How To Reschedule A Job Interview (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar
Aug. 9, 2022

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This is an exciting moment and a huge accomplishment to have an interview, but then you realize that you mistakenly set the wrong date and have a conflict. In this situation, you may be wondering how to reschedule your interview without losing the opportunity.

Although it’s less than ideal to move an interview that has already been set in stone, it’s not all that uncommon. Having to set up a new date or time for your interview doesn’t automatically end your candidacy; you just have to make sure you take the appropriate course of action.

Key Takeaways:

  • When rescheduling make sure you provide as much notice as possible because it will give time to reschedule and will look better in your interviewers eyes.

  • When providing a reason for rescheduling make sure it is for something valid like car trouble or family emergency instead of just not feeling like going to the interview.

  • It’s important to offer an apology when needing to reschedule and you should thank your interviewer when asking.

How to Reschedule a Job Interview (With Examples)

How to Reschedule a Job Interview

The actual process for rescheduling an interview is important and you want to make sure to maintain your professionalism, being that canceling can seem quite the opposite. Done correctly, you will still show respect to the recruiter and the situation will end with a positive result. Here is how to reschedule your interview the right way:

  1. Provide as much notice as possible. As soon as you realize you need to reschedule, reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter. This gives both parties more time to find a suitable date and time to avoid having to reschedule again in the future.

    • This also looks better in the hiring manager’s eyes if you reschedule almost immediately rather than waiting until the day of the interview.

    • The best method of contact is usually to call, as it is more personal and direct. It’s also more efficient than having to go back and forth in an email, especially if the interviewer does not check their email often throughout the day.

    • That being said, if the interview is still a few days or more away, sending an email is perfectly fine. Phone calls are only necessary when time is of the essence.

    • Make sure that you are on top of your schedule and choose a date that works. Beforehand, consider any childcare, medical appointments, or other situations that may impact your flexibility.

  2. Give your reason. Just as there are certain things you should never say in a job interview, there are certain reasons that you shouldn’t reschedule an interview.

    • You need to give the hiring manager a valid reason for why you need to reschedule the interview. This doesn’t need to be long and drawn out — be as concise as possible.

    • You also want to be truthful in your reasoning for rescheduling; if you have a more leisurely reason, you may want to reconsider if it’s worth the potential impact of moving the interview.

    • However, employers understand that situations arise and that interviews may need to be rescheduled. As long as you have a legitimate reason, the interviewer will be accommodating in most cases.

  3. Offer an apology. While you are only one person, a hiring manager typically has to manage numerous candidates throughout the application process. This means that they take time and consideration into making their calendars, so having to reschedule is an inconvenience at some level.

    That is why it is courteous to apologize for having to move the interview. Even in situations that are out of your control, this still shows the interviewer that you are also considerate of their time.

  4. Provide a new date and time. For a high-demand position, the interviewer may automatically provide you with their next available time to conduct the interview. Otherwise, you will want to give a date range and timeframe to help the interviewer narrow down potential times.

    You always want to get rescheduled as soon as possible; waiting until weeks later puts you at high risk of the vacancy getting filled. While the interviewer may still have you come in, it could result in your information being kept on file but no offer. Also, the sooner you start the interview process the sooner you can potentially land your new job.

  5. Say thank you. When the hiring manager is kind enough to reschedule your interview, you want to make sure to thank them. Expressing gratitude is always a positive, and you can also use this as a time to show your enthusiasm for the position.

  6. Make sure to confirm the new date. Once you have successfully rescheduled your interview, it is a good idea to send a follow-up confirming the new date and time.

    The best way to do this is via email so that everything is in writing. You can combine your thank you and your confirmation, once again expressing your appreciation for still being able to interview at a later date.

Typical Reasons For Rescheduling an Interview

Being sick is one of the most understandable reasons for rescheduling an interview, because your health should be your first priority. However, there are other incidents that may make rescheduling necessary:

  • A family emergency. Sometimes, you are not directly the reason that you need to reschedule, but it is instead because of a loved one. Employers understand that you may have a spouse, child, or another family member that needs your help. This may include an injury, illness, or recent death.

  • A work commitment. Even though your objective in interviewing is to get a new job, you still need to take your current obligations into consideration. It’s possible that your work schedule changes frequently, and you don’t have the scheduled interview day off. Another scenario is last-minute travel arranged by your employer for a business meeting.

    In these types of situations, you should feel comfortable having to reschedule. You want to maintain a positive relationship with your current employer, and the company you are interviewing with will also appreciate that you honor your commitments.

  • Unexpected car troubles. No one can plan for a flat tire or dead battery. If this happens, you should call the hiring manager to alert them that there is an issue. You do not need to cancel at this point and should try and see if you can make other arrangements to get to your interview on time.

