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What to do if you can no longer attend an interview

Posted on: 08 Nov 2017, admin

Your job hunting has started to pay off – you’ve spent time perfecting your CV and applying to jobs and now employers are sitting up and taking notice. Companies are inviting you to attend interviews and doors are starting to open. It’s an exciting time as your hard work to find a job starts to reap results and you could find yourself in a position where your circumstances change very quickly and you can no longer attend an interview. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to reschedule or cancel an interview, there are appropriate ways of doing this so that you don’t burn any bridges and still leave a favourable impression in the mind of the recruiter, even if you no longer want that role.

You want to reschedule:

We all know that sometimes things happen in life that are beyond our control. Whether you’re unwell, your car breaks down or a family emergency arises, there could be occasions when you will need to reschedule an interview. Most recruiters and hiring managers understand that situations can arise and will appreciate your honesty. If you do need to reschedule an interview, it’s worth doing the following:

Give as much notice as possible: Whether you want to reschedule an interview or simply cancel, it’s important to let the employer (or your recruiter if you’re going through a recruitment agency) know as soon as possible. The interviewer’s time is valuable and by giving them enough notice, they may be able to interview another applicant in the slot you have given up or attend another appointment.

If you are ill: If you turn up to an interview when you are sick, not only are you unlikely to do yourself any justice, you’re also likely to raise concerns with the hiring manager (who probably won’t appreciate being exposed to your illness). If you need to reschedule due to being unwell, it’s a good idea to:

  • Give yourself enough time to recover: They may not be so willing to reschedule a second time.
  • Be as flexible as possible: Have some dates and times ready to suggest but also try and be as flexible as possible to accommodate their suggested time slot.
  • Thank them: Let them know that you understand their schedules are busy and appreciate them allowing you to rearrange the interview.

You don’t want to reschedule:

If you are no longer interested in the role: If you’ve reflected further on the role and decided you no longer want to attend the interview or you’ve accepted another job elsewhere, be sure to let your recruiter know with plenty of notice (or the employer if you’ve arranged the interview with them directly). By being professional and courteous, you’ll keep the door open if your circumstances change in the future and keep your good reputation intact.

Tip: If you don’t have another job lined up, it’s often worth keeping an open mind and going along to an interview even if you have some doubts. You can use this as an opportunity to find out more and then make an informed decision if you’re given the opportunity to take it further. You may be pleasantly surprised and if nothing else, it’s all useful experience. If however you are definitely sure you wouldn’t want to take it further then cancelling is the best option to avoid wasting your own time and the time of the employer or recruiter.

If you have accepted another job: If you decide you no longer wish to attend a job interview because you’ve accepted a role elsewhere then as above, it’s still a good idea to give as much notice as possible. Recruiters and employers will understand that circumstances change and will appreciate that you are not wasting their time.

Word spreads…

Whatever your reasons for choosing to cancel or reschedule an interview, always be professional and considerate to the people interviewing you by letting them know about your change of circumstances as soon as you can. It’s a small world and your actions (positive and negative) could affect your recruitment opportunities in the future so it’s always worth keeping this at the back of your mind to maintain your good reputation and keep doors open.

If you’d like help finding a new job please call the Ascendant Recruitment team on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .


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