How To Cancel A Job Interview

How To Cancel A Job Interview

Appointments in life are rescheduled and broken all of the time, so why can cancelling a job interview cause so much drama?

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Agencies only get bent of of shape as they wanted to make a fee right? That’s not the full picture. The consultant may know that the client’s reaction will not be favourable and bridges for the future, with that organisation and individual, burnt whether dealing with a third party or not.

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Most people are time sensitive. We plan it, allocate it and try to maximise it’s productivity. Add in a little pressure such as a traffic queue, deadline, reputation or lost personal time and see how things heat up.

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If you’re a client recruiting you probably have a vacancy on your team who are now overworking to compensate, or recruiting for a new position justified by the increase in volume. Either way you are short of resource and time is usually of the essence, it’s pressurised and impatience levels may rise as a result.

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Of course it all depends on how the situation is handled.

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Do let them know as soon as possible and give at least 24 hours notice. Give a brief reason and if applicable alternative dates for rescheduling within the next three working days where possible.

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Do it personally. Call first, then email and if leaving a message always follow up afterwards.

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Don’t if avoidable leave it to just hours before you are due to arrive.

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Don’t just send a text.

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Don’t just fail to show up and then ignore your phone.

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Don’t give elaborate excuses or complicated stories which lose you your creditability.

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I’ve heard many such reasons including:

  • I ran out of petrol on the motorway.
  • I fell over my dog this morning and broke my leg.
  • My ex boyfriend stole my car and purse so I can’t get the train or bus.
  • I’ve got a strain of bird flu this morning but could do tomorrow?
  • The fake tan I did last night is too dark.
  • My Mum has just been rushed into hospital in the last hour but I have managed to stop en route to send you a very long email from my work account even though I had booked the day as holiday to attend.
  • I’ve been locked inside my flat and can’t open the door from the inside and my partner has the keys at work.
  • I’m waiting for The AA.
  • I forgot.

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Over the years it seems as though the majority of people who seem to fabricate an excuse are trying to cancel for one if the following underlying reasons:

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They are scared. It’s easier to avoid their fears than facing them head on. If in any doubt that your change of heart maybe down to nerves its best to attend. Practice will help your confidence and you have nothing to lose. You fail if you don’t try.

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They have another interview with an opportunity they perceive to be better coming up. If there is no time clash definitely attend both. They only real way to learn about a company is to visit them. Many candidates have changed their minds after interview. Assumptions are not facts. Also with nothing secured it’s best to keep your options open. Lots of recruitment processes break down even at 3rd and final stages.  Lastly you want your next position to last longer than your search. Something initially attracted you to attend and that’s worth exploring. When you finally make your decision you want to be sure and not plagued by what ifs and maybes.

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They have another offer which they have accepted.Just be honest and apologise for the notice which was out if your control. It’s best to let them know as soon as you can and keep professional.

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They are lazy. This is surprisingly common. To make matters worse many candidates who drop out aren’t working or have been looking a while. They become almost blasé. Many late Friday appointments scheduled  on a Monday aren’t so appealing when it’s been a long week. It’s best to remember just how small the world can be. Especially in sector niches and local areas. Yes recruiters and HR people really do talk to each other. You may not think its such a big deal but missing this one appointment could really impact your future career. The person you stand up could easily join your current organisation or next one and be your future boss, it happens.

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With social media tools it’s never been easier to share information. Its easy for hiring managers to vent their frustrations to a larger audience. It also works both ways. If you have told them your sick in bed and yet posting pictures of your great day out at Alton Towers on your facebook wall or twitter stream, it will come back to haunt you.

If you liked this post you may find the following interesting:

Time And The Job Search

Have We Met Before? Transference And The Job Interview

Get To The Point To Get The Job

Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket

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