The last thing an employer wants is to have a no-show for a job interview. Not only is it rude to not cancel the job interview in advance, but it’s very unprofessional. Having to cancel a job interview because a better job came up, you’re sick, or just decided last minute that the job isn’t for you are all situations that can happen to anyone. The worst thing you can do is to not give notice and fail to let the employer know that you won’t be able to come in for the job interview. It’s always much easier to just ignore the follow-up calls and pretend it never happened. This is the worst thing you can do because it makes you look highly unprofessional, and in the working world, your professionalism should always remain intact.
There’s great debate on whether cancelling a job interview should be done via phone call or email. Calling over the phone is the preferred method for cancelling a job interview. If you do cancel through email though, make sure you get a response from the interviewer. It’s easy to email and immediately put the past behind you, but you need them to confirm the cancellation. If they don’t respond to your emails, then you have to call, and keep calling until you talk to someone about the cancellation.
Chances are they aren’t going to ask why you cancelled. They will be expecting an apology though. It’s advised to express your gratitude for the offer they made, and apologize for having to cancel. If they do ask, remember that honesty is the best policy. As Bright Hub states, you never know when you’ll cross paths with this organization again. If they’re in your desired industry, you don’t know who they know or who they talk to. If you lie, the lie may catch up with you in the future. That’s why it’s best to just alleviate your conscious and be honest when it comes to explaining why you have to cancel the job interview. Keep the answer short to avoid confusion and wasting more of the employer’s time.
Give plenty of notice when you call or email to cancel with the interviewer. This is what being a professional is all about. You want to show that you care about the employer’s time. By calling as early as possible, you give them the time to find someone else to take your interview slot which helps avoid having to make last minute adjustments on the interview schedule. Hopefully you won’t have to cancel too many job interviews, but as long as you remember to express your professionalism through timeliness and manners, you’ll cancel them smoothly.
Have you had to cancel a job interview before? Did you call or send an email? Let us know about it in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Penn Provenance Project