With the scarcity of jobs and the heated competition to get employed that follows, people struggle to even get called for an interview. What if, after all that struggling, the interview time doesn’t work for you? What if it clashes with something as important as an appointment or event that cannot be rescheduled? What if you’re ill or your child is? Or what if it just isn’t a good time but with good reason? Here is the guide for How To Ask For A Different Interview Time?
Don’t worry. You can just reschedule your meeting. The art is in how you do that.
When it comes to breaking the news to your interviewer, you must inform them as soon as possible. Informing them at the last minute or right before the interview may come off as unprofessional if your reason isn’t an emergency and even then it just doesn’t look so good. Make sure to talk to them in a way that doesn’t complicate your chances. Be nice about it. To elaborate, have a good reason for rescheduling, contact your interviewer or the hiring manager as soon as you can, and follow the following steps on how to do so in the best manner.
Valid Reasons for Rescheduling
For starters, you need good reasons that are acceptable for postponing or rescheduling your original interview. Not every reason is justifiable and you want your hiring manager to understand so that they agree to reschedule. Some common reasons for rescheduling are:
- You’re ill
If you’ve gotten the flu or aren’t feeling well enough to even leave the bed, it’s time to consider rescheduling. You don’t want to be tired or look ill during the interview either. You definitely don’t want to miss the interview if you feel like you can’t move at all so this is the perfect time to reschedule.
- Health issues especially during COVID
Ever since COVID-19, it’s better to be safe. If you aren’t feeling well or experience symptoms of the virus, it is best to reschedule and get yourself checked as well. Staying away from the interviewer and others would be considerate to prevent the spread of any potential illness.
This is something your hiring manager may more likely understand and agree to reschedule when you’re feeling better as long as it works for them too.
- A family emergency
This is another understandable human experience your interviewer would be willing to understand and treat with compassion. An emergency regarding a loved one is important and that can be if your child is sick or attending to an injured family member too. Attending funerals or mourning the loss of a loved one may require some time too.
- An issue with transportation
Things that are out of our control are most likely to be understood too. Cars break down and it’s something that people can relate to so the hiring staff may agree to reschedule.
However, it is better to find an alternative way to reach your destination. Hitchhiking or finding the nearest cab to get to this interview should be your priority. If this doesn’t work out and you know you won’t be able to make it, then contact your interviewer.
- A change in work schedule
Some of you may be employed already and this interview is because you’re in search of a new one. If your schedule suddenly changes at your current employment, you may reschedule. Nevertheless, you should always try to schedule your interview at a time you know your current job’s timings won’t clash with.
When you show your respect for your current job, it paints you in a better light for your potential employer. It means you would respect your work with them too. This is redeeming quality employers look for in their employees. They want someone who is serious about their work and respects the company.
- Other Options
If a better opportunity makes its way to you, you may need to reschedule or cancel your interview. If you intend on rescheduling you must remain honest when they inquire about the reason for it. This is especially necessary if the job is in the same industry. Hiring managers or interviewers may know each other even if they’re from different companies so they could find out.
Letting your hiring manager know upfront shows your professionalism and can give you a fair chance of getting hired at either organization.
Do not reschedule because you don’t feel like attending at that time or just can’t be bothered by it. It looks bad on your part and your priorities are questionable which will make them reconsider whether you’d be a suitable candidate for the job.
It is inappropriate to reschedule for the following reasons:
- Forgetting about the interview
- Being unprepared and thus running late
- Sleeping in and getting late
- Being hung-over
How to Reschedule an Interview via Phone Call
To avoid missed emails and informing the interviewer quickly, you should try to call them first. If you know beforehand, then you may try to email them first so they can read it at their own convenience. Calling is best for rescheduling a day before or the day of the interview.
However, there is no hard and fast rule. It is better to email them if there is ample time (in days) before the interview.
- Contact Interviewer as quickly as possible
You should contact the interviewer or hiring manager whether it is through their secretary to have a better chance at rescheduling. The earlier you tell them, the better chance you may have of rescheduling.
Convey how enthusiastic you are about the interview so they understand that it is important to you. Let them know this is an opportunity you consider very important to you which is why you would like to reschedule. You don’t want to miss this chance.
- Provide your reason
Tell them the reason for rescheduling if they inquire for more details. Make sure your reason is a valid one as discussed above.
Do not make excuses. Hiring managers and interviewers don’t like that and they don’t want to waste their time. So keep your reason to the point but make sure you express why you have no other option besides rescheduling.
- Suggest an alternative time
Before calling you should have an alternative day and time ready for if they ask. To be safe make a mental note of several alternatives so that you don’t need to reschedule a second time.
This will make it easier for the hiring manager. They can find a time slot that works for both of you.
You want to show your appreciation and how apologetic you are for rescheduling as managers are very strict about their schedules. You would be lucky if they somehow fit you in for rescheduling in the first place so apologize for the inconvenience.
Courtesy and consideration are important when it comes to rescheduling. Tell them that you understand and realize that this is something you don’t take lightly.
- Thank the interviewer
Make sure to thank them for their time. If they weren’t able to reschedule you should still be thankful in order to not ruin any chances you might have with this company in the future. You might want to apply again.
If your interviewer confirms that they’re going to reschedule, thank them and show that you’re grateful. Show that you are still keen on attending the interview and haven’t lost interest.
How to Reschedule an Interview via Email
The same rules apply for rescheduling through a phone call. You just have to express yourself in the form of words.
- Email as soon as possible
Don’t keep putting it off even if you have time. You don’t know when they’re going to read it and you still want to be efficient which requires informing them promptly.
When emailing the hiring manager or interviewer, you want to have your reason for rescheduling and alternative day and time ready as well as the other steps included in the email. Your email should be polite and professional.
There are several templates to look into. This has a template that will help you word your email appropriately and not ruin your reputation.
You can choose other templates as well that you find more appropriate for yourself here.
Before sending your email, proofread it to avoid any grammatical errors. Make sure it sounds polite and your point gets across in the nicest manner. Use your full name at the end to sign off.
Why do employers not agree to reschedule?
From the perspective of hiring, managers often have jammed-packed schedules. They have to make time out of their busy routine to reschedule which is inconvenient at times. Rescheduling works only if it works for the interviewer and in the long run, for the employer.
By choosing to reschedule you risk being perceived as high maintenance or that this job is not your top priority. Your first impression is tainted in a way. Thus it is favorable to not reschedule unless you have no other choice.
Job interviews are hard to come by especially if it’s your dream job. Try your best to make it to that interview and give it priority over the minor inconveniences in life. Moreover, rescheduling should be avoided unless necessary.
When necessary, you can follow these steps to maximize your chances of being able to get that job! Don’t let anything stand in your way. You got this.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do employers reschedule interviews?
Sometimes employers have too many candidates scheduled for a specific day and they won’t be able to get to a few because of the already hectic schedule. So they reschedule a few so that the interviewers and hiring managers can also attend to other responsibilities.
There may be other reasons but one cannot be sure unless they offer that information themselves.
- Is it bad to reschedule an interview twice?
Yes. Rescheduling once has its effects but rescheduling twice makes employers doubt your priorities and doubt if you’re a reliable candidate.
Employers say that they rarely if ever reschedule someone for a job interview twice. If they’re willing to still have you, you should go but it should still be considered as a strike against you.
- Is a short interview a bad sign?
This is not necessarily true. At times, they already have all the information they need if they’ve gone over your CV. Sometimes it could even mean you did a good job and everyone’s on the same page.
The interviewer may like to keep things moving along. You can always ask questions of your own at the end. However, try not to jump to conclusions so fast. You may have done a great job.