Pin Me

How to Cancel a Job Interview

written by: N Nayab•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 2/4/2011

Canceling a job interview usually occurs either when the candidate is no longer interested in the job, probably having secured a better job, or because of some genuine inconvenience to attend the interview at the scheduled time and place. Read on for tips on how to cancel a job interview.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Declining an Interview

    Cancel Job Interview Many candidates find it difficult to cancel a job interview and instead of facing the awkward situation of explaining the reason for cancellation, just do not turn up for the appointment. Some candidates go to the extent of not answering follow up calls. Such approaches speak volumes of unprofessional conduct and entails burning the bridges with the company.

    In an increasingly interconnected world, a candidate may very well find having to re-apply in the same company, or establish a close relationship with the HR of that company in some other context. Refusing to honor appointments, ignoring follow up calls, or even lying about the reasons for cancellation can lead to even greater awkward situations later on, and most certainly result in the company not considering the candidate again. Sending an email informing the decision not to attend the interview leaves a favorable impression that might place the candidate in good stead later on.

    Most companies do not ask for a reason why the candidate has canceled the interview. In the eventuality of the company probing the reason for cancellation, the candidate would do well to remain honest, for most companies do place a high premium on honesty. The candidate would do well to present a reason for joining another company instead of pointing out inadequacies in the company where the candidate canceled the interview.

    Image Credit: Collier

  • slide 2 of 3

    Rescheduling Interviews

    If canceling job interviews once a person received an opportunity elsewhere is awkward, rescheduling a job interview is worse.

    The reason for rescheduling can be many, and can range from illness, familial commitments, the inability to take time out from a present job, or appearing for another interview elsewhere.

    Si, how do you reschedule a job interview?

    The best approach in such situation is to stick to the truth as far as possible. If the reasons are genuine, nothing but the whole truth should be offered. If the rescheduling is to attend another interview, one good approach is to ask for a rescheduling without giving the reason, or mentioning personal reasons if probed. Another approach that allows the candidate some flexibility later is to remain as vague as possible with the details, without actually providing any false information.

    Sticking to the truth allows facing the rescheduled interview with confidence and providing follow up details if the interviewer decides to pursue the matter as a measure of the candidate’s honesty before making the hiring decision.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Common Best Practices

    The underlying best practice if you want to know how to cancel job interview in all situations, is to effect the cancellation or rescheduling as early as possible, giving the company plenty of time to make alternative arrangements. The earlier the cancellation, the more the ability of the company to schedule an alternative candidate, and hence lessen the chances the company will remain interested in the reasons for the cancellation or reschedule.

    The intimation of cancellation or request for rescheduling should be given at least two days in advance, unless unavoidable. If rescheduling, allow the company to suggest an alternative date, but commit only if sure of being able to attend on that date. Most company entertains one rescheduling without delving too much into the reasons for such extensions, but two or more rescheduling betrays a candidate unsure of himself or herself, and decreases the chances of hiring considerably. Do not forget to offer apologies for the inconvenience.

    Finally, ensure no miscommunication takes place. There is nothing worse than the candidate having a genuine reason to reschedule the interview and then have a receptionist communicate a wrong reason to HR personnel; so make sure you convey the reason for canceling clearly.

    The way in which a candidate cancels a job interview reflects on his or her personality and professionalism.