Anyone who has been in a hiring manager position has most likely experienced a candidate cancelling their scheduled interview at the last minute. Even worse are those instances where someone “no shows” for a scheduled interview and you never hear back from the candidate with any type of reasonable explanation for why they failed to fulfill their commitment. Is it just me, or do those scenarios really strike a chord and irritate the heck out of you?
Of course there are scenarios where unexpected things come up and for whatever reason, the interviewee is unable to make it to their scheduled interview. I’m certainly not suggesting that there are no valid excuses for missing an interview. My frustration lies with those situations where a candidate makes a last minute decision not to go through with an interview because their interest level has changed suddenly, or another appealing opportunity has surfaced that they’d rather explore.
As much as it pains me to admit this, I’ve had to deal with these unfortunate scenarios on a few occasions. Whenever a candidate decides to cancel their final interview at the last minute, the hiring manager is going to be disappointed. I always pride myself on working hard to develop a great rapport with the candidates we’re representing, to develop a relationship that is based on trust and mutual respect. Unfortunately, when you’re in the “people business,” unexpected things will happen on occasion and certain decisions that are made shock me.
Oftentimes, the candidates who cancel interviews last minute indicate that they’ve decided to accept other opportunities. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m always glad to hear that someone has found a new job they’re excited about accepting. I’m in the business of helping people find their next great job opportunity. And while I would love to be the one to place every single candidate we work with in their dream job, I realize that’s just not always going to happen. People use many different sources to pursue new opportunities in their career and I support that strategy 100 percent.
My question to all of you who are reading this blog spot (thank you, by the way!) is what is the most appropriate way to handle this type of scenario? I realize there will always be certain exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, how do you think you should handle a scenario like the one I’ve outlined here?
From my perspective, I feel like it’s always best to follow through on one’s commitments. Canceling a final interview at the last minute tends to leave the hiring managers with a negative impression. You never know when you might cross paths with that person again and, in my opinion, it’s best to avoid making decisions that would lend the hiring manager to believe you lack professionalism.
A second key point to this debate, in my opinion, is that by cancelling the final interview, you’re denying yourself an opportunity to make a final assessment of whether this could be that next great job for you to pursue in your career. This final interview might offer you the exact insights you needed to gain in order to make the best decision.
What is the harm in staying true to your commitment and following through with the final interview? I’ve been in my position with Aureus for more than six years now and there have been times in the past where a candidate has expressed a desire to cancel a final interview. After discussing these points with them, the vast majority of candidates follow through and, more often than not, end up thanking me for encouraging them to go through with the interview. Even if the candidate doesn’t receive or accept an offer for the position in the end, that person feels good about the fact that they followed through with their commitment and they left the hiring team with a good impression.
Again, this is just my perspective! I welcome some healthy dialogue on this topic and look forward to hearing other’s opinions.
About the Author, Stephanie Miller
Stephanie Miller has worked for Aureus Group for five years. As a senior account manager within the Finance and Accounting division, Stephanie partners with organizations throughout the state of Iowa and provides staffing solutions within the accounting, finance, and human resources departments. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and recently earned a master’s degree in negotiation and dispute resolution at Creighton University; she is also a certified professional consultant.
Stephanie reports that two of the most rewarding aspects of her job is seeing how pleased the client is when she’s successful in identifying a professional who meets the level of experience/skills the company desires for a particular position and also helping a candidate make a successful career change. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and their two dogs, Benny and Olive. She also loves to travel, check out new restaurants, watch movies, run, attend sporting events and theatrical performances, and volunteer through the United Way a few times per month.