How to Cancel a Job Interview

Three Methods:Rescheduling a Job InterviewCancelling a Job Interview CompletelyCancelling a Job Interview as an Employer

If you have an interview with a prospective employer scheduled, you may find yourself in a tough situation if a time conflict comes up or an opportunity to interview with a more attractive employer presents itself. However, here is how you can easily and tactfully cancel your interview without creating an awkward situation or future problems with the interviewer.

Method 1
Rescheduling a Job Interview

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    Reschedule your job interview only as a last resort. Before reschedule your job interview, try to rearrange your other plans instead. Your job interview serves as a first impression for a potential employer, so rescheduling may come off as unprofessional. If possible, rearrange the other parts of your schedule before rescheduling your job interview.
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    Contact your interviewer with as much notice as possible. Rescheduling a job interview can be a huge inconvenience to everyone involved. Because of this, it's important that you contact your potential employer to reschedule at least 24 hours before your scheduled interview. When you contact your interviewer, give a brief explanation for your need to reschedule. Be as honest as possible. Give your interviewer a few alternative dates that will work for your rescheduled interview.
    • If you're rescheduling due to another job interview, it's best not to tell your interviewer that. Tell them you've had a work or family conflict come up, and that you'd love to reschedule your interview for another time.
    • If a life emergency happens and you cannot give 24 hour notice, contact your interviewer as soon as possible to let them know what happened. If it's a real emergency (you were injured, you have a family emergency, etc.), your potential employer should understand.
    • If you're still interested in the job, express that when you call to cancel. Say something like "I'm very sorry, but an emergency has come up and I won't be able to make our interview tomorrow. I'm still interested in the position and would be extremely grateful if we could reschedule."[1]
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    Speak with your interviewer directly, do not leave a message. When possible, make direct contact with your potential employer instead of sending an email or leaving a message. Making contact via phone will make you look like a responsible professional. Make an effort to get in touch with your interviewer in numerous ways, and only leave a message or send an email if you cannot reach them via phone.
    • Never send a text message to reschedule an interview, as it will make you look unprofessional.
    • If you end up leaving a message or sending an email, ask that your interviewer contact you to confirm they got your message.
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    Apologize for the inconvenience. A job interview is normally scheduled around multiple people's schedules. Therefore, cancelling or rescheduling an interview is usually an inconvenience for multiple people. Don't assume that your interviewer's schedule revolves around you, and apologize for causing any inconvenience. Try to be flexible when you ask to reschedule your interview. If your interviewer sees that you are putting in good effort to make this interview work, they will be more likely to reschedule your interview.[2]
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    Send a follow up note to your interviewer. After you've contacted your interviewer about rescheduling, send them a personal note or email reiterating your apology and your interest in the company. Your interviewer may be frustrated or irritated by you cancelling, so use this note as an opportunity to let them know that you are genuinely sorry and would still like a chance to reschedule an interview.

Method 2
Cancelling a Job Interview Completely

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    Give advanced notice for cancelling your interview. As soon as you know that you need to cancel your job interview, contact your interviewer. Don't waste anyone's time by waiting to cancel your interview. Instead, cancel it as soon as you know that you are no longer interested in interviewing for that position. Your interviewer will appreciate you giving them advanced notice, and you'll look much more professional.[3]
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    Be honest about your reasons for cancelling your interview. Whether you have accepted another job elsewhere, or are simply no longer interested in the job you had scheduled an interview for, let the employer know. The employer should appreciate your honesty, as they can begin looking elsewhere to fill the position they are hiring for.
    • If you've already accepted another job, call your interviewer and let them know. Say something along the lines of: "Thank you for inviting me to interview for the position, but I have just accepted an offer elsewhere. I was looking forward to the possibility of working with your company, but am going to have to cancel our interview. Thank you so much for your time!"
    • If you are cancelling your interview because of negative things you've learned about the company, be a bit more vague when cancelling your interview. Say something like: "I appreciate you scheduling an interview with me, but I'm going to have to cancel. I've decided to focus my career options elsewhere, but I appreciate your time."[4]
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    Remain professional to ensure you do not burn bridges. You never know when you'll be in need of another job, or when you'll cross paths with your interviewer (in a professional or personal setting). It is best to remain pleasant and professional when cancelling your interview, as it's never a good idea to burn bridges. Do not be rude when cancelling your interview, and do not disrespect this employer's company. Stick to a simple explanation as to why you are cancelling, and end the conversation.

Method 3
Cancelling a Job Interview as an Employer

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    Contact the applicant as soon as you realize you need to cancel your interview. It's professional courtesy to give advanced notice when cancelling or rescheduling an interview. If you wait until the last minute to cancel, it could reflect poorly on your business. If this is a potential employee that you are genuinely interested in hiring, make sure to show a great deal of professionalism. Cancelling an interview last minute may cause them to lose interest in your company.[5]
    • If an emergency comes up, contact the potential employee immediately. Give a brief explanation why you're cancelling and let them know you'll be in touch to reschedule. They should understand if it is a real emergency.
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    Tell the applicant if you have filled the position. Some employers do not inform candidates when jobs have been filled, they simply cut off all communication. This is extremely unprofessional and makes for bad business. If you have filled the position that you have been interviewing candidates for, let the candidates know. It's best practice to call candidates and let them know the position has been filled; this is a more personal and less cold method of informing a good candidate that you are not interested in hiring them. You can also send an email, although it's a less personal form of communication.[6]
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    Reschedule your interview as soon as possible. If you are interested in hiring this potential employee, reschedule your interview as soon as possible and give them multiple dates to choose from. Since you interfered with their schedule, you should be flexible when rescheduling your interview. Express to the interviewee that you'd really love to interview them, and ask what you can do to make that happen.
    • If you are unsure when you'll be able to reschedule, let the interviewee know that you'll be in touch about rescheduling, and contact them in a timely fashion.[7]


  • Don't reschedule just because you want to go out of town for the weekend or it will interfere with your social calendar. Only reschedule when it is absolutely necessary.
  • Don't schedule an interview without first checking your calendar for conflicts.

Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills