How to Reschedule an Interview (with Email Examples!) 

 September 30, 2020

By  Marie

A job interview is an exciting thing. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and situations occur where you need to reschedule an interview.

This can cause candidates to panic. 

Can you reschedule an interview in a way that will not impact your prospects of getting hired?

Yes, you can. 

But you need to tread carefully and do it in a professional manner.

Is it OK to reschedule a job interview?

For the right reasons, it is okay to reschedule a job interview.

Employers are comprised of people.

Reasonable employers recognize that situations arise in life where even the most important appointments may need to be rescheduled.

As a candidate, it is first crucial to understand what is an acceptable reason to reschedule an interview.

First, you should do everything possible to avoid having to reschedule an interview.

But if you have an immovable conflict, then it is perfectly acceptable to reschedule a job interview with adequate advance notice. 

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Reasons to Reschedule an Interview

There are a multitude of reasons why you may need to reschedule an interview.

There are a few reasons to reschedule that are common. Employers are used to seeing these (and understand them).

Communicable Illness

This is particularly sensitive in a COVID and post-COVID world.

If you are sick and have an in-person interview scheduled, it is only respectful to reschedule.

You don’t want employees at the organization to get sick.

Be cognizant of the tolerance for symptomatic illnesses in your area and judge it against your illness.

The last days of what is clearly just a cold, where you are just left with a sore throat, may be fine to attend an interview. But you don’t want to be coughing and sneezing throughout your interview. 

If your interview is virtual then you shouldn’t reschedule for a cough. But if you are bed ridden with a fever, it’s understandable you cannot make a virtual interview.

Family Emergency

What constitutes a family emergency?

A family emergency is one that you absolutely must tend to immediately or an event that significantly compromises your state of mind.

Significant illnesses of close ones, death, and trauma (e.g. car accident) are most common.

Another one I have seen come up is childcare falling through, especially for single parents. 

In this case, do your absolute best to find alternative childcare options. But if you exhaust all your resources and are unable to, it is a very valid reason to reschedule.

Not being able to make your child’s soccer practice or a reunion is not a family emergency. Those are sacrifices you may need to make in order to attend a job interview.

Severe Weather

Hurricanes, snow storms, wildfires, etc. can cause employers to close their physical locations. 

It can also make for dangerous travel for you as a candidate.

With severe weather, it is best to check with the company whether they anticipate being open. 

If they are, evaluate whether you can travel to the interview safely. 

If you feel unsafe to travel from your area to the interview, or if it is not possible, ask to reschedule.


Similar to family emergencies, something may happen in your own life that will make it impossible to get to the interview.

Maybe your tire blows out on the highway. Or you have a main water break in your house.

If it is a situation that requires your immediate and utmost attention then it is constituted as an emergency.

If it can be put off or ignored for a day, it is not an emergency.

Travel Delays

If you are flying or taking a train to an interview, and your schedule mode of transportation is cancelled or significantly delayed, it is a valid reason to reschedule. 

Obviously, you have little control over flight and train schedules.

Make sure you do not MISS a plane or train.

This reflects badly upon your time management skills.

An employer may reschedule if you missed a plane, but they will definitely take note of it for your candidacy.

How do you reschedule an interview?

Once you have made the decision that you need to reschedule, it is rather simple to do so.

There are only a few important guidelines to keep in mind.

Communicate it Immediately

As soon as you know you need to reschedule an interview, you must communicate it.

Do not procrastinate or put it off. If you do, this signals your disrespect for others’ time.

In general, I recommend requesting to reschedule an interview by email if you are providing at least 2-3 days of notice. 

Most rescheduling requests occur by email. This is because candidates typically ask several days before the interview.

If it is an emergency type of situation and you are 48 hours or less away from the interview, you need to call the HR rep or recruiter right away.

But regardless of whether you are communicating verbally or by email, the language you use and what you communicate should be the same.

Be Honest

Honesty and integrity are critical qualities for all professionals in all situations. It is no different when asking to reschedule an interview.

So never lie or exaggerate a situation. Be honest in what you say.

Advice that is often provided is that to be professional you have to be very formal. This requires that you minimize any mention of family or personal life.

This advice is INCREDIBLY outdated. 

It is from a time when our work lives and personal lives were not intimately intertwined. When we weren’t accessibly 24/7 by text, phone, or email.

These days, employers understand that “life happens”.

So when you are asking to reschedule, provide a reason. 

Allow the employer to understand why you need to reschedule. It will build trust and empathy.

The reason should be simple and concise. So don’t provide an entire story or all the details of the situation.

Share just enough so that they understand.

Emphasize Your Continued Interest in the Organization and Position

Remind the employer that you are still very interested and excited about the position.

It is always good to emphasize this point during interactions.

Employers want assurance that the candidates they are spending resources on (time and money) are ones that are truly high-value potential employees.

Propose Several Alternative Dates

Don’t just ask to reschedule. Make the process more efficient by proposing several alternative dates.

This will eliminate some of the potential back and forth of identifying another date.

I recommend to pick 2-3 alternative dates to propose.

Also, make sure the proposed dates are within a reasonable time frame. Ideally within a week and definitely within two of the original date.

Apologize for the Inconvienience

Don’t beg for forgiveness. Likely, the situation was out of your control.

Simply apologize for the inconvenience of having to shuffle around peoples’ calendars.

Simple, concise. 

Be Gracious

Thank the employer in advance for their flexibility.

Interview teams are very busy trying to find the perfect candidate, doing their full time job, and likely picking some of the slack from the open position.

It is always polite to express gratitude when people are generous with their time.

Reschedule Interview Email Examples

You can use the email samples below to help you craft an email requesting to reschedule an interview that is specific to your situation.

Example 1: Family Emergency

Dear [HR rep/recruiter],

I am writing about my interview scheduled with [organization] for [position] on [date].

Unfortunately, I’ve had a family emergency arise. My father is very ill and I will need to travel during the time my interview is scheduled.

I am still profoundly interested in the position with [organization]. Can we reschedule for another date? I am available on the following days:




If these do not work for the team, please let me know other dates that would be convenient. I am very sorry for the inconvenience and am grateful for the flexibility.



Example 2: Communicable Illness

Dear [HR rep/recruiter],

I am writing about my interview scheduled with [organization] for [position] on [date].

Unfortunately, I have come down with the flu. I would hate to impact the health of anyone on the interview team.

I am still very interested in the position. Can we reschedule for another date once I have recovered? I am available on the following days:




If these do not work for the team, please let me know other dates that would be convenient. I am very sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you in advance for the flexibility.



A Final Word

At the end of the day, you must use your best judgement whether your situation is one that truly calls for rescheduling.

Certain reasons are easy, such as illness and family emergencies.

Others may be more difficult to judge. 

In those cases, ask yourself whether you have done everything you could possibly do to clear your schedule and be available for the interview? Be honest.

If you have then it is probably a valid and understandable reason. 

If it is, then the risk is low that it will impact your prospects of being hired.

Oh, and don’t miss the rescheduled interview!

So those are my tips on how to reschedule an interview!

Have you had to reschedule an interview before? How did it turn out? 

Let me know below!

Check out these other job search articles:

How to Write an Interview Thank You Email

How to Answer “Walk Me Through Your Resume”

5 Tips to Prepare for an Interview (and get that job offer!)

How to Respond to a Job Offer in Any Situation

How to Resign: Resignation Email Template

Tips to Respond to a Rejection Email on a Job Application

How to Reschedule an Interview

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