The backstory

On Monday, I had a quick 15 minute phone interview with a potential employer that seemed to go well. I promptly received another call after the interview stating that the company is interested in holding an in-house interview with me (today).

The woman on the phone had a very thick accent and I politely let her know that I had a hard time understanding her. We scheduled an interview for what I thought was this morning but I wanted to confirm with her - she then told me she would just email me the appointment details. This included her even reading out my own email address to me, which I confirmed as being mine.

I never received any email from the company and assumed that the company had ghosted me (it's happened plenty of times before so I just assumed the worst).

Lo and behold, later on I check my phone (my phone was on silent as I was at my current workplace) and I received a flurry of calls around the time that I believe (?) I was supposed to be interviewed.

The question

Is it worth reaching out to this company to apologize or explain myself?

The job isn't necessarily super important to me - there are some red flags such as questionable Glassdoor reviews, 13 employees after 11 years in business, calling themselves a start up after 11 years, etc. I'm also gainfully employed and in a senior role at my current position (which is why I am considering other options).

At the same time, I don't want to burn bridges and I feel very unprofessional.


Edit I explicitly stated in my cover letter that I cannot accept phone calls during business hours and prefer to schedule everything over email.

  • 1
    "I received a flurry of calls..." - Did they leave any messages? A call without a message is as good as no call in my book.
    – Brandin
    Feb 6, 2020 at 5:44
  • No messages, no -
    – James
    Feb 6, 2020 at 10:15
  • Time is money. I stopped talking with whatever random company contacts me in linked.in, and I am much more calmer and happier nowadays. Red flags, subcontracting or no job details/compensation details, no talk. Feb 6, 2020 at 14:43
  • In the future, give out a Google Voice phone number (assuming it's available in your country. If not, forget I said anything). Feb 7, 2020 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


Just tell them the truth.

I think the only thing you did wrong (maybe) was not following up the next day saying that you never received an email about a time to come in on the day of the interview. You knew what day it was and so I believe you had time to try to reach out to them beforehand.

It is rather unfortunate that you did not get the email, that isn't your fault. It's possible that she typed in the wrong email address (since you mentioned there was a potential language barrier).

Here's what I would say (or something like it):

Good morning/afternoon [person you who talked to]:

I had not received any email confirmation regarding when I should come in to have the interview with you all. I was not able to receive any phone calls either. Please let me know if there is any way to reschedule this interview. I apologize for any inconvenience.


Your Name

EDIT: Based on your edit, you could say, "I am not able to answer the phone during the workday, as I mentioned in my cover letter."

They don't have to know why you weren't able to answer your phone but following up with them could tell them that you're still interested and perhaps there was a good reason why you weren't able to answer the phone. But they might raise their eyebrow a little and wonder why you didn't reach out to them the before the interview.

However, if you are not interested at all, and it sounds like you aren't, then I would email back and say the same thing I mentioned above except you can say that you have decided to focus your career elsewhere instead of rescheduling an interview.

It's up to you to decide if you want work at this other company.

  • Initially this was exactly my plan. I was waiting on an email from the woman on the phone because I was going to cancel the interview. But because she never sent me any email, I had no way to email her back. So because she never emailed me back, I thought they did the dirty work and rejected me and I went on with my day. But then the opposite happened...
    – James
    Feb 6, 2020 at 5:05
  • I even explicitly stated in my cover letter that due to the nature of my work, I cannot take calls during business hours and would prefer to schedule everything over email. Really the only way I could email the company is through its sales email which I think is very unprofessional.
    – James
    Feb 6, 2020 at 5:06
  • ^^^ This is information that wasn't in the question. So I would now say, "I am not able to receive any phone calls during work hours, as mentioned in my cover letter."
    – user82352
    Feb 6, 2020 at 5:09
  • Added to edit - and I didn't think of that. Good catch!
    – James
    Feb 6, 2020 at 5:15

Is it worth reaching out to this company to apologize or explain myself?

An apology is always worthwhile.

You may or may not get another chance to interview. But at least you will have done the right thing.


Do consider following back

Since you have received multiple calls, you should consider replying back. Situations (like the one with you, or something else) can happen with anyone. That shouldn't stop you for communicating.

Carrying an apologetic tone, and explaining may make you appear like you missed the calls intentionally. You can be casual and politely state that you have unintentionally missed the calls, and have called back as soon as you got the chance.

At this stage, apparently there's no harm in talking further and exploring what lies ahead in the interview process and what the company has to offer.

Is it worth reaching out to this company to apologize or explain myself?

There appears to be nothing that should stop you from reaching out. I think you need not carry a serious apologetic tone though.

  • Interesting. I would assume that being apologetic would be a good thing but I can see your rationale.
    – James
    Feb 6, 2020 at 4:47
  • 1
    @David I mean you do not have to be feel "bad" and apologize profusely. A casual "Sorry I missed your calls unintentionally" should do. Feb 6, 2020 at 4:48

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