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Quick & Easy: How to Cancel an Interview or Reschedule for Later

No sweat—you’re not the first to do it

Job interview

You were scheduled for a job interview but something came up—you’re sick, there’s a family emergency, you have a meeting for your current job you absolutely can’t miss, maybe you decided the job isn’t for you after all.

You’re not the first one to cancel an interview, nor is it hard to do. It’s important to cancel as soon as you know you can’t make it. Here’s how to cancel and reschedule if need be. 

Send an email or make a phone call?

The best way to cancel or reschedule an interview is to reach out via the same means you’ve been communicating with your prospective employer.

If you’ve been corresponding via email, create a new email with a clear subject line, i.e., Request to Reschedule 8/12 Interview or Need to Cancel 8/12 Interview.

If you’ve been corresponding by phone, call them up and leave a message if you don’t get an answer. Keep your message friendly and brief. 

Be honest about why you need to cancel

There’s no need to invent an answer as to why you’re cancelling. A brief but honest explanation is all that’s necessary. No need for graphic details about how you’re sick or a diatribe about how you’d much rather work elsewhere.

If you plan to reschedule, be clear: either offer a few dates and times you’re available or let them know when you will follow up with your availability.

4 ways to cancel an interview

If you’re found another job

I am writing [or calling] to let you know that I have accepted a position elsewhere and will need to cancel tomorrow’s interview. I want to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the head recruiter role and I wish you the best of luck in your search!

If you’ve decided the job’s not for you

After careful consideration, I have decided that this position is not the right fit for me and will need to cancel this week’s interview. Thank you for considering me for the role. I wish you the best of luck in your search.

If you’re sick

I will need to reschedule this afternoon’s interview. I’m under the weather and will not be able to make it in. I apologize for the inconvenience. I should be available to come in on Thursday or Friday afternoon after 1 p.m. Please let me know if you have time of either one of those days to meet with me.

Thank you.

If you have a family emergency

I need to cancel Wednesday’s interview on account of a family emergency. I am unsure of when I will be available, but I will be in touch as soon as possible to reschedule.

Thank you for understanding.

If you have a meeting or another interview

I am writing [or calling] to reschedule our interview on Monday. I have a scheduling conflict that cannot be moved. Here are a few dates and times I am available: 

  • Wednesday or Thursday after 3 p.m. 

  • Friday before 11 a.m.

Thank you for understanding and I apologize for any inconvenience.

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By Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

Content Strategist, InHerSight

Emily is on staff at InHerSight where she researches and writes about data that describes women in the workplace, women's compensation and contract literacy, and women's rights in the workplace. 

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