Job Hunt Dilemma: Is it Bad to Reschedule an Interview?

worried person on the phone

In life, unpredictability is the only predictable thing, right? Suddenly, your child falls sick, your car breaks down, or you come down with a nasty flu just before your interview, and you’re caught in a dilemma. 

Should you push through and attend the interview, risking not giving your best, or do you ask to reschedule? You’re not alone in this. It’s a situation many have been in.

 I’ve got your back from everything from exploring when it is justifiable to reschedule an interview to understanding the most professional way to do it. I’ll cover valid reasons for rescheduling, communication tips, and email templates that will help you make the right decision.

What are Valid Reasons to Reschedule an Interview?

To understand whether or not canceling and rescheduling your job interview is okay, a lot of the time, it boils down to your reason. 

Some situations may not warrant canceling the interview, but there are a few situations that do. Remember, job interviewers are human, and they understand that some situations crop up from time to time that are just unavoidable. 

But remember, honesty is of the utmost importance when stating your reasons for rescheduling. It’s crucial to maintain a truthful, clear line of communication. While it’s normal to feel apologetic for the inconvenience, there’s no need to feel guilty if you have a valid reason. The key is to address the situation in a respectful and professional manner.

With that said, let me go over a couple of times when it might just be okay to reschedule your interview. 

Health Issues

This can mean either yours or a close family member’s — it forms an acceptable reason to reschedule your interview. It’s critical to prioritize well-being, and most potential employers understand and respect this. 

Here’s how you can communicate such a situation: “Due to unexpected health concerns that require immediate attention, I unfortunately need to reschedule our interview. I truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Unforeseen Conflicts Beyond Your Control

These could range from last-minute changes in your current work schedule to serious car trouble or even to a sudden emergency. 

In situations like these, you can reach out to the potential employer saying something along the lines of: “An unexpected conflict has arisen on my end, and I regretfully have to request to reschedule our interview. I’m very excited about the opportunity to discuss the role and my qualifications further and shall appreciate your understanding.”

Severe Weather Conditions/ Significant Events

If a heavy snowstorm hits your town or there’s a big accident on your route that causes substantial delays, most employers will understand. 

As an example, you could phrase your rescheduling request like this: “Due to the severe weather conditions in my area currently, I would like to explore the possibility of rescheduling our interview. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.”

When Should You Not Reschedule an Interview?

While there are several situations in which rescheduling your job interview is okay, there are a few other times when it’s not. 

Job interviews are significant steps in your career journey that give you the chance to showcase your skills and strengths to potential employers while giving you insight into the organization’s structures and cultures. 

Therefore, rescheduling an interview should generally be your last option and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Always prioritize the interview and only consider rescheduling it if something urgent and significant arises that you absolutely can’t control.

If you’re still on the fence about whether canceling is okay or not, let me give you an idea by going over a few situations where rescheduling your interview should be a no-no.

You Have Control Over the Situation

Generally, interviews should not be rescheduled for reasons that can be influenced or controlled on your end. For instance, if you prefer to catch up on your favorite TV show or attend a social event. Remember, your career should remain a priority.

Lack of Preparation

If you’re thinking of rescheduling an interview because you haven’t had enough time to prepare, I’d advise against it. It can reflect poor time management skills. Instead, utilize the time you have as efficiently as possible to prepare. 

Attendance of Other Interviews

If you have another interview lined up at the same time, it might seem like a compelling reason to reschedule. However, doing so can give off the impression that you’re not truly interested in the role. It is important to organize your time and space out your interviews to show each potential employer that I am genuinely interested in their role and organization.

Mere Convenience

Shifting your slot only because another time fits better into your personal routine isn’t a compelling reason. Unless you have a genuine professional conflict, your original commitment should stand.


If you are unsure about whether the job is right for you or whether you should attend the interview, rescheduling is not the ideal solution. Instead, it’s better to take some time to reflect on whether or not the role aligns with your career objectives before applying or accepting the interview invite in the first place.

Outfit issues

If you have a bad hair day or your formal suit isn’t ready for the interview, resist the urge to reschedule. These reasons might come off as trivial to the hiring manager.

What Are the Steps to Rescheduling an Interview?

Sometimes, you really do need to cancel and reschedule your interview. If you realize you can’t attend an originally scheduled job interview, the following steps can guide you on how to reschedule it professionally.

Following these steps illustrates your respect for the potential employer’s time and demonstrates your professional etiquette even when circumstances aren’t ideal. So, even though you had to reschedule the interview, you leave a positive impression.

Step1: Evaluate Your Reasons

Honestly evaluate your reasons for the reschedule. Make sure they’re legitimate and unavoidable, and communicate respect for your potential employer’s time. If your reason meets these criteria, then it’s a good indication that rescheduling is the right move.

