When it comes to late cancellations, it doesn't matter who you know, where you went to school or how much experience you have in your field. If you really want to irritate your prospective employer, then wait until the last minute to call off your interview. The only thing worse than canceling late is being a no-show. Even if you've decided to turn down an offer, getting under an employer's skin is the last thing that you want to do.
If you know that you're going to be late, then you should give your prospective employer a ring immediately. Always have the phone number of your interviewer on hand in case of an emergency, such as running late or needing to reschedule. If your cell phone is broken, find a payphone and promptly get the message to your interviewer. No one likes her time wasted, especially by a stranger. Also, you should be gracious when canceling because getting ditched is no picnic, either.
Hurting Future Chances
During this time of your life, this opportunity may not be the right one for you. However, if you burn a bridge with this company now, you will be hurting your future hiring chances. Your job outlook might change in three years, and you may want another position within that same company. If you're blacklisted because of your poor etiquette, then you will only have yourself to blame.
Hurting Your References
If you were referred by a current employee in that company, her recommendations may not be held in high regard in the future. Blowing off your interview and placing a late phone call shows a lack of respect, maturity and responsibility. In the process of ruining a relationship with that organization, you will be tarnishing your reference's reputation.
Starting Off on the Wrong Foot
If this is the job of your dreams, but you got a flat tire or missed the last train into the city, it is important that you communicate with your interviewer. Calling 10 minutes before your scheduled interview will only cause the interviewer to question your candidacy. When you can't arrive on time, the least that you can do is call on time.
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