Your car breaks down. You forget about daylight savings time. Your kid gets violently ill. A close relative passes away. In other words, things happen. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you end up missing your job interview.
Missing an interview serves as a deal-breaker for many employers. At the very least, it means you’ll have to work harder to overcome the negative first impression. After all, nearly three quarters of all interviews end in disappointment anyway. Add a cancellation and your chances plummet.
Even so, you can still save the situation. In fact, you can make significant strides by handling the missed interview in the right way. By taking the correct steps, you make it easier to reschedule the interview and keep the door open to landing the position.
Here are some steps to take if you miss your interview:
Do Everything You Can to Show Up on Time
Yes, we’re going to start off by trolling you a bit. Of course, you can’t control everything. Your Internet goes off right before a virtual interview. You get in a car accident on your way to a meeting. Like we said before, things happen.
However, that doesn’t mean you should give in to the whims of a random universe. Instead, take steps to avoid worst-case-scenarios. Have a backup Internet option. Leave early enough that a simple traffic situation won’t derail you.
The exact steps will depend on the situation. The underlying point: leave as little to chance as possible. Anticipate potential problems and make contingency plans. That way, you can sidestep cancellations rather than having to explain them later.
Contact the Company ASAP
As soon as it’s clear that you’re going to miss your appointment, reach out to your contact at the company. The earlier you can deliver the information, the better. Don’t wait until you are already late.
Remember: there’s an emotional component to the situation. If a group assembles for a meeting and has to sit there awkwardly waiting for you to show up, you might not recover. You’ll never overcome the frustration and annoyance.
But give enough notice and people can reschedule their days. You won’t have to fight through their visceral anger to win a new interview time.
Explain Your Situation
There’s a fine line between an explanation and an excuse. You want to take responsibility for the situation, but still outline the factors that forced you to change your schedule so unexpectedly. Don’t overdo the details. Simply explain what happened and ask for another chance.
How you craft your response will play an important role in how things progress. Stay polite and professional as you deliver your message. Offer thanks for the opportunity.
After all, you can take this potential disaster and earn some positive attention out of it. Of course, you’ll wish it didn’t happen at all. But at least use the situation to show how you handle yourself under pressure and how you can overcome a difficult situation.
Don’t count on a one-and-done message to solve the situation. Follow up after the fact to emphasize how sorry you are. At the same time, you want to reignite a conversation.
As you go through the follow-up process, stay flexible about rescheduling. After all, you’re the one who made it necessary in the first place. Prioritize your interviewers’ schedules as you look to find a new time to meet.
In addition to the discussions with your potential employer, conduct some internal follow up as well. Learn from your mistake. Don’t just lean on the easy “things happen” excuse. Look for ways you could have avoided the circumstances in the first place. Then, apply these lessons to your next interview, so you’re less likely to miss appointments in the future.
Use a Recruiter to Make a Great Impression
Landing a position means making a killer first impression. Showing up on time is the first step, but you’ll need to do a lot more to earn your dream job. Learn interview best practices by teaming with a top recruiting firm, like LaborMAX.
Contact LaborMAX Staffing today for day labor gigs in Phoenix, or for whatever jobs will get your career on the right path.