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Edison Hill

Please let us know you can’t make it

When you are job hunting, at first you’re delighted to get interview opportunities, but then you begin to get more selective. As you refine the kind of position you really want – and, perhaps more specifically, those you don’t want, some jobs lose their rosy glow.

If you decide not to attend an interview, no matter what the reason, it’s polite and professional to let the company know you won’t be attending.

It’s easy to think that the company won’t miss the odd candidate in the many that they’re interviewing, but if each interview is 45-60 minutes that means that one or more managers are sitting in a room twiddling their thumbs.  Consider the cost of their time – and you can work out that you are actually costing the company money.  That’s not going to make you popular.

Why is this important for you?

It’s unprofessional and could affect your reputation.  How? Don’t forget the power of social media which has massively amplified the ‘bush telegraph’, which was the old-fashioned method of news being passed around.

It doesn’t mean that the company would publish a list of no-shows online – but it only takes a careless comment by you or one of your friends, who knew you’d skipped the interview.

If an agency has presented you for interview it’s going to reflect on them – AND their willingness to present you to another client may be damaged.  That means you could miss out on the job you really do want.

You never know what the future holds – it could be that at some point in the future a really fantastic opportunity will arise at the company where you failed to show up.  When your name appears on the applicant list, how likely is it that they’ll feel you’re worth inviting to an interview?

Don’t forget that human resources professionals belong to groups and professional bodies.  Don’t imagine for one minute that they don’t chat about the things that have given them headaches during the day or past few days.

If you decide not to attend an interview protect your reputation by contacting the company and at the very least leaving a message to let your interviewer know you can’t make it.  If you’ve been presented for interview by an agency you should also let them know – and, if you’re really not brave enough to call the company direct, the agency will do that for you.

Clearly, the more notice you can give the better – but please, don’t just not turn up.

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