So You Can't Make the Interview?

If you have ever recruited for a role, you will know that it’s inevitable that at least one person you have scheduled for an interview, will ultimately cancel. This can be the cause of much frustration or in some cases mild amusement.  Here is a bit of agency insight into our view of things when candidates cancel interviews and some pointers that can help prevent this from happening. 

Let’s get things off to a light-hearted start; here are some of the favourite interview excuses we have heard in the Tiger Office.

  • “I have a driving test tomorrow so I have to cancel all interviews to concentrate on that”
  • “I have locked myself in the house and I can’t get out”  
  • “I need to pick up my boss from the airport and take him to the dentist”
  • “I was splashed by a bus on my way to the interview and my outfit is ruined” 
  • “My mother/father/partner told me that I shouldn’t interview for the job”
  • “I forgot that I had taken all my interview suits to the drycleaners and I have nothing to wear”
  • “I have just, this second been offered another job so I have to cancel” 
  • “I know you confirmed it on the phone but I didn’t receive a confirmation email so I assumed it was not happening”
  • “I can’t afford to top up my Oyster card to get to the interview”
  • “I fell off a wall”
  • “I haven’t had time to prepare so I can’t go today”

That’s not to say that there aren’t genuine reasons in many cases, but we certainly hear a few that seem to be stretching the truth a little!

Now, here’s a bit about the process of setting up interviews from our side. You will have received a call from one of our consultants about a role.  When you give the okay, the consultant will send your CV to the client letting them know about your experience and why they should meet you. If the client selects your CV, they will request a time to meet you. 

What You Can Do

If you are applying for roles consider your availability to interview in advance.  When you get that phone call from your consultant to say that the client would like to meet you, it is so important that you have an idea of times that will work best for you. If you are unsure, check your schedule and get back to the consultant as soon as possible with a time you know that you can stick to. You don’t want that interview slot to be filled before you have replied. Try to give as many interview times as possible, in order of preference as this can really help us too.  It can be very tricky and affect the client’s perception of you if we find ourselves constantly going back and forth with them to arrange and rearrange interview times. 

You Don’t Really Want To Go For The Job? 

This might be because you have progressed with other roles, or have had a change of heart but if you no longer wish to interview for the role, it is so important that you let the consultant know as soon as possible. Not every candidate that we send for a job will be given the opportunity to interview and lack of response from you could cost someone else their chance to interview whilst we hold a timeslot open for you.  This can cause much frustration for the client.  It’s never a good idea to schedule an interview that you don’t want to go for. 

The Last Minute Cancellation

We understand that sometimes things crop up last minute that cannot be avoided but remember that when recruiting a client takes on this task as well as their usual day to day responsibilities.  They often have a limited number of times that they can interview. The client takes our advice as an agency that understands their needs and knows our candidates. It can be very embarrassing for us when we have to withdraw a candidate from the interview process. It can also affect your chances for the role and reduce the trust they have in us as an agency. On the whole, this is not great for you, us, other candidates or the client. 

  • Even though it’s not a pleasant call to make, don’t avoid contacting your agency.  In absolutely, positively, unavoidable circumstances, this is the best protocol to follow in order to cancel your interview.
  • It is so important to call the agency as opposed to sending an e-mail or text.  Your consultant might not have access to their e-mails which can delay the message getting the client. It is so helpful to have a two minute conversation, even if it is with another consultant to provide us with as much information as possible to relay to the client. 
  • Follow up with an e-mail. If you haven’t been able to speak to your consultant, send them an e-mail explaining as well. 
  • Provide as much notice as possible.  A cancellation on the same day because you have changed your mind about going for the role just doesn’t cut it and could close any doors for future opportunities with the company.
  • Let us know if you want to reschedule and the best possible times as soon as you know. This saves us wasting yours and the client’s time. 

Finally, honesty is the best approach. We aim to build long term relationships with our candidates and are here to help and guide you throughout your search. Your honesty and professionalism when dealing with interviews will give us a good indication of the type of employee you are. You never know, you could find yourself placed in a position by us where you are the one interviewing candidates in the future…

Categories: Job Seekers, Interviews

Tags: Candidate, Career Advice, Consultant, Employment, Interview, Interview Techniques

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