How to Successfully Reschedule a Phone Interview

A battle-proven way to reschedule an interview without jeopardizing your chances of getting hired.

Phil from 4 day week
4 min readMay 14, 2021

After months of search, you’ve landed a phone interview for a software engineer position. You’re ecstatic and sure of acing the interview and getting a job offer.

You’ve prepped adequately by preparing a call framework and roll played with a friend, severally to cover all ground and eliminate any blindsides. You’ve accounted for everything except one — Murphy’s law.

Something crops up and ruins your best-laid plans. You’re taken ill, a loved one is admitted to the ER, you’re caught up at work, or in crippling state-wide power outage.

What to do?

How do you salvage the situation and increase your chances of being hired for your dream job? Your best bet is to try and reschedule the job interview

Read on for the best approach to rescheduling an interview without jeopardizing your chances of being hired.

Calm Down

It’s only natural for panic to set in, given what’s at stake. However, you should not give in to your panic and make rash decisions. Hence, the first step is to remain calm as the severity of the situation hits.

Remember, recruiters, are human too. They can understand that life circumstances often get in the way of a planned job interview. Hence, they may have a wiggle room for interviewees who can’t keep their first appointment.

Reschedule at the Earliest Possible Opportunity

Reach out to the potential employer and let them know on time and inform them about your unavailability. But most importantly, you should try to secure a new interview date. While that might seem unsettling, alerting a hiring manager that you need to cancel a scheduled interview puts you in their good graces. It paints you as a responsible and thoughtful individual who value other people’s time and wellbeing.

Just be sure to let them know of the need to reschedule as soon as you’re able to. A reasonable notice window enables a hiring manager to re-organize their schedule and probably move on to the next candidate on the list while keeping your slot open.

Never Leave It Until Last Minute

Unless you have an emergency, attempting to postpone an interview without a valid reason at the last minute often hurts your chances. Once it’s apparent that you need to reschedule, reach out to the right people as quickly as possible.

Taking quick action lets you seem organized, committed, and on top of things. If you feel or suspect that something might get in the way on the material day, it’s best to reschedule the interview. You want to be in the best frame of mind when pitching yourself as the best candidate for the role.

Reach Out Through Phone or Email

Undoubtedly, calling is the most direct way to inform the recruiter of your unavailability. A call is more personal, and it gives you a chance to explain the reasons forcing you to reschedule the interview. If you can’t get a hold of the direct contact person, be sure to note the name of the person you’ve spoken with, the time, and the date of the call.

For good measure, you can follow up the call with an email. Detail out the circumstances that forced you to decline the interview. It’s best to give a brief and truthful account of the reasons behind the change. Although you have a right to privacy, a detailed explanation coupled with a genuine reason can persuade the hiring manager to respond positively.

Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience you may have caused the recruiter. While you may not control the circumstances driving the reschedule, it’s only polite to apologize. Seeming remorseful can sway the recruiter to consider rescheduling your interview instead of writing you off.

Suggest Another Date

As you communicate and apologize for not taking the interview, don’t leave the recruiter to set a new date. Instead, suggest an alternate date that works for you and enquire if that would work for them. You want to pick a date that you’re sure you’ll have the time to take the call and impress the recruiter.

While most hiring managers are willing to indulge you the first time, they might flat out decline to reschedule a second time. Besides, that might mar your image and brand you as unorganized or uninterested.

If you decline an interview due to an illness, allow sufficient recovery time. Prolonged bouts of coughing and wheezing during an interview can hurt your chances of securing a software engineering job. Instead, allow enough time to recover your health then take the interview.

Valid Reasons for Rescheduling an Interview

You need a legitimate reason to convince a recruiter that you can’t take an interview and push for a postponement. Some valid reasons include:

  • Personal illness
  • A loved one is taken sick
  • Scheduling conflict
  • You can’t get time off at work
  • You’re out of network coverage
  • Inclement weather

Honesty is the best policy when asking the hiring manager in a software development firm with a 4-day week to reschedule an interview. Be truthful and give a legitimate reason to avoid raising red flags.

Sample Email Asking to Reschedule an Interview

Subject: John Mitch — Rescheduling My Job Interview

Dear Ms. Rathman,

Would it be at all possible to reschedule my interview for the full stack developer slotted for 16th June at 9 am? Unfortunately, I have come down with a crippling bout of cold that has led me to lose my voice. The doctor has advised that it’ll take up to two weeks to make a full recovery.

I apologize for any inconvenience that I may have caused, but I would appreciate another chance to talk to you about this position. Is it possible to reschedule for 3rd August? Let me know if that day can work for you or if you prefer a different date. I am available for the rest of the week.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


Tomas Olsen

And there you have it, a battle-proven way to reschedule an interview without jeopardizing your chances of getting hired.

This article was original posted on 4 day week — Software engineering jobs with a better work life balance 🎉