By Debbie Holden 29 Aug 2019 5 min read

Good reasons to cancel an interview


So you’ve set up an interview for your dream job, but due to external circumstances can no longer attend. Of course this is frustrating, but the bigger question is how do you cancel it?

Some people might have a bigger opportunity in hand, so choose not to attend this interview – others might have an emergency, or illness that must be dealt with first. Whatever the circumstances, if you want employers to be understanding, there are ways you can let them know without burning any bridges. Below, we’ll go over the best reasons to cancel an interview, and how to go about it correctly.


Transport issues 

Regardless of how you’re travelling to you interview, transport can be unreliable. There is an array of unforeseen factors that could affect you whilst travelling to your interview. So whether your car has broken down, you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or you’re train is severely delayed, you should let the interviewer know as soon as possible. Don’t worry about speaking to them about this. It’s a circumstance that is completely out of your control, and they should have no issues understanding your situation. Just be honest with them about whether you see yourself getting to them on the day, or if you need to reschedule for another time.


Job offer

If you’re an experienced car mechanic, technician, or salesperson, for example, then you won’t have any trouble securing an interview when searching for a new job in the motor industry.

And if you’re lucky enough to be offered your dream job before you’ve completed all of the interviews you’ve got lined up, it’s always best to cancel the remaining interviews you’ve set up, to avoid burning any bridges (you never know if you might be applying to this company again). You’ll also be saving yourself and the recruiter alot of time. 

Accepting a job offer is a perfectly acceptable reason to cancel a job interview, so be honest – it could work out well for you if the interviewer decides they would like to compete for your skills, making you a better offer on the role.



Illness is yet another inconvenience that is entirely out of our control, and can hit us at any point. And if you’re not feeling 100%, you probably don’t want to take a chance on attending an interview if you’re unwell. It’s also not very considerate to turn up to an interview with a bug, where you could end up passing it onto the person/people in the room with you…this is one way to go about explaining why you shouldn’t attend on the day. Be considerate and consider whether what you have could be contagious, or whether you can physically handle the pressure of an interview while you’re not at your best. Once again, the person interviewing is human. They will understand.



Family crisis? Lost your house keys? Whatever the emergency, life will always take its toll at the most inconvenient of times. Should any of the above take place before your interview, it’s obviously in your best interest to cancel. Nobody wants to attend an interview while worrying about something else, and you could end up underperforming if there’s something on your mind. Simply call the interviewer up and tell them briefly about the emergency – don’t overshare or exaggerate, just be straight with them. After all, if you still want to be considered for the job they want to see that someone will be committed to rescheduling.


Not right for the job

In times of desperation, you might feel pressured to apply for any job you feel you could do. As you move along with your job search though, you might start to have second thoughts about doing a job that’s more suitable to your passion, skillset or interests, and feel the need to back out of other interviews. Again, this is fine, just let your interviewer know, and be sure to apologise for wasting their time – particularly if you;ve already had a phone interview or face-to-face with them. At least you’ve explained how you feel to them before interviewing and potentially taking the job, as opposed to them hiring you, for you to realise it’s not for you. This is a huge time and money waste for everyone involved. Going ‘just for the sake of it’ isn’t productive whatsoever.


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