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Reasons to cancel an interview

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 16 Aug 2021

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Interviews are an important part of job seeking and can take up a lot of your time. They take preparation, travel time and of course the time it takes to have the actual interview. If you are feeling any doubt for any reason about attending the interview, you do have the right to call or email the company and cancel. Once you are invited, you are not obligated to attend, although you really should let them know in advance if you are not attending. Here at E&TJ we really want you to find the right job for you and have a positive interview experience for all the roles you apply for. However, we understand that sometimes there may be reasons why it is better not to attend. Here are a few reasons why you should cancel the interview.

You don’t think it’s for you anymore

Job seeking is a lot of work and definitely very time consuming, so if you find a different job that is better suited to you or you do a little bit more research and simply find that the role isn’t for you, then you can either decline an interview or cancel said interview. Accepting an interview invitation isn’t binding, you are able to change your mind for something as simple as not wanting to. Don’t waste both your time and the employer, just let them know as soon as you make up your mind.

You have already received another job offer

It’s always a good idea to apply for multiple jobs at once, that means if one offer falls through or you don’t make it through to interview rounds, there is always something different you can fall back on. This means that if you are interviewing for multiple roles, the time may come when you will have to accept an offer and turn down the others. If you have already accepted a job offer but still have other interviews coming up, it’s probably best to let them know what is happening as soon as possible. This not only saves time but opens-up the opportunity to other candidates. The recruiter shouldn’t expect you to have everything resting on that one opportunity, so they are likely to be very understanding of the situation.

You did a bit more research on the company

It’s likely that you did plenty of research on the company before applying for the role in the first place but staying on top of company news can be important. Before your interview, it might be a good idea to have a look at their company ‘news’ page and see what projects they are currently working on. (If they have this information available.) If you see something you don’t think you could work on, or you even simply begin to think that the company or their industry isn’t for you, let them know you won’t be taking your application further.

Sometimes, when you’re trying to be quick and meet an application deadline, you may miss parts of the job description. It’s happened to me before and will probably happen to you. You go back over the job spec before your interview and find that the job isn’t exactly what you thought it was. People make mistakes, it’s better to let this opportunity go and spend your time elsewhere looking for something that would fit you and your skills better.

The commute

Often, the first interview gives us the opportunity to see what they commute will look like. (unless it’s a virtual interview) Sometimes, when we love the idea of a job, we don’t think we’ll mind the extra 10 minutes of the commute, until we are stuck doing it every day. Travelling to the first interview will let you know what this feels like if it’s too far or you simply don’t like the commute at all. This is going to be an everyday thing, so make sure it doesn’t affect your day or work-life balance to harshly. If you find that this changes your thoughts on the job role, simply let them know after your first interview that you wouldn’t be taking your application further.  These things do matter more than you initially might think.

The employer moves the interview multiple times

You may not have experienced this yet, but if you have, then you understand the frustration that can come with an employer cancelling an interview and trying to reschedule multiple times. Interview preparation can take a long time and them rescheduling more than once can feel like a slap in the face. Employers should priorities the time you are spending on your application as much as their own and if you don’t feel valued from the get-go, cancel the interview, and find another role to apply for!

You’re not feeling well or something more important comes up

Most people hate cancelling interviews, especially when they’re feeling a bit under the weather. However, good employers will understand that people get ill and there’s nothing they can do about it. The way an employer handles rescheduling when someone is sick can say a lot about them and their company standards. You shouldn’t have to attend a meeting when you are unwell, they certainly won’t want to catch what you have, so there is no shame in calling them up and letting them know.

Other times, life just gets in the way. You may suddenly have no childcare, your car may have broken down or family issues can arise, whatever it may be, prioritise your life first. After all, if something like this does happen and you attend, your mind might be elsewhere, and you may not perform as well as you want.

There is a lot of negativity around rescheduling or cancelling an interview, but the truth is, if you don’t want to go, it’s not worth it. Don’t go and endure an interview if the job isn’t for you or you have another offer. It will waste your time and there’s, so it’s always better to be honest.