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Two weeks ago, a small company set up an interview and scheduled it for a certain time tomorrow.

Late last week, a very competitive company asked whether I'd be interested in interviewing, and I let them know the general times I would be available for the next few weeks. This morning, they send me an email about having the interview tomorrow at the same time as the small company.

Who should I have rescheduled?

This competitive company probably has hundreds of other applicants for this position, and if the first thing that the interviewer has to do with me is rescheduling an interview, I fear that I will not be off to a great start. Technically, I did specify that I am usually available for tomorrow's time. Wanting to keep my availability simple, I didn't bother mentioning a time that was so soon that wouldn't work. I didn't realize that they would rush to have the interview a few business days later (given that I gave them nearly a month of available times).

I feel that the right thing to do is ask to reschedule the competitive company, because I promised the small company first. Additionally, the email from the competitive company does say to let them know whether the time won't work (but will they still not like me as much if I do change it?).

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the small company does not have more than a few other interviewees, so it would be less overhead for them to reschedule.


*While this probably applies to full-timers, this is for an internship.

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    "Wanting to keep my availability simple," I'm sorry, but you were an idiot and you still are being one. Reschedule the large company. Besides, desperation is not an attractive quality. Nobody likes to hire desperate people. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 11 '19 at 21:45
  • @StephanBranczyk - Thanks for the input. I agree that I was a dolt for not saying that tomorrow wouldn't work. That being said, I do have a more general question. What if you set up time ranges, and then something gets scheduled before they set up the meeting? It would be probably annoy them to let them know every time a new event comes up. – anonymously-asking-a-question Nov 11 '19 at 21:54
  • Sure, it may annoy them, but it happens. It happens frequently enough. Rescheduling is part of their job. It's something that they're very good at. The only party that's going to be really annoyed for sure is the one that got on your calendar two weeks ago and you don't have a decent excuse you can give them for the change. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 11 '19 at 23:12
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Who should I have rescheduled?

Since you already had a scheduled interview with the small company for that time slot, you should reply to the very competitive company immediately, telling them that you are sorry, but that you are busy at that time and offering an alternative time.

That's just common courtesy.

As @RobinBennett wisely pointed out in a comment, it might be worth saying that you're going to another interview. It shows that you're in demand, and that you're not rescheduling for something minor.

I feel that the right thing to do is ask to reschedule the competitive company, because I promised the small company first. Additionally, the email from the competitive company does say to let them know whether the time won't work (but will they still not like me as much if I do change it?).

I agree. That's the right thing to do. As long as you reschedule in a timely manner, they will like you just as much.

In the future, let schedulers know the times you are busy.

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  • This is exactly what I did 15-ish minutes ago! Good thing that there's this answer to reaffirm my action. Thanks! – anonymously-asking-a-question Nov 11 '19 at 22:57
  • Well, I didn't do the right thing completely, as I should've been more specific with my availability and avoid asking this in the first place. :) – anonymously-asking-a-question Nov 11 '19 at 23:02
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    It's probably too late, but it's worth saying that you're going to another interview. It shows that you're in demand, and that you're not rescheduling for something minor. – Robin Bennett Nov 12 '19 at 14:27
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It might feel right to reschedule with the competitive company because you agreed to the time with the smaller company first however it depends on which role you're more interested in.

If a role with the competitive company is more attractive (and let's be honest, they're more likely to be difficult to reschedue with than the smaller company) then I'd try to reschedule with the smaller company.

If a role with the smaller company is more attractive then ask the competitive company to reschedule but if it's more competitive then they may potentially be less flexible on alternative timeslots.

But either way you don't know until you try! Good luck.

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It makes no difference who to ask to reschedule based on what is easier for them.

You base decisions on yourself. Whichever is most likely to land you a job should be prioritised. Or whichever has the better position for you. Either way base it on your needs.

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