When you have an upcoming job interview, it can feel like nothing else in the world matters. You’ve been researching the company, reading interview questions online, and checking out the company’s online profile 24/7 since you got that confirmation email. But sometimes, life happens and you have to cancel an interview.
Don’t freak out. This isn’t the end of the world and if handled properly, canceling an interview won’t affect your chances of getting the job. We promise.
Here’s how to properly and politely cancel a job interview.
How To Cancel An Interview (Even At The Last Minute)
Maybe you were so excited to schedule the interview, you forgot that you have an important class, study session, or exam during your job interview. Perhaps you’re really sick or you forgot that you have to hop on a flight that day. Maybe you got scheduled for a shift at your current job or internship at the last minute.
The job search process can be draining, and this interview seems like an olive branch from life. So, you really don’t want to burn any bridges or ruin your chances of getting the job. But having to reschedule your interview doesn’t have to be a catastrophe as long as you do the following things:
- Reach out to cancel as soon as possible to ensure you’re being respectful of their time
- Apologize and explain what went wrong (without rambling on or oversharing personal details)
- Offer options for a new interview time (try to check out the availability of your interviewer if you have access to their calendar through Calendly or a similar tool)
Stuff happens—and hiring managers and recruiters know this. And the good news is, they wouldn’t have reached out to you if they didn’t think you were a good fit or someone worthy of a possible job offer. So, they’re not going to give up on you so easily.
Example Cancellation Email (That Also Proposes A Reschedule)
Here’s an example of a polite and effective cancellation email that also proposes a rescheduled time:
I’m so sorry to inconvenience you, but unfortunately I’m going to have to reschedule our conversation about the opportunity at Citizens Bank. I’m really excited about the opportunity and grateful for the chance to learn more, but I was scheduled last minute for a shift at my part-time job during our interview time slot.
I am, however, eager to reschedule. Do any of the following times work for you?
- Monday, 3/18 between 12 – 4pm ET
- Tuesday, 3/19 between 11am – 4pm ET
- Wednesday 3/20 between 9am – 4pm ET
Let me know if something during these time slots works for you. If not, please let me know about your availability and I’ll make sure to find something that works for both of us.
Thanks again for the opportunity and sorry for the inconvenience!
All the best,
And again, if you do have access to the recruiter or the hiring manager’s calendar, then be sure to find times that are clear on those calendars before you propose new times.
I know it seems like a strike against you, but canceling and rescheduling an interview doesn’t have to be the end of the road for you. In fact, your dream company is probably so excited by your resume that this won’t even be something you remember once you start working there.
Good luck and happy hunting!