How to write a reschedule interview email (with an example)
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You might be preparing for a long-awaited job interview, researching the company and rehearsing your answers, when the unthinkable happens. Perhaps a family emergency, illness, or problems with transport force you to reschedule. While it's important to make every effort to attend the interview, it's also crucial to feel confident about trying to change the date if you're pressed to postpone it. In this article, we outline how to write a professional and courteous email to reschedule your interview, including when it's appropriate to do so.
What is a reschedule interview email?
A reschedule interview email is something you may send a prospective employer if you're unable to attend a job interview for any reason. The email is a courtesy to the firm and includes an attempt to find another suitable date for the appointment. It's polite and respectful of the company, giving as much notice as possible in advance of the interview and opening the discussion around finding a new date that suits everyone involved.
When to write a reschedule interview email
There are several circumstances when it might be necessary to write an email attempting to reschedule your interview. Rearranging the interview is perfectly acceptable if you genuinely can't make it on the date indicated by the business or if something comes up that prevents you from attending. Don't be anxious about contacting the firm or recruiter to reschedule. Calendar conflicts happen, and if they're experienced recruiters, they have most likely encountered situations where they've had to reschedule interviews for other candidates in the past.
These are some of the situations that may force you to reschedule your job interview:
Family emergencies: If someone in the family is ill and it's your responsibility to attend to them, it may be necessary for you to take them to the hospital or accompany them to an appointment.
Problems with transport: This could include trouble getting your car started or cancellations and delays on trains or other public transport.
Illness: If you're taken ill and are unable to travel as a result.
Childcare responsibilities: If you've arranged childcare while you attend the interview and the carer calls to cancel or if your child is unwell and has to stay home from school.
Home emergencies: Some home emergencies warrant immediate attention. For example, you may require an emergency plumber to fix a burst pipe.
Work commitments: You may find it impossible to leave work to attend the interview at the proposed time due to scheduling conflicts.
Tips for writing your email
If you do encounter obstacles to attending your interview, it's still important you make every effort to attend. By overcoming problems to attend the interview, you can show the employer how much the opportunity means to you. But situations do arise when it might become impossible to arrive for the appointment at the stated time. In this case, after exhausting all other options, it's acceptable to send an email attempting to reschedule the interview. If you find yourself with no alternative, follow the steps below to write a polite and professional email:
1. Give as much notice as you can
Try to give the interviewer as much notice as possible when attempting to reschedule. Of course, if you're faced with a last-minute emergency, you may not be able to give much notice but try to notify the interviewer as soon as it becomes clear you can't attend the interview. This shows courtesy and gives the interviewer as much time as possible to make alternative plans.
2. Explain your reason for missing the interview
Politely give your reason for missing the appointment. Be honest with the interviewer about why you can't be there, but don't feel you have to go into detail. If there's a genuine reason, they're likely to understand and be sympathetic.
3. Emphasise that you made every effort to attend
Be clear that you explored every avenue to try to fulfil the appointment, so the interviewer knows you tried your hardest to be there. This shows that you recognise the importance of the interview and value the opportunity. If you've done everything within your power to attend, the employer is more likely to be open to finding a new date.
4. Express a willingness to reschedule
Make sure to mention that you're eager to find a new date for the interview, if at all possible. This again emphasises how important the opportunity is to you and shows initiative on your part to continue with the recruitment process. The company may take notice of your enthusiasm and determination and be more inclined to find time for another interview.
5. Be open to suggestions for new dates
Express your openness and flexibility about the new date for the interview. You might like to leave it up to the interviewer to suggest some dates that suit them for the rescheduled interview. If there are specific dates when you know you're unable to attend in the future, make sure to mention them. This may make the process of finding a new date easier for the business.
6. Apologise for the inconvenience
Use a sincere, honest, and apologetic tone throughout. Towards the end of the email, try to offer a specific apology or express your regret directly. Don't be over-apologetic, as this may appear unprofessional, but make sure the recipient is aware that you're remorseful to have put them in this situation.
7. Thank the employer for understanding
Make sure you're polite throughout the email and thank the interviewer for their understanding. The interviewer may be more likely to have sympathy for your situation if you thank them in advance for accommodating you. This also shows empathy towards the interviewer and an understanding that it's complicated for them to organise and implement a round of job interviews.
8. Ask for written confirmation
When sending an email to cancel an appointment and open a discussion about rescheduling, be sure to ask the recipient to confirm they've received the message. This avoids any doubt that they've missed the message. If you don't receive confirmation before the original date and time of the interview, try to follow up with a phone call, or contact someone else in the organisation to ensure the message gets through.
9. Confirm the rescheduled appointment
Once the employer has acknowledged the cancellation of the interview and suggested some dates for rescheduling, be sure to confirm the future date. It's also a good idea to thank the interviewer again for accommodating you. Make sure you're confident you can make the future date and make every effort to fulfil the rescheduled appointment.
Below is an example of a rescheduling email that you can use as a template if you're ever faced with trying to rearrange a job interview. In the example below, the candidate is unable to make it to the interview because their daughter is in hospital, but you can replace it with your emergency or reason for missing the meeting.
Dear [interviewer's name],
I'm writing regarding my interview, scheduled for tomorrow [insert date and time of interview in brackets]. Unfortunately, owing to a family emergency, I'm now unable to attend the interview on the scheduled date and time. I've taken my young daughter to the hospital this morning, and I'll be staying with her there until she's discharged. I've tried to find someone to stand in for me at the hospital while I travel to and from the interview but have been unable to do so.
I'd be very interested in discussing a new date and time for the interview if you're able to accommodate me. Please let me know if you have any availability to reschedule the interview at some point in the coming weeks. I'm sorry for the inconvenience to you and your colleagues at this late stage. I hope we can find a time to complete the interview in the near future.
Thank you in advance for your understanding on this matter. If you're able to write to me confirming you've received this email, I'd very much appreciate it. I look forward to hearing from you regarding a new date for the interview.
[insert your name]
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