During the hiring process, you might find yourself in a situation where you suddenly realize you can’t make a previously scheduled job interview. There are many reasons why this can happen, as life is full of variables, and it’s important that you approach the situation with honesty and professionalism. Here’s how to respectfully request to reschedule a job interview.
Have a Good Reason
It can be quite risky to reschedule a job interview. If you aren’t careful, the hiring manager might think you’re uninterested or that you’re not taking the interview seriously. This could cause the hiring manager to create a false image of you in their mind; one that might not be easily dispelled during the course of your interview. In the worst cases, the hiring manager might decide to cancel your interview altogether.
If you absolutely must reschedule a job interview, you’ve got to have a really good reason. A contagious illness is a good reason to reschedule, and the hiring manager will appreciate your concern. If you have a family emergency such as an unexpected accident, an illness, or a death in the family, you may also request to reschedule a job interview. In nearly every case, the hiring manager should be understanding in this situation. If they aren’t, you may want to re-evaluate whether you want to work for that particular company.
Depending on the hiring manager, you might be able to reschedule an interview due to transportation problems. If your car breaks down, you’re far better off trying to find a ride or another way to get to your interview before attempting to reschedule. In the event you cannot find an alternative transportation method, you can try to reschedule; however, if you’re giving very short notice, you could damage your candidacy.
Before you attempt to reschedule a job interview, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Do you have a really good reason to reschedule? Are you coming off as uninterested or unreliable? Never try to reschedule an interview for dishonest reasons, as the hiring manager might detect deception in your interactions, greatly affecting your chances at landing the job. If you’ve got a good, honest reason and you give the hiring manager plenty of notice, you should be in the clear.
How to Reschedule
First and foremost, you want to give the hiring manager as much notice as possible. The sooner you can contact them with your request to reschedule, the less of an inconvenience it will be for them. Include the purpose of the email in the subject line, and be direct about your request to reschedule, ensuring you don’t waste too much time getting to it. Here is an example of an opening that you can use to work off of:
Subject: Request to Reschedule Job Interview
Dear [Name of Contact],
I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to you to request a rescheduling of my upcoming interview scheduled for [Date and Time] for the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name].
It’s important that you maintain the same level of enthusiasm you had throughout the hiring process, while also apologizing for the inconvenience. Along with this, you should provide the hiring manager with alternative times and dates for your interview. Keep in mind that while you don’t have to provide specific details about your reason for rescheduling, it would be wise to give at least a little background in your email. You can use this example as a starting point:
I am very excited to interview for this position; however, due to [Reason for Rescheduling], I am unable to attend the interview at the originally scheduled time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and I am committed to ensuring a smooth application process. As such, I am available on the following alternative dates and times:
[Alternative Date and Time 1]
[Alternative Date and Time 2]
Next, make sure you thank the hiring manager for the opportunity, as well as for their consideration in rescheduling your interview. Finally, include a nice sign-off and proofread your email before sending, ensuring there are no silly spelling or grammar mistakes. As always, a good tactic for this is to write the email, then step away from it for a certain amount of time before proofreading it—with a little less familiarity, you’ll be able to more easily spot mistakes in your own work. Here is another template to work off of:
Please let me know if any of the suggested times work for you, or it there is a time that would be more convenient. I would like to express my gratitude for your time and consideration in this matter. Thank you for understanding, and I look forward to the possibility of rescheduling the interview.
[Your Contact Information]
Depending on factors such as your industry or how familiar you are with the hiring manager, your email could look very different from the examples provided above; however, it’s important that you maintain a professional and enthusiastic tone throughout, regardless of how you decide to approach the situation.
Requesting to reschedule an interview should be seen as a last resort, so don’t go making a habit of it. If you’re honest and direct in your interactions with the hiring manager, you shouldn’t run into any problems. When you’ve rescheduled an interview, remember to also thank the hiring manager in person once you finally meet them.
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