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I have an interview with the president of the company I interviewed for 2 weeks ago, so it's the second round interview. The dates and times they gave me were over a range of 4 days, but OF COURSE, it's literally the only 4 days I'm out of town at a conference and unavailable (I had this planned over 2 months ago... + or - 1 day and I'm there... a huge bummer, really.) I am crafting an email, but I just want some advice on what I should/shouldn't include:

  • I really like this job, and I'm willing to reschedule my flight, but Im also wondering if it's worth asking still. Of course I'd rather NOT reschedule my flight and pay $200, since this was booked over 2 months ago. Do I make the decision now, pay the $200 to reschedule, pick a date, and go for it or..
  • Should I mention that I have the conference, ask for a different day as soon as possible (I'm literally free any day other than those 4), but then state that "if this doesn't work, I'm more than willing to accomodate to the interview schedule and schedule for ____. Please let me know." Does this sound too unnecessary? Do I only ask for a reschedule, and not include the "but if not parts..."?

The only reason I feel so apprehensive about it is I really, really like this job, and I don't want to do anything to hurt my chances, and I feel like I am by asking for a reschedule. For context, this is an entry level job for a college student like me graduating in May. It's a smaller company (about 100 employees total). The people were very nice, and my first interview couldn't have gone better.

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Just ask to reschedule on a different day. It is not a big deal.

I have never had problem rescheduling interviews, whether they be for small companies or for large ones. I have moved them for hackathons, illness, conferences, etc. Just explain that you have a conference to attend and would appreciate if they could accommodate you earlier or perhaps accommodate a video call (as presumably, you can take an hour off somewhere to do it).

As a broader comment, very little in the corporate world cannot be rescheduled, especially when it is just person to person meetings like this. I have found it far more forgiving in terms of flexibility than university (and I went to a school where plenty of flexibility was available).

If they have a pile of times you can fit in during a four day period, there is probably time for you somewhere else too.

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Most organisations should be understanding enough to re-schedule. The idea is to find a time that suits both interviewer and interviewee. It would be selfish in the extreme for them to expect you to cancel long standing plans to meet them. (As an aside: if a company is that demanding when you don't work for them, imagine what they will be like if you do?)

Call or send them an email explaining that unfortunately you have prior commitments that can't be rescheduled and provide give a range of dates and times that you will be available.

Don't miss the opportunity to subtly demonstrate your work ethic, flexibility, commitment and enthusiasm for the role by offering to do a call/interview outside of standard office hours if it is more convenient for them. (Of course, you have to actually be willing to do this if they take you up on it - though in my experience most won't)

Equally if the conference is related to their industry, don't hesitate to drop that into the conversation too as it will show you know your stuff and like to keep up to date on what's happening in the market.

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