How to Respond to a Cancelled Interview

Prospective employers looking for the ideal candidate generally don't cut the interview process short when they have suitably qualified contenders scheduled for interviews. Therefore, if you receive an email or telephone call informing you that your job interview has been canceled, don't assume that you've been eliminated from consideration for the job. Graciously respond to the cancellation, offer to reschedule or tell the recruiter or hiring manager that you are open to exploring other opportunities.

Don't Make Assumptions

Express your disappointment in a respectful manner. Instead of assuming the interview was canceled because the recruiter or hiring manager simply doesn't want to meet with you, look at the cancellation from another perspective. The recruiter might postpone an interview until she's better prepared to talk to you about the job, or the hiring manager might have competing priorities that would render her unable to make a hiring decision right away.

Call the Recruiter

Return the telephone call you received about the cancellation. Try to reach the recruiter or hiring manager a couple of times so you can speak to him directly. However, if after the second call you're unable to reach him, leave a voicemail message.


Hello, Mr. Smith, this is Mary Doe. I received your message to cancel our interview set for Thursday at 2 p.m. I'm sorry to hear that you need to cancel it, but I'm looking forward to meeting you. Please let me know the date and time you're available to reschedule and I will clear my calendar for that time. Thank you.

Ask Why the Interview Was Cancelled

Ask why the interview was cancelled in a nonaccusatory tone.


Is the interviewing process canceled or it's just not a convenient time for our meeting?

Posing the question this way should yield a response about the hiring decision. If the interview cancellation is because the company already has selected a final candidate, tell the recruiter or hiring manager that you would appreciate it if she kept you in mind for future positions that match your qualifications.


I'm sorry to hear that. I'm still very interested in working for your company. Could you keep me in mind for future positions?

Always leave the door open so you can reapply for another position with that employer.

Follow Up Gracefully

Write a follow-up note to the recruiter or hiring manager if you don't hear from him within a reasonable time about rescheduling your interview. In your email, restate your interest in the job and express your disappointment that your previously scheduled interview was canceled. In your message, ask for a reply about whether the job is going to be filled or if you should move forward with your job search.


Dear Mr. Doe, I'm sorry that our interview that was scheduled last month had to be canceled. I'm still interested in the paralegal position with your firm and would be delighted to reschedule our meeting. Please let me know when you're available. However, if you have decided not to fill this position, please let me know in a return email message so I can redirect my job search.

Take Care With Multiple Cancellations

If your interview has been canceled more than twice, rethink your reasons for wanting to work for this organization. The way recruiters and hiring managers interact with job applicants usually is indicative of the way the company treats employees. If you are no longer interested in the job, based on a gut feeling that it's simply not the right place for you, write a brief email message, saying that you would like to withdraw your candidacy. Keep the tone of your message professional so as not to burn bridges; an HR department changing of the guard could result in better management of the company's recruitment and hiring process.