    If you find that you cannot, call the hiring manager back as soon as possible to let them you will need to reschedule. By letting the employer know beforehand that there could be a potential issue, they will be more understanding that you need to set up a new time to interview.

  • A competing interview. If you have been applying to multiple positions, you may hear back from a different recruiter regarding another job. If the scheduling conflicts and you feel the other opportunity is worth accommodating, ask to reschedule with the hiring manager.

    While you do not want to be abrasive in stating that you have a better job prospect, you should be honest if the recruiter asks for a reason why. It speaks well to your character by being honest and simply letting the interviewer know that you want to be able to accommodate both opportunities as you continue your job search.

Reschedule a Job Interview Email Template and Example

In situations where time is crucial, calling to reschedule your interview is a good choice. But if you’re attempting to reschedule your interview with a week or more notice, sending an email is perfectly acceptable.

  1. Reschedule a job interview email template

    This template can help you draft your own interview rescheduling email. Even if you’re calling, you can still use the same general format.

    Dear [Name of Interviewer],

    I’m greatly looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the [job title] position at [company] with you.

    Unfortunately, [reason why you need to reschedule]. Would it be possible to reschedule our interview for a different time? I’m available [as many availability options as you can offer, within reason].

    I apologize for any issues or inconvenience this may cause the hiring team. I’m truly excited to get a chance to talk more about the job.

    Thank you for understanding, and I look forward to speaking soon.

    Warm regards,
    [Your Name]

  2. Reschedule a hob interview email example

    Now let’s fill in those blanks and make a few small changes for a personal touch, and we’ve got a real example of an email to reschedule a job interview.

    Dear Janna,

    I’m really looking forward to the chance to discuss the Office Assistant position at XYZ Inc. with you.

    Unfortunately, my spouse has a medical appointment during our scheduled interview time of 11 am on June 7th, and I need to drive him to and from the care center. Could we reschedule our interview for a different time or day? I would be able to make it in later on June 7th between 2-5 pm, or any day between June 8th and 11th from between 10 am and 1 pm.

    I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the hiring team, and I want to let you know that I’m still very enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the XYZ team.

    Thank you for your understanding, and I’m looking forward to chatting soon.

    All the best,
    Maggie Baker

How to Prepare if You Don’t Reschedule a Job Interview

After careful consideration, you may actually be able to keep your interview as scheduled. You may have realized that your reasoning was not strong enough to reschedule. For example, if you were considering canceling due to staying up too late, or to attend an event with friends, it’s not in your best interest to reschedule.

If you don’t reschedule your interview, you will want to make sure you are prepared for the big day.

  • Get a good nights sleep. This starts with getting adequate sleep the night before to ensure that you are well-rested. It is also a good idea to go ahead and plan your interview attire, making sure it fits in with the company culture.

  • Prepare. You should have already spent time rehearsing your answers to avoid any awkward interview moments where you are unsure what to say. A few options include rehearsing with a close friend or setting up a mock interview for a more realistic experience.

    Mock interviews will also give you more insight into your answers and overall communication, making sure that you describe yourself in the best possible manner during your interview.

  • Be courteous. When you arrive at your interview, be courteous and respectful to your interviewer as well as any front desk staff or security. Bring a few copies of your resume in case you have more than one interviewer and keep them contained neatly with a portfolio or notebook.

    The latter will also be beneficial when it comes time to collect contact information to write your thank-you notes for the interviewers.

Rescheduling a Job Interview FAQ

  1. Is rescheduling a job interview unprofessional?

    While rescheduling an already agreed-upon meeting isn’t great, it’s not automatically unprofessional. There are plenty of good and understandable reasons for needing to reschedule. And then there are some not-so-great reasons for canceling a professional appointment, like any activity that’s pure entertainment.

    Above all, giving ample notice and drafting an appropriate email is how your professionalism will be judged in this scenario. And as long as you show up on time and make a good impression at your rescheduled interview, the whole matter is likely to be entirely forgotten.

  2. What do you do about your job interview if you are sick?

    If you are sick before your interview, focus on how to communicate to the hiring manager that you will no longer be able to make it in. Give them a call and let them know that due to illness, you need to reschedule the interview.

    don’t consider attending the interview if you’re exhibiting symptoms such as a fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, or cough. This puts the interviewer and the entire organization at risk, and they may ultimately cancel the interview upon your arrival.

    You should try to relax and not stress yourself out. No one can plan an illness in advance and the situation is out of your control.

  3. How do you apologize for rescheduling an interview?

    When apologizing for rescheduling an interview you can say something like “I apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.” When apologizing for rescheduling an interview, you want to sound sincere and that you are still interested in the interview.

    The interview knows that sometimes life can happen and things come up, but as long as you contact them in a timely manner and apologize, they will likely reschedule.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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