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I Cancelled My Interview – Oops!

Written by Mark Rowbottom, President ROW

For ROW’s BYOB Series at Blue’s Egg on February 20, 2018

I Cancelled My Interview – Oops!

In the last few weeks I have run into a strange recruiting phenomenon, where my candidates have been telling me they want to cancel their scheduled interviews.  They have provided a variety of excuses including: impending snowstorm 2 days prior; illness and a Dr. visit today,  3 days prior, lacking one skill set listed in the job description and finally one candidate said he was unable to break free from a new client for a one hour interview,  30 minutes before the interview time.

Are you kidding me people?! These interviews are opportunities to demonstrate skills, practice interviewing techniques and get a better job! No wonder they are unable to find a great place to work, with super people at a really smooth company!

Interviewing is difficult. To obtain an interview is the first step to a connection. To be real, nobody likes interviewing and I mean nobody. HR people have seen it all and are ready to be disappointed again in unpredictable ways. When an interview goes badly and the candidate fails to impress, the Managers blame HR then HR blames the recruiter. Keep in mind HR & Recruiters tend to be the fall guy when someone comes in and bombs an interview. Managers would much rather be working towards established business goals than meeting with candidates to decipher work histories and abilities. Candidates struggle to address gaps in employment or reasons for their dismissals.  It can be uncomfortable for all parties and a commitment to an interview should not be taken lightly. There is no way around the process. Before you cancel an interview consider the logistics behind the scenes in the actual scheduling of an interview.  Consider the employer’s commitment to meet you and understand others may be interviewed before you get another chance, if one is offered.

Think of all the steps we took with these 4 examples to get to the point of a second phase interview after 4 phone screens. Prior to the phone screens, forms and questionnaires needed completion. Resumes needed to be responded to and some actually needed to be prepared for the job opportunity. Recruiters need to vet these candidates and selectively submit them. HR needs to review them further and agree to forward the resumes on and managers need to agree to look at the resume. If there is still interest they must move forward and free time from their already overloaded schedule to talk to these “complete strangers “.

Fortunately, I was able to counsel all 4 candidates who kept the scheduled interviews. The results were favorable for all of them.

Understand, there are credible reasons to cancel an interview. But unless it is a serious, legitimate reason you may want to consider that this could be an indication of your inability to commit and manage your time. In other words, the company’s decision makers may lose interest in you or your action may negatively impact their assessment of you.

Agreeing to schedule an interview affects a lot of people and no one stands to gain more than you as a candidate. I strongly encourage you to only make a scheduled interview when you are committed to the entire application process .

My best to you in your quest – always!


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