Rescheduling An Interview: What You Should Know

You have searched for a job, you made it through the screenings, and you’ve landed the interview, maybe you are into the second round of interviews. But then, life throws a curveball at you and a critical moment comes into play; should I reschedule my interview? Here are some factors you’ll want to consider before making your decision.

Rescheduling an interview can result in some negative outcomes, damaging your credibility as a candidate. There are a few initial thoughts recruiters and leaders jump to when hearing you need to reschedule an interview. The first is that you are displaying a lack of interest in the job. Throughout the interview process, there are a limited number of interactions you get to experience with human resources and the managers with which you are hoping to work. Scheduling interviews typically takes a rather concentrated effort to accommodate everyone involved. To disregard this shows a lack of respect to this planning and everyone’s time. There’s no promise this could be rescheduled in a timely manner, and it may move another candidate into a better light during a time you’re trying to showcase yourself and your talents to this company.

Another flag that races into the minds of these leaders is the possibility you lack sound problem-solving skills. Conflicts and unexpected circumstances arise in all aspects of life; change is inevitable, right? As you are considered as a future employee, this could be signs of the following: This could indicate that personal matters will override work priorities. From a workflow perspective, situations, issues and surprises will interrupt your day. Will you be able to manage this, re-prioritize, and tackle these issues and then get back on track with your work and your day?

Do your best to avoid this situation altogether. When you initially schedule your interview, stay organized and pre-plan. Know your schedule before committing to a date and time. If you need to accommodate someone else’s schedule, let the recruiter know you need to confirm before being 100% certain. They will appreciate the fact you own your schedule and you can showcase your organizational skills. Once the interview is confirmed, have back-up plans in place. If you have children, speak with your spouse, partner, relative or a close friend who could be at the ready to cover you in case they get sick. Make sure you’ve scheduled for a date and time when your work load is at its least hectic and you’re least likely to get pulled into a meeting.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, life happens and if you find yourself in a completely unavoidable situation, make the call. You’re working with people in this process who will understand if your reason is valid. Should you need to reschedule, keeping the following in mind:

  • Provide as much notice as possible. Avoid making the call just before you are set to arrive. This will allow your recruiter to notify leaders in a timely manner. They would much prefer an advanced heads up so they can fill the time that had been set aside to meet with you rather than the information being sprung on them in a last-minute scenario.

  • Use multiple ways of reaching out. A phone call is always best, but if you find yourself leaving a voicemail, be sure to follow up with an email. Depending on your contact’s schedule, they might receive one message first over the other. Urgency is paramount in these situations.
    Be truthful and make sure your reason is valid. If you awake with a stomach bug, don’t just say you have to reschedule, but that you have the flu. They will appreciate you not wanting to spread your germs around their office. However, avoid going into any details; be factual and succinct, and always use tact.

  • Know your schedule and offer up 2-3 dates and times that you would be free. This will avoid much back-and-forth which could lead to frustrations for everyone involved.

  • Send a follow up thank you email to the person who rescheduled the interview, thanking him or her for accommodating you and expressing your interest and excitement for your newly scheduled meeting. Again, avoid going into details or personal information about the reason for rescheduling. Short and simple is best, and this will help shine a positive light on moving forward in the process.

The interview process is an opportunity for you to get to know a company, a role, its people and test-drive if this is the right next step for you, and vise-versa. Working through circumstances like this during the process can be an indicator of how well you’d work together on an every-day basis. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to remain professional, organized, tactful, positive, and this will be recognized.

By: Megan Culver