The most important thing to remember about interview rescheduling is that it takes time and time can be critical when trying to ensure that employers secure the talent they require and that job seekers secure the opportunities they really want!
Below I’ve listed some of the most common reasons why interviews are postponed along with some guidelines which will help prevent issues at this vital stage of the process.
Here are some typical examples that I have come across so far as to why interview times change.
An incomplete panel:
Usually the interview panel will be made up of 2-3 members. This means that if anything unscheduled pops up (illness or family issues) for only one member of the panel, the interview will have to be rescheduled.
Business meeting / key customer on-site:
A last minute visit or business meeting can completely throw off a senior manager's schedule which again means the interview may need to be postponed.
Tour of site not possible:
With some interviews, especially in the supply chain and engineering fields, a tour of the site, plant or warehouse is essential. However, there may a number of reason that site will be closed or inaccessible and the process cannot go ahead without this.
Can't get time off work:
The employer must remember that usually the applicant will be in full time employment, and that they will have their own day-to-day responsibilities.
Don’t want to be deceitful to employer:
Some job seekers do not feel comfortable doing interviews during working hours as they do not want to put their job at risk by appearing deceitful to their employer.
Personal reasons or illness:
It must be considered that the job seeker also has their own personal lives and responsibilities and this can also affect their availability.
So what can both the job seeker and employer do to ensure that they manage the challenge of rescheduling most efficiently?
What the job seeker can do…
The most effective form of action is prevention. Although the job seeker cannot prevent the interview from being rescheduled, they can prevent the rescheduling from becoming an issue if they are prepared for that possibility. As a job seeker, if you feel you can't make it to an interview, the most important thing to do is let your recruitment consultant know straight away. It is much easier to re-organise an interview with two days’ notice rather than two hours. The sooner the employer knows, the sooner they can notify the panel and re-organise everyone’s diaries. It is also very important to explain that you are still very interested in the job and would be happy to accept a slot at a later date when it is more suitable.
What the employer can do…
If you do have to have reschedule as an employer, it is very important to provide a genuine reason and again explain to the job seeker that you are still very interested in meeting them. The job seeker may be involved in other processes too so it is important to reassure them that an interview will be rescheduled sooner rather than later if you want to retain their interest and motivation. Everyone is a job seeker at some stage so always bear in mind that people talk and a company’s employer brand can be negatively affected by an unpleasant candidate experience due to a badly managed recruitment process.
If you are planning to attend an interview soon, either as an interviewer or as the candidate, do keep this in mind and don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or my team if we can be of any assistance.