You’ve had the interview on your calendar for days, maybe even weeks. You’ve prepped, planned, and you’re as ready as you’ll ever be to impress the hiring manager with everything from your spot-on answers to what you’re wearing.
Only, something’s come up, and there’s nothing you can do. You’ve got to reschedule the job interview.
Though you may worry that rescheduling will hurt your chances of getting the job, not rescheduling and showing up late or ghosting the interview is not an option. It is possible to reschedule a job interview without burning any bridges. Here’s how!
Valid Reasons for Rescheduling a Job Interview
A valid reason for rescheduling a job interview is when something outside of your control makes it impossible for you to attend. Being sick or having a family emergency are two good examples. Other valid reasons to reschedule a job interview are:
- Your car breaks down
- Public transportation is delayed
- Bad weather (the kind that shuts things down)
- Lack of internet or power (for a virtual interview)
- You’ve accepted a job offer
You can also reschedule a job interview because a different company wants to meet with you at the same time. However, you should only do this if you’re either far more interested in the second job or if it’s impossible to meet with the other company at another time. Professionalism is essential in this situation, as two hiring managers may know each other and share information about candidates.
There are also invalid reasons for rescheduling a job interview. These are things that are within your control and include:
- You forgot you had an interview
- You overslept
- You’re hungover
- You got lost or went to the wrong address
Things happen, but it’s doubtful any hiring manager will accept these reasons for rescheduling a job interview.
Will Rescheduling Hurt My Chances of Getting the Job?
Provided you follow the below steps, rescheduling the interview shouldn’t hurt your chances of getting the job. It’s far better (and more professional) to reschedule than skip out on the interview. However, you only get one reschedule! If you have to reschedule a second time, the hiring manager may doubt that you’re truly interested in the job.
And if you do have to reschedule, use it as an opportunity to learn more about the company. If the hiring manager seems annoyed or put off by rescheduling, if they can’t fit you in for several weeks (or months!), or if they flat-out refuse to reschedule, take note! All of this could signal how flexible or accommodating your future employer might or might not be.
How to Reschedule Your Job Interview
If you have to reschedule a job interview, here’s how to do it without blowing your chances of getting the job.
Reschedule as Soon as Possible
The best time to reschedule the interview is as soon as you know you have to. While some things happen at the last minute, try to give the interviewer a heads up as soon as possible.
Start by phoning the person you’re meeting with (or your contact person at the company). Calling can often be faster and more direct than other communications. If you can’t reach your contact, leave a voicemail, then follow up with an email or even a text message if that’s been a communication channel.
Apologize, Then Explain
Even though the circumstances are outside of your control, apologize for rescheduling. The interviewer blocked off time in their schedule for you, and you want to acknowledge that.
Briefly explain what’s happened and that you need to reschedule. This is also a good time to reiterate your interest in the role.
Offer some alternative dates and times to meet. You can be specific (“tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.”) or a little more vague (“tomorrow morning between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.”). Try to reschedule your interview for the next day (or close to it). The one exception is if you’re ill. You may want to give yourself a few days to recover.
The dates and times you suggest may not work for the interviewer. Be flexible and try to accommodate the dates and times they throw out. That may be the only other times they are available to interview you.
Thank the hiring manager for being understanding and rescheduling your interview. They are likely just as busy as you are, and a thank you goes a long way toward easing the inconvenience of rescheduling.
Confirm the New Time
Finally, whether you call, text, or email, once you have an alternative interview date set up, send a follow-up email to confirm the date and time. This ensures that you and the hiring manager are on the same page.
How to Reschedule an Interview: Script
Whether by phone or email (or both!), here’s a sample script to help you reschedule a job interview.
Hi, [Hiring Manager’s Name],
[If calling, state your name]
I’m so sorry, but I’m hoping we can reschedule the interview on [date and time of interview]. I’m very excited about the role and want to learn more, but unfortunately [briefly explain why you need to reschedule], and I won’t be able to keep the appointment. These are some other dates and times I can meet with you:
- [Date and time]
- [Date and time]
- [Date and time]
If none of these work for you, please let me know when you are available. You can call or email me at [your contact information].
Thank you so much for understanding, and I look forward to meeting with you.
Life happens, and most interviewers understand that. As long as you are respectful and professional, you should have no problem rescheduling a job interview.
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