Getting an interview for a job isn’t always easy, and often takes a lot of hard work. So if something happens to mean you’re no longer able to make it to the interview, you may assume that all that effort has gone to waste. But having to reschedule your interview isn’t the end of the world, and shouldn’t ruin your chances of getting hired. So how do you go about it the right way?
The hiring manager is far more likely to be understanding of your need to reschedule an interview if you have a legitimate reason. Even if your reason is a little awkward, such as you’ve been offered an interview for a better position on the same day, there are ways to be tactful. In this instance, as the hiring managers may know each other - particularly if the jobs are in the same industry - it’s best to be as honest as possible. But what other reasons would be considered acceptable?
This is perhaps the most common reason for rescheduling. You know that you won’t perform at your best when sick, and there’s also a chance that you’re contagious. The hiring manager will therefore be understanding of your consideration for not wishing to spread your illness.
A family emergency is another universal experience, and the hiring manager should empathise with your situation. Examples of family emergencies include caring for a sick or injured relative, mourning the death of a loved one or attending a funeral, or needing to look after your children should your childcare arrangements fall through.
You may suddenly be asked to work the day of your interview, if your company is short staffed. Rebooking an interview for this reason can actually demonstrate your respect for your current employer, so the hiring manager may be impressed by your work ethic.
Another thing that’s out of your control is having car troubles. There are usually other ways to get to an interview though, especially if you’ve allowed plenty of time beforehand. So you may simply need to let the interviewer know you’re running late, rather than rearrange the interview for another day altogether.
Chances are, the hiring manager will have booked in other interviews the same week as yours, and will have a full schedule. So the sooner you can let them know you won’t be able to attend, the more likely it is that you can both find a time that’s more convenient. You won’t want to push the interview too far back, as if the company is looking for an immediate start, they may simply hire someone before you even get a chance to interview.
It’s also just more polite to give as much notice as possible when rearranging a meeting. You’re causing less inconvenience that way, as the hiring manager can easily adjust their calendar accordingly. So as soon as you find out you won’t be able to make it, get in touch with the interviewer to let them know.
When it comes to sending an email to reschedule an interview, it’s important to apologise for the inconvenience, and provide a reason for rearranging. You should also suggest alternative times for meeting, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. This last point is perhaps the most important, as you need to show that you haven’t taken the decision to reschedule lightly. You need to show that you’re keen to book a new interview because of your genuine excitement for the opportunity offered.
Below is a template you can use, if you’re unsure how to go about phrasing your request to reschedule the interview in a courteous and professional manner.
Dear [name of hiring manager],
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you about the role of [job position] at [company name], which I’m very interested to learn more about.
Unfortunately, due to [state reason for rescheduling], I am unable to attend the interview we had booked for [interview date].
I’m therefore looking to reschedule the interview if possible, at a later date. I’m available [offer a couple of dates and times], though I am happy to discuss a time more convenient for you if these dates don’t suit.
I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, and would like to reiterate my interest in this role - I do hope that we can reschedule soon.
Thanks so much for your understanding.
You may be in a rush to send off an email to reschedule as soon as possible, especially if you’re not able to give much notice. But it’s essential that you check it over first, for any spelling or grammatical errors. The email may not technically be part of your application, but it won’t look very professional if it’s riddled with typos and mistakes. Show that you have great attention to detail by ensuring that your correspondence is well written and eloquent.
It’s also important to remember that you can’t make a habit of rescheduling. While having to move the date once is understandable, as unexpected things can pop up, rescheduling for a second time can make you appear unreliable.
So even if you can only give a few hours notice, using the above template will ensure that you remain polite and professional. Hiring managers are human too, and should be understanding of your situation. They’ll know that sometimes rescheduling is unavoidable, and won’t hold this against you when you have your interview at a later date.