Rearranging an interview with an employer

Semester 1 has been busy for many of you, not just with lectures and course work, but also with job applications.  Some of you may have had interviews with companies already, but for others the interviews are still to come.

If you’ve not already experienced the feeling of getting a letter (or more likely, an email) from an employer you really want to work for inviting you to interview, take it from me, it’s fantastic!  All those hours you spent filling the form in was worth it, you’re through to the next stage.  But what do you do when you look through the invite and see that it’s on a day you absolutely can’t attend?

Employers arrange interviews around their schedules, so it’s not surprising that these might clash with your schedule.  As  students, the main reason that a clash will occur for you will be because you have an exam, especially during January. Unless you’ve perfected the art of being in more than one place at once you need to think what you’ll do about this situation.

People get worried about ringing an employer and saying that they can’t make the proposed time but if you plan what you’re going to say first, you’ll fine.

  1. Before you ring the employer, think about when you’d like the interview rearranged to.  It doesn’t look professional if you’re vague about when you are able to come.  Could you make an alternative time on that day, or do you need to rearrange to different day?  Try to be as flexible as possible.
  2. When you contact the employer (and it’s always best to ring rather than email if possible) explain calmly and fully why you aren’t able to make the proposed interview time/date. Make sure that the employer knows you still want to attend an interview and are still very interested in the position.  If you can make a different time on the same day, be aware that this is probably much easier for the employer than a totally different day, so make sure you let them know this is a possibility.
  3. Thank the employer for being flexible/considerate and if you have any other questions about the interview, or location, or documents you need to bring, this is the time to ask, you want to avoid having to ring again unnecessarily as this will make you look unprepared.

As long as you act professionally, are prepared, and are fully aware of all your other commitments, you will be fine.  You have a good chance to get your schedule sorted, still fulfil both your Uni and career commitments and hopefully get that job!


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