There’s only 1 right way to reschedule an interview (that doesn’t hurt you)

You have waited months to apply for the new position and finally turned in your cover letter and resume.

The job opening may be open for a month with interviews to be scheduled with a select few candidates.

Unfortunately, your schedule is at the hiring manager’s mercy, depending on when future interviews will be scheduled. 

There are certain circumstances where it is impossible to make the scheduled interview time set forth by the hiring manager. A few reasons when attempting to reschedule an interview are appropriate and a few reasons when it is not appropriate to reschedule an interview.

Here are a few reasons it is appropriate to reschedule an interview:

Your health is a legitimate reason to reschedule

Especially in times of Covid-19, it’s more unprofessional to show up to an interview with signs of sickness than it is to reschedule.

If you suddenly come down with an illness, be sure to contact the hiring manager as soon as possible.

If you can contact them at least a day or two in advance, this will ensure you don’t waste their time.

A family emergency

Many of us have family obligations that require our attention. Do your best to reschedule any doctor appointments or child care issues ahead of time. However, kids can suddenly become sick or injured at school, which may require a last-minute reschedule for your interview.

Keep in mind a family emergency means just that – an emergency. Your scheduled interview should be maintained unless there is an exigent uncontrollable circumstance that you have no choice but to reschedule.

Transportation issues

Having car troubles can indicate to a hiring manager that you may not be a reliable employee.

While car trouble is a legitimate reason to reschedule, it can be detrimental to your overall job acquisition.

If your current vehicle is notoriously unreliable, take public transportation, or have someone drop you off for the interview to guarantee you are on time.

When it’s not appropriate to reschedule an interview

While there are a few reasons when it’s acceptable to reschedule an interview, there are certain instances when it is not appropriate.

You forgot about the interview

There is no excuse if you forget about the interview.

Forgetting about the interview or running late because you were unprepared is not a reason to reschedule, and you may as well forget about getting the job.

Set yourself up for success in life by establishing an easy to read calendar system to ensure you meet critical deadlines and appointments.

Sleeping in or hungover

When it comes to a job interview, you are not owed anything. Truthfully, you probably need this job more than the hiring manager needs you

Set your priorities so being successful in this job application process is more important than partying and staying up late.

So, how do you reschedule an interview politely?

If you have no choice but to reschedule, here are a few pointers to contact the hiring manager without ruining your chances of landing the job.

1. Contact the hiring manager as soon as possible

As early as possible, contact the hiring manager or their secretary to reschedule. When you make contact, you should already have your availability ready so that you can commit to a new date and time immediately.

2. Give a reason you need to reschedule

While hiring managers don’t like excuses, they want to know why you’re unable to do the interview. Keep your reasoning short but thorough enough to express why you have no other options but to reschedule. 

3. Apologize for the inconvenience

Managers typically live and die by their schedules, and having to change an appointment can be extremely inconvenient.

Be apologetic and understanding that you realize rescheduling is an inconvenience you do not take lightly.

4. Contact the manager by phone first, email second

Making immediate phone contact avoids emails being missed and rescheduling from being overlooked.

By contacting the manager by phone, you can ensure they are notified rather than hoping they eventually read their email.

Lastly, avoid rescheduling if possible.

Getting your dream job and making more money should take priority over some of the other inconveniences of life.

Rescheduling a job interview usually does more harm than good and should be avoided except for extreme circumstances.