Learning to keep small and big commitments will help you establish respect and trust in personal and professional relationships. This is especially true when participating in an interview for a job or internship. Failure to attend an interview makes you appear unreliable and uninterested in the position. It inconveniences the employer, especially those who have invested time and money to travel to meet with you on campus. Missing an interview may have a lasting, negative impact on your professional reputation, and as a University of Georgia (UGA) student, missing an on-campus interview also reflects poorly on UGA as a whole and other UGA students.
Practical Tips to Keep Your Interview Commitment
So, of course you do not want to miss an interview. Here are a few ways you can stay organized so that you do not miss an interview or other commitment:
- If you get another job, withdraw your application(s) from other roles. If you found a job and you do not need to keep another interview—that’s great! Notify the recruiter via phone or email that you are no longer interested in the position so they can invite other candidates.
- If you are forgetful, use a calendar or planner. To avoid forgetting about an interview, put it in your calendar, set reminders, put an alarm on your phone, and tell your close friends and family about the interview so they can remind you.
- If you need more information about the interview, ask the recruiter. Ask the recruiter in advance if you are unsure of the time, the location, or other information about the interview. It is a good idea to ask clarifying questions about the interview, so you are prepared for it.
What To Do if You Miss an Interview
Even when you are prepared for an interview, we know that life is full of surprises. If an unexpected illness or emergency arises that prevents you from attending your interview, what should you do?
Notify the Employer in Advance, If Possible
First, notify the employer. A brief phone call or email is a must to let the employer know you are not able to come to the interview. All you need to do is apologize, briefly explain the situation, and let the employer know you will not be attending the interview. If your interview is on-campus at Clark Howell Hall, you can call our front desk at 706-542-3375 so we can relay the message to an employer to know not to expect you.
- Example Phone Script to Cancel an Interview Last-Minute
I am so sorry to say that I have a flat tire this morning and I am unable to make our interview time. I apologize for the inconvenience. I know this interferes with your time, and I was looking forward to the interview! If you are willing, I would appreciate the opportunity to reschedule the interview as I am very interested in this role. However, I understand that this may not be possible.
Always follow-up on a missed interview with an apology email. Apologizing is an important professional practice, and it is a requirement of the UGA Career Center No-Show/Late Cancellation Policy for on-campus interviews. When writing an apology, use a formal tone, explain the situation honestly, and apologize. If desired, you may ask to reschedule the interview. Here is an example you can use to write an apology for missing and interview.
- Example Apology Email for a Missed Interview
I am writing to apologize for missing my interview with you on [Date]. I am aware that it was my responsibility to be there, and I deeply regret not being able to attend.
Unfortunately, I had a [family emergency/medical issue/other unforeseen circumstances] that prevented me from making it to the interview. I understand that this is not an acceptable excuse, and I take full responsibility for my absence.
I am very interested in the [Position] at [Company], and, if possible, I would like to reschedule the interview at a time that works for you.
Thank you for considering my apology and for the opportunity to interview for the [Position]. I apologize again for the inconvenience I have caused you.
UGA Career Center Interview No-Show/ Cancellation Policy
The UGA Career Center has a strict no show and cancellation policy for on-campus and virtual interviews. If a student cancels a scheduled interview less than 24 hours before the scheduled interview time, or if the student does not show up for a scheduled interview, the student’s Handshake account will be blocked. This policy will be enforced no matter what the reason (sickness, family emergency, car trouble, exam schedule, work conflict, etc.).
In order to have his/her Handshake account unblocked, the student must write an apology/explanation letter and email that to the employer within 48 hours of the missed interview. In addition, Whitney Denney, Associate Director of Employer Relations, must be copied on that email. It is the student’s responsibility to look up the employer’s contact information. They can do so by coming to the Career Center front desk and looking in the on-campus interview binder that holds employer contact information. This information will not be provided over the phone or via email. If a student fails to do the aforementioned tasks, his/her Handshake account will remain blocked.
Students unable to keep an appointment for an on-campus interview must cancel the interview through Handshake by 12:00 noon, two working days prior to the scheduled interview time. Students who fail to cancel their interviews in time and students who fail to appear for scheduled interviews may lose their interviewing privileges through the UGA Career Center.