Bridge Insights

How to Professionally Cancel (or Reschedule) an Interview

Jul 30, 2020

You have an interview coming up and a scheduling conflict arises. How do you reschedule or cancel an interview while remaining professional?

1. Notify Your Interviewer as Soon as Possible

Changing the date and time of your interview will impact more than just you and your interviewer.  Try to give at least a 24-hour notice when possible. If you wish to cancel, notify the interviewer as soon as you have made this decision. You do not want to waste their time by waiting until the last minute.

If you wish to reschedule your interview, provide some alternative dates and times that will work for you.  The interviewer will appreciate you giving advance notice and being considerate of their schedule.

2. Be Honest

If you are honest and sincere about why you must reschedule or cancel your interview, it will go a long way with your interviewer.  Life happens, and you can’t always give 24-hour notice to an emergency. If you are honest about the circumstances, the interviewer will be much more sympathetic to your desire to reschedule.

[blockquotes color=”blue” logo=”yes”] When you reschedule an interview, the interviewer may become skeptical about your reliability as an employee.  It is important to address this through your actions during your interview.[/blockquotes]

3. Verbally Contact the Interviewer

When you are canceling an interview or trying to reschedule, speak with the interviewer over the phone. Having a verbal conversation with someone will allow them to hear your apologetic tone and understand why you need to reschedule or cancel.

It also increases the human connection you have with them. If you are not able to reach the interviewer by phone, then follow up with a very detailed and professionally written email. If you must leave a voicemail or send an email, ask the interviewer to confirm they received your message.

Do not cancel by texting.  This will make you look unprofessional.

4. Apologize

When you cancel or reschedule an interview, you are affecting multiple people’s schedules.  It is important for you to acknowledge the inconvenience by being sympathetic to this fact in your apology.  If you wish to reschedule, be as flexible as possible in the alternate times you provide.

You are almost certainly not the only person they are interviewing. In addition to interviewing other candidates, your interviewer will have other commitments that they will need to work around. If they see that you are flexible and sympathetic, they will be more willing to work with you and find a new date and time that will work.

5. Put Your Best Foot Forward When You Do Have the Interview

It is important to keep in mind that when you reschedule an interview, the interviewer may become skeptical about your reliability as an employee.  It is important to address this through your actions during your interview.

Your interview is your shot to prove why you deserve the job and to show that you are a dependable professional.

Arrive 10 minutes early with your resume in hand, ready to interview. Be sure to thank the interviewer for allowing you to reschedule; a little gratitude goes a long way.

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Life happens and there may be a time when you need to reschedule or cancel your interview. Being professional in these moments will only help your career. Following these 5 steps will help you remain professional when rescheduling or canceling your interview and ensure you do not burn any bridges you need to cross down the road.