Step 2: Notify Your Potential Employer As Soon As Possible

Once you’ve made the decision, speed is of the essence. Contact your potential employer as soon as you can. Don’t wait till the last minute. Being quick to communicate shows that you value their time and that you’re organized. 

Step 3: Use the Appropriate Mode of Communication

Typically, the mode of communication should match or closely align with the way your interview was originally scheduled. If it was scheduled via email, then an email response would be appropriate. If the invitation was extended over a phone call, it would be polite to call them back.

Step 4: Be Polite and Apologetic

When communicating about the reschedule, maintain a polite and apologetic tone. Remember, you’re asking them to adjust their plans to accommodate you.

Step 5: Be Clear About Your Availability

Ensure to communicate clearly about your availability for the reschedule. Instead of leaving it open-ended, provide specific dates and times. For instance, you could say, “I will be available any time after 2 p.m. on Wednesday or anytime on Friday.”

Step 6: Confirm the Rescheduled Appointment

Once your potential employer proposes a new time, respond promptly and confirm the new date and time. Thank them for their understanding and flexibility. 

What Are Things to Avoid Saying or Doing When Rescheduling an Interview?

As you navigate the delicate process of rescheduling an interview, there are some pitfalls to avoid. These are some commonly made mistakes that could leave a less-than-favorable impression on your potential employer.

1. Abrupt or Unplanned Rescheduling

Avoid asking to reschedule on the same day as the interview. Giving your potential employer a short notice can come across as unprofessional and disrespectful of their time.

2. Providing Too Much Detail

If you need to reschedule due to personal issues, keep the explanation brief. You don’t need to divulge personal or embarrassing details. It’s enough to say, “Due to an unexpected personal issue, I find myself needing to reschedule.”

3. Unclear Communication

Be clear and precise in your communication. Avoid being vague about your availability or giving the impression you’re disinterested in the role.

4. Unapologetic Tone

Remember, you’re asking them to adjust their schedule to accommodate you. A simple “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause” can go a long way. 

5. Failing to Show Gratitude

Always express your appreciation towards the prospective employer for understanding and accommodating your request.

For example, here’s what not to say: “I can’t make it to the interview tomorrow. Can we do it another time?” 

This statement is not only abrupt, but it also lacks an apology or expression of appreciation. A better approach would be: “I apologize for the short notice, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I find myself needing to reschedule our interview initially planned for tomorrow. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility. I’m eager to discuss the opportunity at a rescheduled time that fits your schedule.”

Email Templates for Rescheduling an Interview

At times, we may find ourselves in a situation that requires us to reschedule a job interview. 

How we approach this can make a significant difference in the first impression we make on our potential employer. 

Let’s consider some templates you could use when communicating via email to reschedule your interview.

Rescheduling Due to an Unexpected Emergency

If you need to change the date or time of your interview because of an emergency, this is one way that you could go about it: 

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

I’m writing to let you know that, unfortunately, I am unable to attend the interview scheduled tomorrow at 10 am due to an unexpected emergency. I apologize for any inconvenience my rescheduling might cause and I am grateful for your understanding.

I’m extremely interested in the [Job Title] position and would greatly appreciate it if we could reschedule the interview. I am available on [provide 2-3 options of dates and times]. 

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to the possibility of discussing this job further.

Kind regards, 

[Your Name]

The email is brief and to the point and communicates gratitude while being apologetic. 

Rescheduling Due to Illness

If it’s a sickness that you’re struggling with, your email might look a little bit different. Here’s an example of how to cancel the interview in this case: 

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I regret to inform you that I have come down with a [briefly explain nature of illness] and will not be able to attend our scheduled interview this [insert day].

I understand the importance of our meeting and I don’t want my temporary illness to affect our interaction. Therefore, I kindly ask if we could reschedule the interview to another date. I’m available on [provide 2-3 options of dates and times]. 

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. I look forward to meeting with you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Remember, it’s essential to tailor these templates to suit your personal situation. Make sure that your email is clear, polite, and apologetic. Rescheduling an interview is not a cardinal sin, but let’s always strive to project professionalism in the way we handle these changes.

Make the Most of Your Job Interview

Life can throw us unexpected situations at the most inconvenient times. It’s essential to remember that employers, too, are human and can understand unexpected circumstances.

When it comes to rescheduling an interview, the keys are respecting the employer’s time, giving as much notice as possible, and offering genuine, reasonable explanations. We must remember to be professional and humble, letting our potential employer know we value their time and the opportunity.

If you’ve got other questions about your interview that don’t have to do with rescheduling, we can help. Check out our other articles on interviewing for all the tips and tricks you need to land a new job!

FREE Email Course

High-Powered Resume Writing

Craft a resume that gets interviews!

Just 1 week to a new resume

Get Personalized Career Help Fast!

Email a career expert with your questions

Get personalized expert advice within 24 hours