You have a job interview coming up and you realize that you have to cancel. Whether you have been offered another job and are no longer on the job search or whether life has gotten in the way and you have another matter to attend to, you may be in a position to cancel an upcoming job interview.
To get an interview, you will have already worked so hard. The last thing you want to do is call the interview off and risk leaving a negative impression.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss how you can cancel a job interview the right way. We’ll also provide an email template you can use to cancel your job interview if you decide to notify the employer through email.
Reasons to Cancel a Job Interview
Employers know that even the most organized and prepared candidates may not make it to a scheduled interview. Life sometimes gets in the way.
The key to successfully canceling a job interview is to provide a good reason why. Here are a few reasons why you may decide to cancel a job interview:
- You are unable to arrive at the interview site on time.
- You have received another job offer.
- You have decided that the job does not align with your career goals.
- You are feeling ill.
Having a reason to cancel your interview will help maintain your professional image, even under the circumstances.
If you decide that you are not going in for an interview at all, for instance, because you have been offered another job, then notifying the employer will give that person time to interview other candidates.
If you want to reschedule, providing a reason why you cannot make the original time will ensure you can maintain a good reputation with the business. If you say: “I was running late and couldn’t make our meeting” after the meeting was scheduled, an employer is likely to be unimpressed.
Providing a real reason for not being able to attend the interview and advance notice, will make an employer more likely to understand your position.
How to Cancel a Job Interview
There are three main ways to cancel an interview: in person, over the phone or through an email.
Canceling in-person is the most professional way to cancel an interview as most people will opt to send an email or a phone message. If you go to the company’s offices and cancel in person, you will be remembered as a professional.
You can also cancel an interview over the phone. This will allow you to convey a personal and professional tone while explaining to the company why you are canceling the interview.
Sending an email is another common method used to cancel job interviews. This method is good because it provides you with a written record of your intent to cancel the interview, thereby reducing the chances of any confusion down the line.
But emails can get lost, so you may want to call or drop by the office in-person in addition to sending an email. Also, if you need to cancel at short notice – for example, if your car has broken down, then you may want to phone the business instead. This will ensure that they receive your communication.
Cancel a Job Interview: Top Tips
Cancelling a job interview, even if you have a good reason for doing so, can feel awkward. You don’t want to make a company feel like you have wasted their time.
To help you cancel a job interview with grace, we have compiled a few top tips that you should follow. These are:
Tip #1: Give 24 hours notice (at the very least)
If you need to cancel an interview, don’t be the person who does so an hour before the interview. Hiring managers and recruiters are busy and the time scheduled for you could be given to another candidate.
Contact the hiring manager as soon as possible and tell them that you want to cancel your interview. Provide adequate notice to show that you care about their time and are grateful for the opportunity to be interviewed.
Tip #2: Provide an apology
Apologizing is not necessary but it is a good act of professional courtesy. Job interviews don’t come by often, and so canceling an interview is not something you should take lightly.
Even if you are canceling for reasons outside of your control – for example, you may have to take care of your children because your babysitter dropped out, you should still apologize for any inconvenience you have caused.
Be polite, courteous, and acknowledge that you appreciate the time the employer was going to take to interview you.
Tip #3: Prepare to reschedule (if you want to)
Do you want to reschedule your interview for another day? If so, then you should prepare to do so before you notify the employer you can’t attend the scheduled interview.
Check your calendar to see what times would work best for you and consider whether any additional arrangements will need to be worked out for a certain time to work. Then, when you have a few times you know will work, call up the company, and ask to reschedule.
If the company is not in a rush to hire for the position, or if they are particularly interested in talking with you about the job, then they should be willing to accommodate you.
Cancel an Interview: Example Email
As discussed earlier, writing an email to a company is a popular approach used to cancel a job interview. Here is an example email you can use to guide you if you are going to write an email to cancel an upcoming job interview:
Subject: Jessica Wilson: Cancellation
Dear Mr. Jackson,
Thank you for offering me the opportunity to interview for the position of Marketing Director at your business. I am sending this email to notify you that I will be unable to attend our interview at our scheduled time.
I am currently responding to a family emergency, which requires my immediate attention. With that said, I am still excited about this position, and I was wondering if you would be available to reschedule.
I am available at any time between 1pm and 4pm over the next week. If there is a time that would suit you better, please let me know.
I apologize for any inconvenience my cancelling may have caused. I also want to thank you again for considering me for this position.
Canceling a job interview is not something you should rush into. If you are unable to attend an interview, you should take some time to prepare how you are going to cancel it. If you want to reschedule, do so in a timely manner, ahead of the original scheduled interview.
Notify the employer in advance, give them as much notice as possible, and reschedule if you are interested. Presenting yourself professionally as you cancel is the key to maintaining a good image in the eyes of an employer.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.