How Can You Reschedule Your Interview without Ruining Your Chances?

Home > 
Blog > 
How Can You Reschedule Your Interview...
Can’t make your next interview? Follow the tips below to reschedule.
Mar 14, 2024 14 min read

You’ve done everything right throughout the job application process, and you even landed a much-coveted interview. The only problem is‌ that you have an important medical procedure being done that day. Two thoughts start floating through your head: you could go without the medical treatment you need or give up on a job that would be perfect for you.

But did you know that there is a third choice? If you have a justifiable reason, it’s totally okay to reschedule your interview.

But when is it okay to reschedule an interview? Great question, and in this article, we discuss that question, as well as some other tips including:

  • The pros and cons of rescheduling an interview.
  • Tips to help you successfully postpone an interview.
  • Examples and templates to reschedule.

When is it okay to reschedule an interview?

Like with anything in life, there are right reasons and wrong reasons to reschedule an interview. If you woke up and overslept your alarm, that might not be a significant reason to cancel your interview. However, if you have a medical emergency, then that is a totally justifiable reason to reschedule an interview for a different day.

Below, you’ll see a list of the right reasons to reschedule an interview, as well as some wrong reasons.

Justifiable reasons to cancel an interview

Feeling sick

The world has become a lot more health-conscious ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. As you’ve re-shifted your life around keeping others safe, you realized that sometimes you couldn’t meet your friends and family in person. It is better not to just grin and bear it with an illness because your health can ultimately influence other people’s health.

If you have an illness, then it’s in your best interest to let your potential hiring manager know. In fact, they will be grateful that you let them know instead of showing up to the interview and getting them sick.

Once you’ve recovered from your illness, reach out to your interviewer and let them know that you’d like to reschedule the interview. Keep in mind there is a delicate timeframe for you to reschedule an interview, so do your best not to wait too long.

If you have long-term health complications, try to schedule an interview for a time when you’re feeling substantially better. Or even choose to ask for a different style of interview (for example, on the phone or through video call).

Transportation issues

You probably have been there before: everything is normal with your car, and then one day it just goes kaput. You took it to a mechanic, but you have to wait a couple of days to get your car back to you. When this happens, you need to shift your schedule around and make things work.

The best thing you can do is, to be honest with an employer and let them know your car is in the shop and that you’re looking to have it fixed as soon as possible. Everybody has gone through a situation like this, and most hiring managers will understand the situation.

Technological problems

A lot of initial screening interviews are being done through video call platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Meet. However, interviewers can experience technical difficulties which make it almost impossible to interview properly.

Sometimes, when you trust technology, you're going to be let down. Whether it’s your Wi-Fi going down or your computer being on the fritz, it might just be impossible for you to conduct the interview that day. But if you’re forthright with a potential hiring manager, they’ll completely understand the situation.

If technology is the issue, try asking for a phone call instead. You can also try using your smartphone or tablet to set up a video call if your laptop or desktop computer isn’t working. If Wi-Fi is the problem, maybe go to a local coffee shop or fast-food restaurant, and use their Wi-Fi. It may be louder in there, but you can apologize to your employer if that’s an issue.

Bad weather

You’ve probably experienced times when you can even leave your house because the weather is too bad. A freak ice storm comes out of nowhere, and the roads are layered with half an inch of black ice. All the highways are closed, and a lot of back roads are not drivable. If that’s the case, it would be dangerous for you to even leave your house.

If you’re in a situation like this, you can easily reach out to the hiring manager and explain to them the issues that you have. More often than not, your future employer will struggle with the same issues and might have even closed down the office for the day.

You could reschedule the interview for a later date, or ask for a remote interview instead. Offering those two options might show a recruiter that you are flexible and willing to plan to meet them.

A family emergency

Whether it’s a death in the family or a significant traumatic experience that a family member is going through, sometimes you need to drop everything to be with those who are important to you.

A good hiring manager should be able to accommodate you if you’re going through a family crisis. And you don’t have to share all the details with them, but just give them enough information for them to know that what you’re going through is serious and that you need some time.

Change in your work schedule

One thing that you rarely think about when interviewing for positions is that you’re going to have to be working around your current job to make it work. It’s unlikely that your current employer would be too keen on letting you switch up your day shift to an evening shift to accommodate a job interview.

Just be honest and share with the hiring manager that things have moved around in your work schedule, and that you’ll need to schedule it for a date and time that works better for your schedule. Often, your future manager will understand, as they understand, that you have lots of responsibilities on your plate.

