Is it OK to Reschedule an Interview?

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March 3, 2021
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min read

Car troubles, a sick child, a family emergency, and issues with interview location can happen. No matter how prepared you are, an unexpected situation can affect your upcoming interview. For example, suppose an unforeseen situation prevents you from attending a job interview. In that case, you might be wondering if rescheduling the interview date will cost you the job.

As frustrating as this situation can be, it's entirely possible to reschedule an interview time. Your prospective employer won't see it as unprofessional, depending on your circumstances.

As long as you have a legitimate reason and you give the hiring manager enough notice, you should be able to get your job search back on track.

Needing to Reschedule job interviews is a situation we don't think about until we find ourselves dealing with it. So what constitutes a legitimate reason to reschedule a job interview? And how should you best go about it if you need to reschedule your interview?

When you should reschedule an interview

It's important to note that you shouldn't try to reschedule an interview unless you have a valid reason. While it's acceptable to reschedule your interview, you should hold off on doing so if there's a chance of getting around the issue. Hiring managers are human too, so they will understand if you have a good reason, such as a family emergency, unexpected transportation troubles, or an issue with your current job.

If you have kids, it's entirely understandable to put their needs above your work obligation — for example, collecting them from school if they fall ill. No one will accuse you of being unprofessional for being a good parent.

It's best to communicate your reasons for rescheduling an interview date to the hiring manager without going into too much detail. You don't need to get too personal to be more convincing, but giving them enough information to tell them your valid reason is enough. This will help them find other dates and times for your interview. In short, reasons that make sense to the interviewer are appropriate. Don't forget to apologize sincerely.

When you should NOT reschedule an interview

We've looked at some circumstances where you should reschedule the date, but when should you think twice about making that awkward quick call?

One consideration where it's best not to reschedule an interview with a company if you don't think you'll be able to attend the interview. Perhaps because you have secured other interviews for another job or you're considering staying in your current role.

It might be tempting to postpone the interview until you've decided. Still, in this situation, it would be considered courteous and professional to cancel instead. Likely you won't get a second chance.

It is best to respect other people's time, and a hiring manager for any company will appreciate you informing them of your cancellation with notice. Also, express your gratitude for the opportunity and job interviews. Remember, your professional reputation may be affected if you rub a potential employer the wrong way in the process.

How to reschedule an interview

If you have done everything you can, but there's just no getting around rescheduling an interview, it's essential to know how to do it professionally.

Let them know early

The most important thing to remember is to give notice as soon as possible. As soon as you realize you're not going to be able to attend, don't burn bridges. Instead, contact the hiring manager to inform them of your situation.

This is especially important if something comes up on the day of the interview because they may still have time to allocate your slot to another candidate.

If not, you might fall out of their favor for wasting their time. Ideally, you will know earlier than the last minute that you need to reschedule the job interview. In certain situations, i.e., an emergency, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to let the interviewer know. But the later you leave it, the more your professional reputation could suffer.

Provide a reason

Once you're sure you can't attend the scheduled time, how should you explain this to the interviewing company? It is usually a good idea to call directly. Still, an email to the employer is also acceptable, especially if you don't have a number to call.

Provide a legitimate consideration for having to schedule a new date, and answer any questions they may have. Don't forget to talk about your regret for having to reschedule and make an apology for the inconvenience.

Express your gratitude

You should also thank them by name for the opportunity and express your enthusiasm for the position. Finally, let them know if you have another suitable date or time to reschedule this or next week. This will be respectful to both yourself and the interviewer's time.

Working with hiring managers to figure out a new time to schedule the interview will show them you are flexible and will highlight your interest in the job. Once you have arranged a new time with the employer, follow up to confirm it in advance to ensure they know you are still interested in the interview.


Sometimes life throws surprises our way, and there's just no getting around them. If you can't attend an interview, rescheduling shouldn't cost you your dream job.

Make sure you have a valid warrant to reschedule, and also think about whether it would be best to cancel instead. It is crucial to inform the interviewer in advance, apologize, and thank them for understanding. It will increase your chances of a future interview with your professional reputation intact.

Regardless of the job title or who the prospective employer is, showing interest in the job opportunity is good career advice for any job seeker. Just be as courteous as possible, and you'll do all you can if you need to postpone or cancel. We wish you the best of luck with your rescheduled interview time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most professional way to reschedule an interview if an unforeseen circumstance arises?

If you need to reschedule an interview, contact the hiring manager as soon as possible. Be honest about your reason for rescheduling, express your continued interest in the position, and propose alternative dates and times. Ensure your communication is polite and professional, and be flexible to accommodate the interviewer's schedule.

Can rescheduling an interview affect my chances of getting the job?

Rescheduling an interview doesn't automatically harm your chances of getting the job, especially if done respectfully and for a valid reason. However, first impressions matter, so it's important to handle the situation professionally. Employers understand that emergencies happen, and your ability to communicate effectively can demonstrate your problem-solving and interpersonal skills.

How many times is it acceptable to reschedule an interview before it becomes a red flag to employers?

Ideally, you should aim to reschedule an interview only once. Multiple rescheduling requests can be a red flag to employers, as it may suggest a lack of reliability or poor time management. If you find yourself in a situation where you must reschedule more than once, be transparent about your reasons and show that you are taking proactive steps to mitigate any further disruptions.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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