother notifying the employer. Some don’t show up for the interview, which is extremely unprofessional and most likely won’t give them another chance in this particular organization. So if you are facing a situation where you need to move or cancel your appointment for a job interview, it’s essential to be respectful and polite about it.
In this article, we will discuss how to properly approach your interviewer if you want to reschedule or cancel an interview. Email examples are also provided below.
The way you let the employer know you won’t make it for the interview depends on whether you want to reschedule the appointment or cancel it altogether. The latter is probably easier to deal with, as you don’t care anymore about what the interviewer may think of you since you will never meet again.
But staying on good terms with a potential employer – even if you decided to move on with another company – is very professional from their perspective, and they will undoubtedly appreciate it.
Anyway, be honest about why you can’t come this time, and follow this guide on approaching the employer to either reschedule or cancel your job interview.
Before you turn down the interview once and for all, make sure you 100% don’t want the job. If you think there is still a small chance you might be a good fit for the job, talk with the hiring manager. Perhaps they will offer you great opportunities and convince you to take the position. The interview will only take an hour or two of your time, so consider attending. If the job is absolutely not a good fit for you, though, then it’s time to consider sending an interview cancel email.
Okay, you don’t need the job, so you are trying to figure out how to cancel an interview. First and foremost: notify the employer in advance that you won’t attend the appointment. It is important to know that you do not have to explain why you are not interested in the job anymore. Nevertheless, the employer will highly appreciate it if you give them the reason. It is part of business etiquette and simply good manners.
Your reasoning is especially important to the HR manager. It will let them better understand what discourages candidates from accepting a job at their company and the disadvantages of their offer. But again, it is all up to you.
What you don’t want to do is burn bridges with the company. What if you cross paths with the employer or with the interviewer in the future? Not to mention that they could forward your name to another employer trying to fill a similar position. That’s right – hiring managers can share information about their candidate pools with other local employers as a gesture of goodwill.
Business networking is extremely valuable these days, so there is no need to be rude or disrespectful to any organization’s representatives. To remain professional, do not hesitate to call the interviewer or send them an email.
Subject: Justine Craig – Interview for Web Designer at Digital Village on 01/18/20
Dear Mr. Osborn,
I am grateful for the interest you have shown in my job application for the Web Designer position and the opportunity to interview at Digital Village. However, my circumstances have recently changed, and I am no longer available for this position. I must respectfully cancel our job interview on 01/18/20.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I wish Digital Village every success in the future.
Subject: Eliza Wills – Job Interview for the Community Manager position on 07/08/20
Dear Mr. Peters,
I highly appreciate your interest in my job application for the Community Manager position and the opportunity to interview at Sales Spring. I have now accepted a job at another company, and I must respectfully cancel our job interview.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I wish you all the best in your search for a suitable job candidate.
Sometimes, a cancel interview email is not necessary – perhaps the interview can be rescheduled. Do not reschedule your interview unless you have tried to rearrange your other plans instead. Even though postponing a job interview is fair and acceptable, the employer’s first impression of you might be a little spoiled. Also, if you decide to reschedule the appointment, they may find another candidate to fill the time slot, and that other candidate may be a better fit for the company.
That is why it is better to try and find the time for your already scheduled job interview, as it can seriously increase your chances of getting hired.
If you must move the appointment, again, notify the HR manager as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, e.g., you have been injured, the employer will understand.
In case you have another interview scheduled at this time, you should probably not tell the interviewer about it. Playing hard to get could be quite helpful, actually, but do not overdo this by forcing your potential employers to adapt to your schedule. You can say something general, like, “I would like to reschedule the interview because of an unanticipated family situation.” That is it – you don’t have to provide any further explanation. Still, no reasoning at all will seem very unprofessional and make the interviewer think of you as an unreliable candidate.
The world does not revolve around you, and job interviews are usually scheduled according to several people’s schedules. It means that moving your interview will cause inconvenience for not just one person. With that being said, you should apologize for all the inconvenience and ask when they will have time for you again.
Yes, you should realize that this time it is you who is supposed to adjust to their schedule, not them to yours. Although, you surely can offer other dates and times you are available. Rescheduling an interview once is alright, but doing this two times in a row with the same employer will undoubtedly affect their decision regarding your hiring, and that effect won’t be positive. You may as well have sent out a cancel interview email rather than a reschedule request.
Here’s an example of an ideal email to send out when you want to reschedule your interview instead of canceling it.
Subject: Reschedule interview for the Personal Assistant position on 09/09/20 1:00 pm – Lydia Hull
Dear Mr. Atkinson,
I have been looking forward to the opportunity to interview for the Personal Assistant position at WestGate Lawyer on 09/09/20 at 1:00 pm. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the interview due to an unanticipated work obligation, and I respectfully request that we reschedule the interview.
I am available on the following dates and times, and I hope that one of these is suitable for you: 10/09/20 (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm), 11/09/20 (1:30 pm), 14/09/20 (all day).
I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and greatly appreciate your time and consideration.
As has already been mentioned, one of the ways to remain professional while asking to reschedule a job interview is to do it in advance. The earlier you notify your potential employer that you won’t show up, the better. But try to let them know at least 24 hours before the interview. You can send them an email, but make sure they have received your message, and if you don’t get the response within a short amount of time, you should better call them.
So, hopefully, from now on, you will no longer have any problems with how to cancel (or reschedule) a job interview. Keep in mind that interviewers are people just like you and me, and nothing human is foreign to them. However, if your potential employer reacts inadequately after you have asked politely to reschedule the interview, consider whether you really want to work for them.
Lanteria recommends that interviewers follow the tips above when they need to reschedule or cancel interviews. Just like job searchers, employers should remain polite and respectful as well as positive and honest. Especially if the company is seriously considering hiring a specific person, rescheduling an interview 30 minutes prior is not the best way to show their willingness to employ the candidate.
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