I had a phone interview last week with the controller of a new company I am interested in. They then wanted to meet with me today for an interview. I was scheduled for an interview today, and three hours before they cancelled it and wanted to reschedule it for next week. I already took PTO from my current job. What do I do? I don't want to look bad calling out again. It will be hard to find another excuse to call off especially since I commute in the city.

How can I communicate effectively that I am unable to reschedule, but am still interested in the position?

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    Is your current employer not flexible to this? Its your PTO, you should be allowed to use it as you see fit, provided the needs of the company or met (ie too many others also off).
    – user41891
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:11
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    @SiXandSeven8ths lots of places wont give PTO whenever you want. You typically need to book a bit in advanced. Also, why should OP waste from PTO when there is chance they will miss that one as well Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:39
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    Can you tell your current employer that what you needed time for (fantasy dr appointment or whatever) has been postponed, and that you'd like to reschedule next week? And just stay at work? If that's not allowed, I can understand only too well why you might want a different job :-)
    – user90842
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 21:34
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    Is it more important to you to prevent your current employer from getting slightly suspicious or for you to get another job? Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 0:25

5 Answers 5


It's annoying when that happens - and with the best will in the world it does happen. Interviewers are humans too and just as subject to last minute hiccups as the rest of us (illness etc). A good employer will recognise that this has put you in an awkward position and should be willing to work with you to rearrange with that in mind.

It's totally fine to say something like:

It was unfortunate that we weren't able to meet as planned. I'm still very interested in the role but I'm going to struggle to get time off again next week. Would you be able to meet me one night after work? Say at x time?

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    Not only does it show the inconvenience, but it shows that you're willing to roll with it and figure something out while still managing to meet your current obligations. After all, when you eventually leave their company, they don't want someone that drops the ball before you've left, right?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 19:40
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    If they are embarrassed at having had to cancel at short notice this gives them a graceful way to make amends. Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 21:40
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    @Ertai87, in that event, you thank them for their consideration, express your regrets that you will not be able to meet with them, and THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS THAT THEY SHOWED THEIR TRUE COLORS BEFORE YOU HIRED IN, rather than after. Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:46
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    @Ertai87 Reaffirm that I'm are unable to make any 9-5 times next week, Express regret that it doesn't appear as if we'll be able to get to meet after all, this keeps the ball in their court if they wish to propose an alternative but if not politely thank them for their time and interest in my application and use the rest of the unexpected day off to catch up on my Netflix queue? Chilling Adventures of Sabrina isn't going to watch itself!
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:58
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    @Dukeling That's not the problem. The problem is they cancelled 3 hours before the interview, wasting the OP's day off. Try canceling anything else like that (court date, flights, hotel booking) and see what happens. Usually the person doing the cancelling pays for it, not the other way around.
    – Nelson
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 3:20

I think it comes down to a question of how badly you want this new position and how good an opportunity it is. Also, it depends on what you think you can 'get away' with with your current employer.

If the job is a great opportunity to advance your career and you can't afford to pass it up, then I would probably do whatever I could to make the interview happen, such as 'feigning' a sick day or family emergency, if necessary. You have to think about your own career first and I don't think most employers would be too concerned about one day, especially if you are a good employee, working hard and getting good results, and as long as it isn't a regular thing.

However, if you do that, I think it is also very important to make the new employer aware beforehand of the difficulty for you in taking time off, and that it is unlikely you would be able to re-schedule again if they cancel again at such short notice.


Remember that your current job may be the only one you have. So be very careful. Honesty is the best policy, but don't give out details to your current employer they don't need. Best wishes for success.


Take another day off. Just schedule it now so that it's not "calling in" again and it should be fine. If you can't get it on the schedule and you don't have anymore time off allowances, explain it to the interviewer.

If you got an interview, then you can probably get another job. The job you have right now is not the only thing in the world. Don't let it overstep your boundaries. Just be reasonable and mindful of what you signed up for when you agreed to take your current role and you'll be fine.


Annoying, but don't take it personally. Managers conduct hundreds of interviews; sounds like a key interviewer and/or hiring manager had something come up.

If next week is no good for you, just offer them a few dates and times when you can be available; e.g.:

I am available at the following dates/times:

Wed 28 Nov - morning
Thu 29 Nov - afternoon
Fri 30 Nov - morning

This is pretty standard stuff.

  1. I prefer morning interviews, but some companies like afternoon. I normally give two mornings and one afternoon.
  2. This morning/afternoon strategy also gives you the option to take a 1/2 day with your current employer.

Also, in my opinion, when proposing times:

  1. Avoid Mondays. Some people tend to be in a rotten mood.
  2. Avoid Friday afternoon. Some people don't want to be bothered, are tired from the work week, and want to get started on their weekend.

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