Cancelling an interview has always been difficult for the employer and the candidate both. Cancelling or not being able to show up for the interview might look as if you are disinterested and unprofessional on the work front. Cancelling an interview can be for any reason, and sometimes as an HR/recruiter, you might not know how to handle it.
NLB knows how difficult and challenging it could be and lets you know a solution.
Cancelling a job interview is not unprofessional at all. There can be instances when the hiring manager or candidate may have a sudden work call or an important meeting. There can be other emergencies like medical emergencies or not being able to join the call due to a power break or network issues.
Companies, as job providers, or candidates, as job seekers, both can have any kind of unavoidable circumstances at the last minute of the interview. So, cancelling a job interview is not unprofessional until the reason is valid and beyond control. Companies should be open to rescheduling it in future with the lined-up candidate and also carrying on with the other candidates in the pipeline.
During the entire hiring process, you might encounter an event that requires interview cancellation or rescheduling. Calling or emailing an interview cancellation notice makes you look professional with the connection. However, learning the steps for writing an apologetically correct email can show the company you represent in a better light and should be a basic business etiquette.
Tips for an employer or a candidate that is going to cancel an interview-
For candidates who are no longer interested in the position (cancelling a job interview ) or urging for a reschedule –
Subject: [Position] Interview Cancellation/ Rescheduling
Hello [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you for considering me for the position of [Position Name] at [Company Name]. I greatly appreciate you inviting me for an interview on [Date] at [Time].
[scenario for rescheduling] – Unfortunately, I will not be able to appear for the interview as there was a medical emergency at home. Can I request you to reschedule it for [date & time]?
[scenario for cancellation] –
I’ve decided not to pursue this opportunity with [Company Name] further.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.
I am grateful to you for all your time invested in the prelim conversation and sincerely hope that you find a good candidate for the position.
[Your Full Name]
For employers who want to reschedule the interview or cancelling a job interview
Subject: Change in Schedule of [Position] Interview
Dear [First Name],
Thank you for your interest in the position of [Position Name] at our company. Unfortunately, due to some urgency, we have had to cancel the interview that was scheduled for you on [Date] at [Time] due to [brief description of the reason].
We would like to reschedule your interview for any of the following slots:
[Date] — [Time]
[Date] — [Time]
[Date] — [Time]
Kindly confirm your availability with an acknowledgement to this email. Please let us know your preferred date and time other than the above.
I apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to having your presence for the interview again.
Ideally, you rarely want to cancel a job interview, especially last minute. But life is unpredictable and any exigencies like accidents, medical emergencies or a broken down car often can happen at the worst possible times. Sometimes you simply don’t want to pursue an interview because you no longer need that job.
There is a way you can cancel without burning any bridges, though. Be polite, and apologetic, and state the valid reason to the hiring manager as advance notice as possible. Do not forget to make it clear whether you don’t want to appear for the interview and want to cancel your candidature or whether you simply want to postpone and still be considered for the job.
The same goes for the employer if they want to postpone the interview, or want to consider some other candidate.
In both cases, the reason should be told very clearly and in advance to avoid a decline in an interview last minute.