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  1. Career Advice
  2. Interviewing
  3. How to reschedule an interview without making a bad impression
How to reschedule an interview without making a bad impression
Profile Jennifer Inglis

Jennifer Inglis

How to reschedule an interview without making a bad impression

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • Reasons to reschedule an interview
  • How to reschedule the interview
  • Template for rescheduling an interview
  • Key takeaways

In an ideal world, nothing would interfere with your interview, but sometimes life gets in the way. What’s an acceptable reason to reschedule an interview, and how can you do it professionally?

You’ve landed that interview, and you are ready to show the hiring manager why you’re the best person for the job. You’ve carefully prepared for the interview, chosen just the right outfit, and are ready to demonstrate your value to the company and earn that job.

While honoring your commitments is key, sometimes things happen that you just can’t foresee. If you find that you need to reschedule that all-important interview, there are ways to make sure you do it professionally and politely, being mindful of other people’s time and effort. In this article, we’ll discuss how best practices for rescheduling your interview ensure you maintain your interest in the job and keep a top-notch first impression:

  • What is a good reason to reschedule an interview?

  • How do you reschedule politely and respectfully?

  • Example of a rescheduling request email.

With a little effort and a lot of enthusiasm, you can work around any major conflicts that arise and keep the door open for your new career possibilities.

Reasons to reschedule an interview

Before you contact your interviewer, make sure your reason is valid. Hiring managers are human beings and are usually very sympathetic. However, there are a few reasons you shouldn’t reschedule:

  • You forgot.

  • You aren’t prepared.

  • A leisure activity that you’d rather do.

  • You are indecisive about the job.

A potential employer will view these excuses as unprofessional and it will likely cost you the job. If you’re choosing a football game over an interview, maybe reconsider your interest in the job.

It’s important to keep your interview time as a priority, but sometimes things happen that can’t be avoided. Try to work around the conflict and see if you can still make it happen. But if you can’t, the best time to request a reschedule is as soon as you know you won’t be able to get there. Here are some valid reasons why it would be better for all parties if you rescheduled for another time.

Family emergencies

A medical or personal emergency within your family is something most of us have experienced at one time or another, and most hiring managers will be sympathetic. The death of a loved one, a medical emergency, or caring for a sick (close) relative are all acceptable and reasonable excuses for rescheduling.

Current work conflict

If you’re employed at the time of the interview, you may have a last-minute change to your schedule. Rescheduling your interview would be an appropriate move, as it also shows your commitment to your job performance and that you are reliable and trustworthy. This may show the potential new employer that you are a team player, and add some unofficial “bonus points” in your favor.


Don’t risk spreading your illness to others. If you’re sick, stay home. There is no value in showing up to an interview contagious and not at your best. Be conscientious and considerate. Hiring managers will be glad to reschedule to a time when you’re feeling better and there’s little chance of making others sick.

Car trouble

Vehicle problems happen, and they can be truly frustrating. The first thing to do is see if you have any other way to get there and arrange alternate means of transportation. If it just isn’t possible, it is important to let the company know as soon as possible that you need to reschedule.

How to reschedule the interview

If you find that it’s absolutely necessary to reschedule your interview, take the time to be as professional as possible, in order to maintain a positive relationship with a potential employer. You don’t want to burn bridges or sabotage your chances of getting the job. Additionally, try not to reschedule more than once. Most hiring managers can forgive one change, but after that, you run the risk of appearing flaky or unreliable.

Give as much notice as possible

Sometimes things come up at the last minute that can’t be helped, but do your best to give your interviewer as much advance warning as possible to minimize any inconvenience.  A little consideration goes a long way, and people appreciate knowing you value their time.

Stay positive

Express and emphasize your continued interest in the job, despite your need to reschedule. The interviewer will recognize that the position is still a priority for you.

Give them a reason

You don’t have to go into intricate detail, but do take responsibility and tell the interviewer why you need to reschedule. Be honest and concise — the interviewer doesn’t need to know how much your car will cost to fix or an itemized list of your family member’s medical emergency. “I believe in being transparent with a candidate, so I would expect the candidate to be honest,” Lisa Vasquez-Fedrizzi, managing director of talent and HR advisory Cheer Partners, says. “Let me know if you are sick, unable to make it, or get the time off.” However, if you’re uncomfortable giving a reason, that’s okay too. “If it’s a serious and confidential reason for canceling, I would say that the candidate should disclose that they have a confidential situation and would appreciate the recruiter understanding the cancellation,” Vasquez-Fedrizzi says.

Express your regret

Apologize for having to reschedule and being unable to meet at the agreed-upon time. You may be throwing their schedule off-kilter and if you are asking for another opportunity, it helps to be contrite. This will make it seem like you’re not taking this decision lightly, and that you appreciate their understanding.

Ask for an alternate time

If possible, request — don’t demand — an interview on another date, and offer a few alternate times that would be an option for you and ask if any of these dates are convenient for the interviewer. Remember, they’re doing you a favor so you may need to be flexible. But offering some date and time suggestions allow you to collaborate with the hiring manager and find a time that is mutually beneficial.

Expert Tip

Don’t forget to follow up afterward. Get more insight in our blog on how to write a follow up email!

Template for rescheduling an interview

When asking a hiring manager for the opportunity to reschedule your interview, use this template as a guideline:

Dear [name of hiring manager],


[If calling, state your name]


I’m really looking forward to the chance to talk with you about [role] with [Company]. Due to [reason for rescheduling], however, I will no longer be able to make it to the interview we had scheduled at [date and time].


Would it be possible to reschedule our meeting? Here are some dates that I would be available:


1.Date 1

2.Date 2

3.Date 3


I would also be happy to talk about other dates that might be more convenient for you.


I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I am still very enthusiastic about this position and I hope we can connect soon.  I look forward to hearing from you.





 This template can be used for both phone and email messages.

Expert Tip

Write a detailed subject line that informs your recipient why you're writing. It should include important information regarding the meeting such as your name, the meeting's original date, and the position for which you were applying. A more detailed subject line increases your chances that your message gets noticed and read promptly.

Key takeaways

Rescheduling an interview is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it’s also not the end of the world. When done professionally and politely, most hiring managers will be happy to work it out with you. (And don’t forget to follow up afterward!) Everyone has emergencies from time to time, and knowing how to handle this situation can increase your chances of getting in front of the interview and getting the job you want.

  1. Make sure you have a valid reason to reschedule your interview. These could include illness, a medical/family emergency, or a scheduling conflict with your current job.

  2. Give the interviewer as much notice as possible.

  3. Be clear, concise, and honest in your request to reschedule, either by phone, email, or both. Express your regret, and politely ask for an alternate interview time.

Profile Jennifer Inglis

Jennifer Inglis

Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator. A former public school teacher, she has expertise with English literature, writing, and public speaking, as well as an extensive professional background in advertising and media analysis. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Theater and a master’s degree in Education, and is the author of two published novels.

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