You filled out the application, had a short and sweet phone screening conversation, and you recently just scheduled your interview. Congrats!
Your heart skips a beat realizing you can’t make your interview date. What’s the manager going to think? Is this going to kill your chance at getting the job? Should you do everything in your power to try to keep your original interview time and date or should you reschedule?
We’ve got answers to all your rescheduling needs and more below. Just keep calm and…
Don’t freak out
First of all, it’s important to understand that hiring managers are people too. They also have the capacity to understand that things happen. Of course, you want to do your best to keep your first appointment, but should something come up, rescheduling your interview date doesn’t need to be the reason for a mental break down. Keep calm and head to your computer.
Reschedule as soon as you can!
Once you realize you’ll need to reschedule, it’s important to connect with the right people and let them know as soon as possible. The sooner you’re able to reschedule your interview, the more prepared and on top of things you’ll seem. Even if you *think* that something might come up that day (you’re still waiting to hear back from your childcare or waiting to reschedule something else), it might be in your best interest to reschedule to a date when you know you’ll be able to make it on time. The alternative is waiting too long and then having to give late notice when rescheduling which might make you look unreliable.
As far as modes of communication go, calling the hiring manager will be the most direct way to let them know that you can’t make your appointment and reschedule the next one. It’ll also be much more personal when you explain your reason for not being able to make it. When you call, you may or may not directly speak with the person who’ll be emailing you. If not, just be sure to get the name of the person you spoke with and the date you called just in case your message doesn’t get relayed.
Give a great reason
While you have a right to your privacy, a hiring manager also has a right to wonder if rescheduling your interview is a fluke or a red flag. That being the case, it might be in your best interest to briefly and truthfully explain the situation. Like we said, hiring managers are real people and chances are, they’ll understand. Just be sure that your reason is actually good enough for a reschedule. Illness, car trouble, and scheduling conflicts happen. But if you realized Nordstrom is having a sale the same day as your interview, you might have to settle for swinging by later.
There’s a thought going around that apologizing automatically puts you in the wrong and is therefore better left unsaid. We like to think that if an interviewer is nice enough to schedule a time to interview you and then possible reschedule that time, an apology is simply polite. Even if you had no control over the circumstances of your reschedule, all the more polite you’ll seem for apologizing.
Suggest an alternate date (the sooner the better)
Wile you’ll want to be flexible and keep this open-ended, suggesting a couple reschedule dates for the near future will help to turn the focus back to your interest in the position. The sooner you can get in and get to know your interviewer the better. Don’t reschedule your interview for two weeks after the original date or you’ll run the risk of being forgotten or replaced by someone who interviewed sooner. Before you call or email to reschedule, try picking two or three times (preferably the same time of day as your original interview) that are open in your schedule and present them to your interviewer.
Follow up with a thank you note and confirmation
As a follow up to a phone call, an email the CCs relevant parties is also a great idea. You’ll want to confirm your new appointment time and also thank them for rescheduling with you. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises the day you show up for your interview.
Here’s an example of how that follow up email could read:
I wanted to follow up after the phone call I had earlier with [NAME OF PERSON YOU SPOKE WITH]. Per our conversation, I will, unfortunately, be unable to make our scheduled interview due to [UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES]. I am available to meet on [OTHER DATE] or [OTHER DATE] or we can discuss another date that works better for you.
Again, please accept my apology for having to reschedule and I look forward to meeting with you soon,
If you happen to be writing an email asking to reschedule for the first time (instead of calling) here’s how that email could look:
“Dear [HIRING MANAGER],
I’m writing to let you know that I will, unfortunately, not be able to keep our appointment to interview next Thursday, the nineteenth. Due to an unexpected [BRIEFLY EXPLAIN WHY YOU HAVE TO RESCHEDULE] I will not be available during that time.
Instead, would you be available to meet Monday, the twenty-third or Tuesday, the twenty-fourth? Let me know if either of those dates work or if you would prefer another date and time.
Please accept my apology for having to reschedule and I look forward to meeting with you soon,
Definitely, stick to your second interview
While no one wants to have to reschedule their job interview, it happens. That being said. Don’t reschedule your rescheduled interview. What may have been interpreted as a red flag is now a red flare gun and the chance of making a hiring manager think you’re unreliable is just too great. Once you reschedule, don’t reschedule again. Just don’t.
Ever rescheduled your interview before? Did you email or call? Do you think it changed the dynamic of the interview? Leave your responses below and share with a friend who’s dog ate their resume.