The wrong reasons to cancel an interview

Too tired or overslept

You wake up in the morning and realize that you’re already running late. You’re stressed and don’t feel you’ll be able to interview well for the position. Here’s the thing though: if you were to cancel the interview because you overslept your alarm, it might show a hiring manager you are unreliable and won’t show up to work on time as well.

You could try to come up with another reason, but a hiring manager might see right through that, especially if you’re contacting them just minutes before the interview starts.

Instead, you can share with your hiring manager you’re running late, and you can also ask if they’d be willing to wait for you. Do your best to apologize for being late, and share with them that this was an unfortunate one-time occurrence.

You got lost

You have probably been there before: your GPS tells you to turn left in 50 yards to get on the highway, but you keep going a bit too far and get on the wrong entrance ramp. You end up going in the wrong direction for 10 to 15 minutes, throwing you off course for a round total of 30 minutes. You had scheduled yourself so that you would have at least 30 minutes to get there, but now it looks like it’s taking you double the time. You’re running late, years stressed, and you’re scared that your interviewer is going to be upset with you.

The first thing to do is to breathe. Next, reach out to your interviewer and let them know about the mistake that you made. Try to explain to them you’re running a bit late, and try to give them an approximate time when you’ll be there. If you reach out to them early enough, then they may move some things around in their schedule to fit you in at a later time.

You're unprepared

If you procrastinate before an interview, that’s not a great excuse to reschedule it. Whether you binge-watched your favorite TV show or stayed up late playing your favorite video game, you don’t have a leg to stand on to justify rescheduling your interview.

Remember, you need to have a justifiable excuse for why you cannot interview today. Just because you feel ill-prepared doesn’t mean that you can switch up your interview for a different date. Consider this: your interviewer took time out of their schedule to fit you in for an interview, and they’ve also prepared for this interview with a list of questions for you.

If you’re unprepared, you can usually cram in a quick session of study by doing a few things:

  • Looking at the company website, and gleaning any details you can about the products they make, the vision that they have, and the people that work for them.
  • Scroll through their social media pages to see what they’re promoting.
  • Read through a list of blog posts on to get you caught up to date on certain interview questions that might be asked.

You can do all of this while you are waiting to get called in for your interview. Even if you spend five minutes thinking about the questions that you might be asked, you’ll be in much better shape to interview for the position.

You “ghosted” them

One of the most unprofessional things you can do is to skip out on an interview because you do not want to go. If you choose not to show up for an interview, don’t expect your interviewer to reschedule the interview for you. Honestly, you should just cut your losses and realize that this was a lost opportunity.

More often than not, when you bail on your interviewer in the first interview, you’ll likely not receive an offer for a second interview. And even if you do, likely the hiring manager will resent the fact that you thought that your time was more valuable than theirs.

You don’t want the position

It is completely understandable to not want to apply for a position. Chances are you already received several job offers from other positions that may pay more and offer more benefits. If that’s the case, be honest with an interviewer and just explain to them you’ve been offered a position at another company.

This way, you don’t waste anybody’s time. The interviewer will respect your decision to cancel the interview, and you won’t keep the interviewer on the hook.

The pros and cons of rescheduling an interview

There are some benefits to rescheduling an interview, but you should also weigh them against the drawbacks. Although it may be beneficial to you to reschedule the interview, it also might hinder building rapport with the interviewer if you don’t have a justifiable reason. Below, you’ll find a list of reasons for the pros and cons of rescheduling an interview:

Advantages of rescheduling

Demonstrates professionalism in communicating conflicts

Potential hiring managers may appreciate that you have reached out to them and let them know you cannot make it to an interview. It can help them see a little more about how you handle conflict and resolve issues. Remember, your communication with a potential hiring manager is being assessed as well.

An opportunity to assess the hiring manager and the company

This might seem a little odd at first, but if you reschedule your interview, this gives you a glimpse into how well a potential hiring manager and the company that they work for will be able to shift things around to fit you in.

The hiring process goes both ways, as both the interviewer and the job applicant are assessing whether they feel like this is going to be a good fit for them. If a hiring manager has a hard time rescheduling an interview, especially if you have a justifiable reason, this might be a red flag that there’s something wrong with the company.

For example, your current boss would like to meet with you on that day and you reach out to a potential hiring manager to say that you can’t make it. If the potential hiring manager becomes frustrated when you reschedule the interview, that might be an indicator that they are overly controlling or are not skilled managers.

