Interviewing

How to Reschedule a Job Interview

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Situations can arise that make it impossible to keep a job interview appointment, such as dangerous weather conditions, a sudden illness or family emergencies. If you find yourself facing any of these situations, it is crucial to let your interviewer know as soon as possible. This article shares some steps on how to reschedule an interview, along with email and phone templates.

Reasons for rescheduling a job interview

Some reasonable explanations  for rescheduling an interview could include the following:

  • A weather emergency such as a blizzard, tornado warning or dangerous thunderstorms
  • A medical concern such as food poisoning, an injury or the flu, especially if you are suffering from something contagious
  • A family emergency such as a parent suddenly being hospitalized or a child becoming injured
  • Job commitments such as a crisis board meeting or unexpected work-related travel
  • A car accident or other transportation-related issues, such as airline cancelations

When you feel a need to reschedule a job interview, first consider whether your reason is serious and clearly unavoidable. 

How to reschedule an interview

Here are some steps you can take to reschedule an interview while maintaining professionalism:

1. First, be prepared 

Anticipate problems to prevent potential emergencies. Try on what you will wear ahead of time. Keep hard copies of your resume or portfolio in an easily visible location so you will not forget them. Check traffic apps to give yourself plenty of time to travel to the location. Preparations like these may help prevent the need to reschedule in the first place.

2. Second, make sure you have a true emergency 

If a situation does arise that threatens your plans, first make your best attempt at solving the problem. Perhaps you can ask a relative to care for an ill child, or you may be able to use a ride share service in case of car trouble. If you are sick but not contagious, take medication that will let you sit through the interview comfortably.

3. Third, contact your interviewer as soon as possible 

In some cases, the interviewer may have arranged to meet you in a location outside their office, such as a restaurant, so it is important to reach them before they begin traveling to that location. If you have more than 24 hours before your interview, you can email them. However, if you are due to meet them the same day, either call them directly or at their office to ensure that the message reaches them promptly.

4. Fourth, include your interview details in your message

Whether you call or send an email, include the following information in your communication: your name, the position for which you are interviewing, the time you were supposed to meet, your reason for requesting a postponement, a request for a new time and an apology.

5. Fifth, follow up

Make sure you follow up to thank the interviewer for their flexibility, and obtain a new and clear time and place for the interview. When you arrive at the interview, thank the interviewer again for being accommodating, but do so briefly and move on to the interview without dwelling too long on the postponement.

Templates for rescheduling an interview

Here are templates you can use when requesting that an interview be rescheduled:

Email template

Subject line: URGENT: Request to reschedule interview for [time and date]

Hi [name of interviewer],

I am reaching out with an urgent need to reschedule our interview for [position] that was scheduled for [time and date of the interview].

I apologize for the necessity of rescheduling at such short notice, but unfortunately, [briefly describe why you have to reschedule]. I will be available from [range of times and dates that will work for you] to meet.

I am enthusiastic about this opportunity and look forward to resuming our discussion as soon as possible. 

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Phone template 

Hi [name of interviewer],

This is [your name], and we were scheduled to meet at [time and date of your interview] to talk about the [job title of the position for which you were being interviewed] position. I am so sorry, but an emergency has come up and I need to postpone. [Briefly describe the emergency.] Could we please reschedule for [mention a couple of times and places]? I’m sorry again to have to do this, but I am excited about the position and hope we can reschedule soon. Thank you.

Examples of how to reschedule an interview gracefully

Here are some examples to refer to when you need to reschedule an interview:

Email example

Dear Mr. Hoana,

I am reaching out because I have an urgent need to reschedule our interview for the position of legal secretary that we scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m.

I apologize for the necessity of rescheduling at such short notice, but unfortunately, I am attending a convention in Chicago, and blizzard conditions make it impossible for us to fly out until tomorrow evening at the latest. I will be available to meet any time Monday and after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

I am enthusiastic about this opportunity and look forward to resuming our discussion as soon as possible. 

Sincerely,
Ronald Foster

Phone example

Hi Alice. This is Dana Lee. I’m so sorry to do this, but I’ll have to reschedule the interview we planned for this Tuesday, January 2 at 3:30 p.m. I am excited about interviewing for the temporary art teacher position while Ms. Bass is on maternity leave. Unfortunately, my grandfather has had a stroke, and I must fly to Wisconsin to be at his side. Would it be possible to meet after two weeks? I should be available at any time after about January 15. Thank you for understanding, and apologies for the short notice. 

Following these steps can help signal your reliability and communication skills to an employer. Following professional and courteous guidelines can help an employer understand your reason for postponing your interview, helping you maintain a positive impression.