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How to Respond to a Cancelled Interview

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When you have an interview scheduled, it brings you closer to the prospect of securing a job offer, but there's always the chance that the job opportunity will be gone before you step foot in an interview. When your interview gets cancelled, it can mean several things. Knowing how to respond to a cancelled interview will help ensure you continue to remain considered for future opportunities.


An employer cancelling an interview will generally offer a reason. It can be a number of things, including having found a person to fill the position, a change in management's decision about opening the position or simply a conflict in scheduling. Don't let the cancellation drag you down. Remain positive and professional so there is open communication. If the employer fails to offer a reason for the cancellation, ask for a reason so you know how to respond. For instance, "Can I ask you why the interview is being cancelled?"

Maintain Communication

If this is an employer and position you have a strong interest in, look for opportunities to maintain communication so you continue to remain under consideration should something else open up in the future. When your interview is cancelled, it does not necessarily mean the employer found something wrong with you, but that someone else may have beat you to it. Depending on the reason for the cancellation, inform your contact that you hope they can keep your information on file should something similar open up in the future.


Avoid a cancelled interview in the future by scheduling it "as soon as possible," according to ITWorld. By getting the first slot you can get, it avoids the chance that another candidate beats you to the punch line of making a good impression -- good enough to have the employer extend a job offer. Research also indicates interviews scheduled earlier in the day have a better chance of a fair evaluation whereas interviews scheduled after others have taken place may be influenced in evaluation by prior candidate's performance, according to "Psychology Today."

Inside Look

While there may be a legitimate reason for why an interview gets cancelled, the way the cancellation is approached and the frequency of cancellations can provide insight on how the organization and individual operates. Ask yourself if you feel the employer has responded to you courteously about the cancellation and respects and values your time. An organization or individual who fails to show professionalism in the way time is managed may turn out to be someone you don't want to bother with.


Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.

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