Disadvantages of rescheduling an interview

May convey unreliability or a lack of commitment to the role

If you have no real reason to reschedule an interview, then it may appear to a potential hiring manager you are not committed to the position. It may also make you look unreliable, flighty, and this may hamper your chances of receiving a job offer.

Always make sure that you have a justifiable reason to reschedule an interview, as it may impact the interviewer's perception of you.

Tips to handle rescheduling an interview

When rescheduling an interview, there are some best practices to follow to make sure that you don’t hamper the relationship between you and a potential hiring manager.

Let them know as early as you can

It’s always best practice to let an interviewer know as early as you can that you won’t be able to make the interview. For example, you receive a call on Friday afternoon from your doctor, and she is asking you to come in for some specialized tests next Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, you have an interview on that day. When you share that with your doctor, she says that you need to be there for the test because it’s the only time that they can get the specialist in to look at you.

Where you are right now, you have about four days' notice that you have to reschedule your interview. But if you wait until Monday morning to let your interviewer know, then you won’t have given them enough time. However, you could send a quick email on Friday afternoon, letting them know that you’ll have to reschedule your Monday interview.

Try to avoid procrastinating when letting an interviewer know you can’t make an interview; send a quick email to them as soon as possible.

You don’t need to offer in-depth reasons why you cannot make it

If you have a major family emergency or serious medical reason, you don’t need to explain all the nitty-gritty details to your employer. It’s okay to leave things a little vague, as long as you convey the reason you won’t be able to attend the interview. Try to only give as many details as you need, as you don’t want to share personal information with a potential manager.

For example, if you have a family emergency, you can simply say, ”Unfortunately, I cannot attend the interview next Monday afternoon, as I have a family emergency.” You don’t have to go into any more specifics than just that.

Offer updates/times that work best for you to reschedule

As a person who has asked to reschedule the interview, it falls on your shoulders to offer some dates, and times that would work best for you. This should be included in an email or phone call where you reach out to your manager to let them know you can’t make it.

By keeping the lines of communication open and setting a date, you’re showing that you are interested in the position and that you’re willing to interview at the next opportunity possible. You also want to lock in a date and time as early as possible, so that you don’t get lost in the interview process.

Restate your interest in the position

The biggest hurdle that you’re going to have to overcome if you reschedule your interview is that a potential hiring manager may think You’ve lost interest in the position.

Be sure to reiterate over the phone or through email that you’re still really interested in the position and the work that the company you’re applying for does. This will help to reassure the potential hiring manager you’re still committed to the hiring process and for the position itself.

Example rescheduling an interview email

Subject: rescheduling project manager position interview: Dan Fierstein

Dear Mrs. Bishop,

Reaching out to inform you that, unfortunately, I cannot attend the interview on May 17 at noon, and would like to reschedule the interview.

Unfortunately, there has been a major medical emergency with one of my family members, and I should be there to attend to them in their time of need.

Could we reschedule the interview for May 20 at 1 PM? Please let me know if that date works for you, but if it doesn’t, I’m fairly flexible for the rest of that week and into the beginning of the following week.

I want to apologize for having to reschedule. I know that your time is valuable, and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me.


Dan Fierstein

What does this example do well?

One thing this email does well is that it is thorough and concise, without being bloated with extra details and information that a potential hiring manager doesn’t need to know or want to know.

The author states that there is a medical emergency and that they should be with their family members. That’s it, and that’s all you need to include. As well, the author shares he is sorry for having to reschedule, and acknowledges the busy schedule that a potential hiring manager may have.

The interview process is hard, but if you’re looking to speak with an expert, reach out to a career counselor at Enhancv. They will walk you through everything you need from being able to tailor your resume to fit ATS requirements, walk you through the interview process, and even help you share your worth with a potential hiring manager and receive the best compensation available.

Key takeaways

  • If you have a justifiable reason, you can certainly reschedule your interview to a later date.
  • Some examples of justifiable reasons include family emergencies, illness, bad weather, and technical issues.
  • Being unprepared or oversleeping an alarm are both unsatisfactory reasons for rescheduling an interview.
  • If you need to reschedule an interview, contact a potential hiring manager as soon as possible.
  • Also, don’t share too many personal details, but just include the basic information that you need to let a potential employer know why you can't make it.
Make your move!
Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
Rate my article:
How Can You Reschedule Your Interview without Ruining Your Chances?
Average: 4.80 / 5.00
(564 people already rated it)
Dave Van Kooten
Is a human resource expert that helps passionate jobseekers to put their best foot forward to prepare for an interview. He believes that success can be achieved through going out of your comfort zone.
Resume Guides