Cancelling an interview can be a rather difficult thing to do. No matter how much you really want the position, sometimes mitigating circumstances can get in the way of making it to an interview. But if you want employers to be understanding, there’s a right way and a wrong way to let them know.

If you’re not sure you can get there for one reason or another make sure to reschedule in advance. Don’t be making up a lame excuse on the morning of the interview. Not only is it damaging your chances of getting hired but is also unfair on the company you are interviewing for. The people interviewing you would have more than likely sectioned off time from their normal workday to interview you. So it is important not to waste their time. There are suitable ways to reschedule a job interview. So you still have a chance of getting hired, even though you can’t make your scheduled interview.

If you are under the weather

Going to a job interview sick is not a good idea. If you have the flu and you are coughing, sniffling, have a runny nose or a sore throat you really are not doing yourself or the interviewer any favours. You would be best off to stay at home.

You will only be spreading unwanted germs and you are not going to do a good interview if you are sick. Your judgement may be called into question as well. Would they really want to hire someone who is willing to put other staff members at risk?

Legitimate reasons for rescheduling an interview

There several reasons other than being ill that require rescheduling an interview. The majority of businesses will understand that circumstances come up out of your control, like car troubles, sickness in the family, etc. Its best be honest when it comes to rescheduling so make sure it’s a legitimate reason. If you are rescheduling because you have an interview for a job that you are more interested in then it may be in your best interests to come clean than keeping them in the dark. You never know who you might meet at the interview in the other company. So it’s best not to be dishonest as you might get caught out.

How to reschedule

Make sure to get in contact with the company. Give them good notice that you won’t be able to make the interview and try to secure a new interview date making sure that you do really want the job. If you do need to cancel altogether make sure to give the hiring manager adequate notice.

You should notify the person who scheduled the interview with you by email and phone so that they get your message as soon as possible. The interviewer may not see either message until arriving in the office. Suggest dates in which you are available to do the interview. If you had to reschedule because of illness, make sure you have given yourself enough time to recover. Remember to be flexible with your dates as they are giving you a second chance after all.

Give as much notice as possible

Whatever the reason may be, give the company as much notice as possible that you aren’t going to be able to attend. Being respectful of the interviewer’s time will be valued. Leaving it until the last minute to cancel will more than likely be held against you.

Interviewers and hiring managers are human after all. They are more than likely going to give you the benefit of the doubt if you are going, to be honest, and give them enough time to change their schedules.

Move on

Finally, once you have successfully rescheduled your job interview, don’t let the experience create a negative flow-on effect. Of course, it was an unfortunate experience but it doesn’t need to impact on your performance. When you do attend the interview make sure to acknowledge and thank them for their flexibility. Focus on why you’re really there. It is to showcase why you are the best person for the position and that you would be a great addition to the company. There’s always a silver lining and being able to handle an unanticipated situation calmly and professionally is always a good attribute — one that can impress your employer far more than a loud cough or a lame excuse.

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