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Time After Time: Rescheduling, Cancelling and Running Late to an Interview

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by Shell Bongares

about 2 months ago

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Time - it’s a funny construct when you really think about it. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week.. all these little things that determine when we wake up, when we eat, when we go to work (or school). Because of the fact we give importance to it as humans, then it becomes important. Which is why being on time – or even better, being early – is crucial, especially for a job interview because, as they say:

Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable!”


Running Out of Time (..or just Disinterested?)

Being late can create the wrong impression, especially if we don’t receive any notification from you. We may think that you don’t actually care or it’s normal behaviour for you to be late, which is not necessarily the case. We understand that sometimes there are outside forces that can obstruct you from arriving on time, but hoping you can be squeezed in without notifying us beforehand is not ideal. There may be a chance we can still see you because we, of course, don’t want you missing out on a great opportunity, but only if you give us adequate notice, so letting us know immediately can help us hopefully fit something in…or we’re just plain worried about you and hope you are OK.


The Art of Rescheduling

Sometimes there may be circumstances where it’s completely out of your control; maybe you got called in for work at the last minute to start a 9 am shift thus need to postpone your 10 am interview. At the earliest convenience you must let your recruiter or potential employer know via a phone call or, at the very least, an email, even if it’s after hours –your recruiter should have a voicemail set up, so leave them a message and even follow-up with a call in the morning to be proactive. Don’t be scared they will berate you or think you’re lying. Just be transparent and genuine. It’s better to be truthful rather than leave them in the dark. In a way, think of it as a date or a meeting up with an old friend. You need to give them a reason as to why you won’t be there because a) it’s common courtesy and just being a decent human being, and b) so you can negotiate another suitable time to meet.


Turn and Face the Strain, Ch-ch-changed my Mind

Maybe you’ve had another read through the job advertisement you applied for or looked at the company website in more depth, and suddenly realised it’s not actually what you’re looking for. But– oh no, you’ve already got an interview booked in tomorrow, and ah! it’s already 11 pm the night before, what are you supposed to do?! Similar to rescheduling, contact your recruiter or potential employer as soon as possible. Instead of your closing your eyes and hoping it will go away, shove aside feelings of discomfort and anxiety, pick up the phone and just explain the situation. We may try to persuade you to still come regardless, but at the end of the day it is still your decision and we will respect it either way.


All you really need to remember is to be courteous, honest, and respectful. We would much rather hear directly from you, instead of receiving radio silence. 

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