How to Reschedule an Interview (And Still Seem Professional)

Congratulations! You’ve landed the interview for your dream job. You’re excited and a little nervous, but you’ve begun to prepare. However, to your horror, you realize that the interview date won’t work. It might be a forgotten medical appointment, family emergency, or change in your work schedule. You can’t make the interview as scheduled, so what do you do?

How to Reschedule an Interview

1. Don’t panic. Having to reschedule is not a catastrophe. Plans often change, and you aren’t in the wrong for needing to reschedule. The key to wading through these rough waters is to have a plan and be professional.

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2. Contact the hiring manager as soon as possible. The sooner you let them know, the easier it’ll be for them to change the interview date and the less difficulty you’ll cause.

3. Maintain your enthusiasm. A hiring manager might take your rescheduling request as a lack of enthusiasm for the position. Therefore, you need to show how excited you are about the opportunity and that your request does not negate this. Also, demonstrate that you don’t take rescheduling lightly.

4. Provide a reason. Do this immediately. If the hiring manager doesn’t know the reason for your request, and if they don’t hear from you soon, they’ll likely find another interviewee to replace you. Also, be sincere and succinct in your explanation.

5. Offer alternative times. Take the initiative to offer two or three other dates for the interview. Also, give your available times on those dates, and be as flexible as possible. Doing so will show how collaborative you can be, and it’ll make it easier for the hiring manager to change their schedule.

6. Apologize. Your request will pose at least a minor inconvenience, so apologize sincerely. The hiring manager is likely to be understanding, but showing your thoughtfulness will help maintain the relationship. Courtesy costs nothing, but it pays big dividends.

7. Be thankful. If you get to reschedule the interview, thank the hiring manager for the opportunity and their understanding. Even if you don’t get to reschedule, you should always express gratitude for the interview opportunity and for being considered for the position.

Ensure Your Chances of Rescheduling

Having a plan and avoiding panic will increase your chances of rescheduling the interview. To make this result more likely, use some additional strategies.

If you can’t call first, email your request. Contacting the person on the phone is always better, but it might not be possible. In that case, as soon as you can, send a brief email requesting to reschedule. Your email will be more effective and professional if you follow this structure:

  • Paragraph 1: Reiterate your enthusiastic about discussing the job opportunity.
  • Paragraph 2: Request to reschedule the interview and state your reason succinctly. Offer two to three new dates with your available times.
  • Paragraph 3: Express how sorry you are for having to reschedule, and acknowledge any inconvenience this might cause. State again how enthusiastic you are about the job opportunity.
  • Closing: Thank the interviewer for their flexibility and understanding.
  • Finally, leave your signature.

Proofread any written correspondence. It should go without saying, but if you email your rescheduling request, take the extra time to check your message. Even a single mistake could diminish your professionalism and give someone a reason to deny your request. When you think you’re ready to hit “send,” read it one more time.

Don’t make rescheduling a habit. Rescheduling once is understandable, and it won’t necessarily destroy your chances of landing the job. More than once, however, is a red flag to any prospective employer. Repeated rescheduling will make you look unreliable as an interviewee and potential employee.

Conclusion

Life happens, and unforeseen events can disrupt your job interview process. If you need to reschedule a job interview, be professional, and convey your continued interest in the job. If you have a plan, you won’t have to miss out on the one chance to demonstrate your value to a prospective employer.