Interviewing

7 Steps to Reschedule a Job Interview

November 28, 2020

An interview is a key point in the hiring process in which you can demonstrate your value to a company and earn the position you applied to. Sometimes, however, an unexpected situation may mean you’re unable to make it to a previously scheduled interview. If you need to postpone a job interview, it’s important to follow the right procedure to demonstrate your professionalism and interest in the job. Here’s everything you need to know about rescheduling your job interview, including respectful reasons and how to do so respectfully.

Reasons to reschedule an interview

The most important thing when rescheduling an interview is to have a justifiable reason for having to change the planned time. If you have a legitimate reason, a hiring manager will likely be understanding of your need to reschedule. Below are some of the most commonly accepted reasons for asking to reschedule an interview.

You’ve gotten sick

When you are sick, there is a chance you can spread your illness to others you come in contact with. Just as staying home when you are ill can benefit your coworkers by preventing the illness from spreading to them, staying away from an interview in the same circumstance is similarly considerate and generally appreciated. The hiring manager will likely be happy to work with you to find a new time and date after you are feeling better and no longer contagious.

There is a family emergency

Dealing with an emergency scenario for a loved one is another universally human experience that most hiring managers will treat with compassion and understanding. Common family emergencies include caring for a sick child, attending to a family member who was injured or mourning the passing of a loved one.

You’re experiencing car troubles

Your potential employer will likely understand if you have an issue such as a problem with your car, which is out of your control. If you’re experiencing car troubles, you should first attempt to figure out a new means of getting to your interview on time. If this isn’t possible, however, try to get in contact with your interviewer as soon as possible to let them know.

Your work schedule has changed

If you are already employed during your job search and your schedule suddenly changes, it is usually in your best interest to reschedule your interview at a time that your current job will allow. Rescheduling for this type of situation may actually work to your benefit. Showing respect for your current job can show a potential employer that you will respect your work with them as well.

Alternate options have arisen

You may need to reschedule or cancel an interview if a better opportunity becomes available. When sending a message to reschedule in this setting, tact is important. If the hiring professional inquires for further details, it’s best to remain as honest as possible. This is particularly important if the jobs are in the same industry, since hiring managers or interviewers at different companies may know each other. Showing respect for one party shows your professionalism to the other, and it can help you maintain your chances of getting hired at either organization.

Related: 21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

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How to reschedule an interview

Once you have determined that it is necessary to reschedule your interview, it’s important to handle the change as professionally as possible to maintain a positive relationship with your potential employer. Follow these steps to reschedule your interview in a considerate and respectful way:

1. Contact them early

The sooner you get in contact with the hiring manager, the less inconvenience you will cause them. Reach out to them as soon as you’re certain that you won’t be able to make it to the interview.

2. Express your enthusiasm

You should make it clear to the hiring manager you are excited about the opportunity and would be making the interview if it was possible. This shows you are not taking the decision to reschedule lightly.

3. Provide a reason quickly

A direct message will help your reader save time and allow them to start finding a replacement time sooner. Start explaining quickly and concisely why you need to reschedule your interview.

4. Suggest an alternative time

If you’re able, offer different times you are available to interview. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to find an open slot on their schedule and put you into it. It will also allow you to collaborate with them when finding a new time to meet.

5. Apologize for the inconvenience

Show your consideration for your interviewer by apologizing for being unable to meet at the intended time. Courtesy is important when sending a rescheduling message.

6. Thank them for the opportunity

Despite not being able to make your intended interview, you should still thank the hiring manager for the opportunity. Showing this final note of respect raises your chances that you will be given another opportunity to interview.

7. Proofread carefully

When submitting your request to reschedule in writing, ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Even though the email will not be a formal part of your application, it still reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. Reread it at least twice to catch any mistakes before sending it to your interviewer.

Related: Interview Question: “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Interview reschedule template

You can use this email template as a guide when you need to ask a hiring manager to reschedule your interview:

Dear [name of hiring manager],

Thank you for allowing me to meet with you and learn more about becoming a [position] at [company]. Due to [reason for rescheduling], however, I will no longer be able to make it to the interview we had scheduled at [date and time].

Would it be possible to reschedule our meeting? I’m available [new date]. I would also be happy to talk about other dates that might be more convenient for you. I’d like to reiterate my sincere interest in this position, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

[Closing]

[Signature]

Related: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview

Example interview rescheduling email

Hello Mark,

I am excited about the opportunity to interview for the IT position with Smarttech, Inc. Unfortunately, due to an illness, I am no longer available to come in and participate in the interview we scheduled for October 9th at 10 am. My doctor has started me on a treatment plan and expects a full recovery within a few days, so I will be available to reschedule the interview for any afternoon next week.

I’d like to extend my deepest apologies for any inconvenience caused by this change. I’m still very excited for the opportunity to discuss working with your company, and I hope we can meet soon.

Thank you for your consideration,

Tyler Santiago