Cancelling an Interview? What’s your chance of rearranging?

by | 06.01.23

Oh no! Something has gone horribly wrong and now you can’t attend an interview you’ve arranged. What can you possibly say to make the employer give you another chance? Well whatever you do you need to do it well, nothing is more annoying for an employer than allocating an hour of their time to interview someone only for the candidates to cancel the interview at the last minute. So if you want to re-arrange the appointment you will need to do some serious grovelling. Here are some of the excuses we receive from job seekers, some are so common we say “not that old chestnut”. Here we’ve rated your chance of rearranging the interview depending on the excuse you have given:

An emergency has occurred

It’s a golden oldie but it would be very difficult for the employer to say I don’t believe that but you will probably have to go into a lot of detail and explain exactly what has happened for them to rearrange the interview. Chance of rearranging = 6/10

Your friend has an emergency

This shows you care about other people enough to sacrifice something that is important to you, but is this more important than getting a job? Your job interview will take about an hour and your friends problem will still be there afterwards. A good friend will encourage you to go for the interview, a needy friend will encourage you to cancel. The choice is yours. Chance of rearranging = 2/10

Your car has broken down

It happens to a lot of people and is therefore a very good excuse and is usually believable, but again you will have to go into detail. The employer will want to be sure that the breakdown was out of your control and not a case of you running out of petrol because you forgot to fill up yesterday. Chance of rearranging = 7/10

You are sick

“The Plague” might not be the way to go and frankly employers are sick to death of the Covid excuse so your illness needs to be original. A headache, the sniffs or a toothache won’t do it, an employer will judge you to be someone not prepared to come into work at the slightest excuse. Pop a couple of pills and get on your way. Vomiting and the other are probably a good excuse because no-one wants someone to be sick in the middle of an interview. But the rule of thumb is if you were well yesterday, you probably aren’t too bad today. Chance of rearranging = 5/10

You can’t get out of work

The good thing about this one is it makes you look like a very diligent employee, it also makes you look indispensable. Attending interviews when you are employed is always difficult and employers appreciate this, they also want a reliable and committed employee so this excuse could actually earn you brownie points. Chance of rearranging = 8/10

You’ve been mugged

Rather distressing and will get you the sympathy vote for sure but how believable is it? You’d have to be really unlucky to get mugged in this area so if you are using this as an excuse you had better have the bruises to confirm it! Chance of rearranging = 5/10

You’ve been rushed to hospital

This will really get you sympathy, no one can argue with this excuse, but again it better be true. You must be really poorly to be admitted to hospital so quickly, it really must be an emergency and most likely the employer will be sympathetic. Chance of rearranging = 8/10

You’re stuck in traffic so not coming

Sometimes employers will be understanding – sometimes not. This is a risky excuse. What you should really do is call the employer and explain that you are going to be late because of traffic and are they okay with that. Getting there late is much better than just giving up. Also by complaining about the traffic before you start a job could lead an employer to think you would be constantly late if they employed you. Chance of rearranging = 2/10

You’ve locked yourself out of your house

You’re in a panic and will have to call an emergency locksmith and that takes priority over your interview. Really! What sort of person would do this! Usually someone not very responsible, its not something that happens usually, so unless there is a hurricane blowing that slammed your door when you were outside it is really not very believable and would tell an employer that maybe you are not very responsible person. Chance of rearranging = 2/10

You decide to tell the truth and nothing but the truth

No matter how farfetched the truth is it really is important that you are honest, by fibbing you would be starting off your relationship with a potential employer with a lie. It’s not the right way to go. If you miss out on the job opportunity because you have told the truth, then so be it. Better to miss an interview and maintain integrity than move forward under false pretences. Chance of rearranging = 5/10

So there you go! We hear weird and wonderful excuses everyday from candidates cancelling interviews, some we believe, others we don’t. Our advise to job seekers is this –  if going for an interview is just too much effort, you need to stop looking for a job at the moment. Get yourself in the right head place, be positive about your job search and be prepared to make an effort. If you have to cancel an interview, think about the ramifications and only cancel if you have a genuine excuse – no fibbing.

Good Luck!

Angela Burton