Imagine finally getting the opportunity to interview with a company you’ve been highly interested in. You schedule a day and time in advance with your interviewer and mark your calendar to leave no chance for you to forget about this important event! You come up with a winning plan to dress sharp, arrive ten minutes early, and make an excellent first impression! You hop in your car and start off on your merry way and moments later – find yourself in bumper to bumper traffic. Panic sets in, you know there is absolutely no way you will be arriving on time and will be embarrassingly late. What do you do now?
A survey was conducted with over 500 hiring professionals and out of all employers surveyed, 53% said that they did not discredit a candidate if they were late to the interview or had to reschedule. While you should try as much as feasibly possible to avoid missing a job interview, you might still have a chance to redeem yourself if you miss one (and it’s for an understandable reason). Follow this guide to handle your mistake in a professional way and stay in the running for the job you want!
Contact Your Interviewer and Recruiter
If you have been working with a recruiter, immediately call to tell them you can’t make it to your interview or that you are running very late. Failing to tell your recruiter that you won’t be attending your interview leaves both your recruiter and interviewer in the dark. They will wonder where you are, if you will be showing up at all, or why you didn’t make it to the interview. Notifying your recruiter or interviewer of the circumstances is the courteous and professional thing to do and will allow you to either reschedule or ensure your interviewer will still be available if you are late. Many employers and hiring managers will be understanding if you make them aware of your status ASAP!
Send an Apologetic Email
It’s crucial to send an apology email whether you missed an in-person interview or a phone interview. Even after you let them know that you cannot attend your interview and apologize initially, you should still follow-up with a sincere email reinstating how sorry you are and that you hope to be given a second chance. Showing that you had every intention to be there and truly want the opportunity to interview will help show that you are still interested in the job and that your absence was not intentional. Choosing to not send an apology email could make you seem unprofessional or not really interested in the job opportunity.
Reschedule the Interview
After you contact the recruiter or employer you have been working with, see if you should reschedule for a later time or a different day. Sometimes interviewers will be available the same day but many times you will have to reschedule for a different day. Although not being able to interview on the day you expected may be disappointing, it might be for the best since you are likely feeling flustered from missing the interview and aren’t in the right mindset to give a top-notch interview anyway. Coordinate with your recruiter to make plans for a new interview time and take the additional time to calm down and prepare.
Learn and Don’t Make the Same Mistake
You can learn something from every life experience. While you unfortunately missed your interview, learn what you can do to avoid it ever happening again. For example, leave for your interview early and play it safe by building in extra travel time in case you happen to wake up late, run into traffic, have parking difficulties, or encounter any other time-stealing scenarios.
Whatever you do, make sure that the reason you had to reschedule your first interview doesn’t turn into the reason you have to reschedule your next interview!
About the Author:
This article is written by Katie McClain, former Digital Marketing Specialist at Automationtechies.
Catch her on LinkedIn or by email.