Rescheduling interview

An interview is a crucial point in the recruitment process. It gives a candidate the chance to show their skills and prove why they are a good fit for the role. The recruiter assesses the candidates and gets all the information they need to find the best fit for the role.

However, life happens. Circumstances that require urgent rescheduling of the interview could arise. It could be for personal reasons like the candidate might have fallen ill or they needed to deal with a family emergency. It could also be that the candidate is in a full-time job and might not be able to attend a job interview during working hours. It could be the other way round too. The interview board usually consists of several board members. If any unexpected situation arises for even one of them, they will need to reschedule the interview.

No matter the reason, if you need to reschedule an interview, here are some email templates you can use as a guide.

Email Template When the Candidate Needs to Re-schedule

Subject: Rescheduling of Interview

Dear [Interviewer Name],

Regarding my upcoming interview for the [position] at your esteemed organization for [date/time], I regretfully inform you that [specify why you need to reschedule], I cannot attend the interview on the scheduled date.

I would be much obliged if you could reschedule the interview for a subsequent date. I am open to meeting you [new timings]. I would also be happy to talk to you about any alternate timings that you suggest.

I emphasize my most genuine interest in this role. I also sincerely apologize for any trouble in this case.

Thank you for your patience.
[Candidate Name]
[Contact Information]

Points to Keep in Mind

  • To effectively manage this unexpected situation of rescheduling an interview, the ideal course of action for the candidate is to let the hiring manager know as soon as possible. You cannot control some things, but you can prevent them from becoming an issue in the future by being prompt. It is admittedly always easier to reorganize an interview with prior notice than having no heads-up at all.
  • You can suggest alternative timings. It will help make it easy for the recruiter to find openings on their schedule.
  • It will be to your benefit if you briefly and truthfully explain your situation.
  • Let your recruiter manager know with your email that you are still very eager for the interview. Make it clear that you are not taking the rescheduling lightly.
  • Always extend a word of apology for any inconvenience that the recruitment process has to go through. It might not be your fault that unexpected things happened, but an apology can never go wrong. If your hiring manager is professional enough to reschedule your interview on your request, an apology would be polite.

Although the above template shall do the work for you, you must keep in mind that you should not make rescheduling a habit and don't reschedule your rescheduled interview. Having to do it once is palatable, but doing it again would make you seem unreliable and damage your reputation.

Email Template When the Recruiter Needs to Re-schedule

Subject: Reschedule of Interview at [company] for [job role]

Dear [Candidate Name],

I feel regretful to inform you that we need to reschedule your interview scheduled for  [job role] on [date/time] due to an unavoidable situation.

[Mention why the rescheduling was needed, for example, the hiring board member will not be available on the said date due to unexpected family emergencies.] I would like to know if we could reschedule your interview for [new date and time]. Let me know through email if this date and time work for you. You can also suggest another date and time next week. I hope that we will connect soon.

I apologize for the unfortunate situation and any inconvenience that this may have caused you. Do reach out to me in case you have any queries.

Thank you.
[Name of the Recruiter]
[Contact information]

Points to Keep in Mind

  • Do let the candidate know about the rescheduling as soon as possible. This promptness would not only serve their interests but the interest of the company as well.
  • An important thing that the recruiter needs to mention in the rescheduling email is a rationale for rescheduling.
  • Make it clear to the candidate that you have not canceled the interview and are still interested. Hence, it would be fitting to suggest a new date and time, if possible. If you don't have a date and time ready yet, you can let them know that you would get back to them as soon as possible.

A professional recruitment process helps in retaining the interest of the candidates and improves their experience. It helps maintain the company's brand, which could be negatively affected by an ill-managed hiring process.

Time is Key

If you ever need to reschedule an interview, whether as a candidate or as a recruiter, keep in mind that time is the key. It is vital to be transparent and prompt to prevent things from going downhill. Regardless of the reason, provided it is genuine and justifiable, the first thing one needs to do is contact the other party as soon as possible.

Communicate politely and professionally to prevent sabotaging any chances of getting the job or getting the perfect candidate. We are dealing with humans here, so the chances are they would understand and oblige your request.