Three careers experts share their tips on what to do if you want to reschedule a job interview.
The most popular day of the year to search for a new job online in the UK is 7 January, according to recent research. That’s perhaps thanks in part to the whole “New Year, new me” mantra that’s drilled into our heads. However, data from the same totaljobs study also found that September and October are the most competitive months for job hunters, as this is when the highest number of adverts are posted. With that in mind, you’ll probably have a million questions about how to best handle the interview process, ensuring that you stand out against other candidates.
We’ve already shared the six most important questions to ask your next employer. And we asked some experts for the best advice on how to follow up after a job interview.
Now, we want to ask the careers experts…
Is it bad to reschedule a job interview?
The general consensus seems to be: yes, but only in circumstances when you have no other option.
Let’s break it down some more.
Should I be honest about why I’m rescheduling an interview?
If you’re going to suggest to reschedule a job interview, honesty is usually the best policy. It’s a cliche but, according to one expert, it’s so true.
Jo Cresswell, careers expert at recruiting website Glassdoor, says:
“Employers are human and understand that employees – and candidates – have lives outside of the workplace which may bring unique priorities and sometimes challenges. If needing to reschedule an interview for personal or family reasons, don’t be afraid to be honest about why. Doing so will highlight to the company that you value honesty and will immediately create a sense of rapport.
“However, at the same time, do treat the company with respect by giving them adequate notice where possible and being flexible when it comes to rescheduling the interview. If you have difficulties getting to the office for the interview, for example, perhaps offer a video interview in its place. If you are having an issue finding childcare, it’s not unheard of for forward-looking companies to welcome children into the office. Be authentic and be genuine in your requests.”
Can I reschedule a job interview because of illness?
Yes, sickness is a good enough reason to reschedule a job interview, but you must be sure to give as much notice as possible.
Charlotte Davies, careers expert at LinkedIn, explains:
“Obviously it’s always best to avoid rescheduling an interview if you can, but you have to remember that employers are people too, and know that sometimes unavoidable things can crop up.
“If something does come up that you can’t change or you’ve fallen ill, it’s likely to be far more common for employers to be understanding of the situation than not. As long as you give them as much notice as possible to rearrange they’re likely to be understanding of your situation. Ultimately, you also want to be at your best in an interview too and it’s not helpful to be distracted with other things.”
Can I reschedule a job interview last minute?
Rescheduling a job interview at the last minute is an absolute no, unless you have an “exceptional” reason, according to career consultant and founder and CEO of CityCV.co.uk Victoria McLean.
She says: “Unless it’s a matter of life or death, it is never a good idea to reschedule a job interview. Time, effort and a lot of juggling goes into ensuring precious time is carved out of the working week to dedicate to your interview. The interviewer desperately wants you to be ‘the one’ but if you’re being awkward or difficult to pin down it doesn’t make for an auspicious start.
“However, if you have a genuine, exceptional reason then you should always reschedule. Turning up to an interview flustered, stressed, upset or out of breath is never going to be a good start and first impressions count.”
So there we go. Always try your best to meet the hiring manager’s requests about a job interview. But, if something big does come up, don’t be afraid to be honest with them about why you need to reschedule. And always try to give as much notice as possible.