Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job, or looking for your very first, just landing an interview seems like such a big opportunity that you wouldn’t think of rescheduling come what may. However, at times we have very little control over calamity and fate, so be prepared for the right words to request a change of date or time should be a priority.
Here are a few tips…
When to notify?Hiring managers spend considerable time hunting for the right candidate. They also coordinate with a busy interviewer. This means when you request them to reschedule, they go through the rigmarole all over again. Putting such a request at the last minute is, therefore, a faux pas that will not be easily forgotten. Give ample notice so that another candidate can be accommodated, or even other work be done.
How to communicate?Requests to reschedule your interview should be put on an email. Allow the hiring manager at least 24-36 hours to get back to you with a new appointment. If you want to ensure that she or he reads your email, you may drop them a text. Calling is seldom considered polite in such situations unless it is at the eleventh hour - a situation we discourage you from arriving at.
Allow the hiring manager to call you to check for a different time, if at all. Try not to negotiate on this front - you will appear too cocky or rude and may lose the opportunity to meet with the interviewer altogether.
State why you can’t make itConfucius famously said, There are no reasons, only excuses. But when it comes to having to reschedule such an important appointment, we’re sure even he’d make an exception.
The three things you can cite for not being able to make it at the scheduled day and hour are:
• Bad health that you cannot recover from in time for the meeting• A work task you cannot put off• A family emergency
On the other hand, avoid citing below reasons:
1. A hangover or just oversleeping2. Lapse of memory3. Lateness4. Lack of preparation5. A recreational event clashing with the time/ date of the interview6. Indecisiveness7. Not being able to find help with your toddler or pet8. You managed to misplace some documents
Always apologise after you’ve presented your case, no matter how little you could do in the situation. When, then, you’re given an alternative appointment, do not forget to express gratitude.
Propose reschedulingInstead of waiting for a new date and time of interview that may again not be suitable, you can propose a couple of time slots and dates yourself. Make sure you do this most politely and respectfully. While the recruiter is likelier to appreciate the indication, be flexible all the same.
At the end of the day, it is also important to keep expectations real and be prepared for the worst.
Sample request letter to reschedule your interview
Dear [Name of interviewer],
While I am really excited about the opportunity to discuss the role of [job title] with you, I[explain your reason]. I request you to consider rescheduling the interview, if possible, to a later date. I have cleared my calendar for [provide with at least 3-4 dates and time slots over the next one month].
I regret the inconvenience caused and shall really appreciate the adjustment - the role is really exciting to me.
Thank you in advance for understanding.
I’m writing to you to notify with regret that I shall not be able to appear for my interview for the role of <job position> with <name of person if it is other than the HR person you’re writing to> on <date>.
As a result of a car accident, <state your reason>. It would be impossible for me to make it for the interview. Would it be possible for you to reschedule the interview to a date sometime next month - giving me time enough to recover? I would really like to explore my chances at this job.
I hope my request shall be considered.
Hoping for a positive response.Sincerely,[Your Name]
Dear [Name of Interviewer],
In the midst of my preparation for the interview, I received news of a grave family emergency pertaining to <state your reason>. As a result, I shall not be present for my interview for the position of <job role> on the <interview date and time>.
I would really like to have the conversation and explore the opportunity over a face-to-face interview. I request you to please consider rescheduling the interview for later this month. I’m available on [two or three other slots that you’re positive about].
Please forgive me for putting you in a lurch at the eleventh hour.
I hope we can connect soon.
Appreciate your empathy.
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