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I recently had an interview in San Francisco, the interviewing company flew me out from Dallas. Originally, the plan was to fly out at 6am, do the interview, and fly back at 5pm.

I woke up the morning of my flight to an email alert stating my outgoing flight had been cancelled (unscheduled maintenance). It was 4am in Texas, 2am in California so I really couldn't expect to get in touch with my POC. I figured the best way forward was to try to make it work anyway, so I headed to the airport and got a slightly later flight with a connection in Los Angeles.

When I landed in LA, it was late enough to call my POC. They told me that the window I had been scheduled for was the only time they could see me, and that rescheduling would be very difficult (The CEO and Directors of Marketing and Customer Engagement were supposed to be there). In the end, we did get it rescheduled for the next day, just early enough for me to make my return flight.

I worry that I caused an unnecessary hassle, and my concern that the position would be filled by the time I rescheduled was unfounded and may have hurt my chances by inconveniencing my interviewers. Should I have just stayed home? Was it improper to reschedule a travel plan I did not pay for? How should one handle last-minute changes to itineraries when the purchaser of the tickets is (presumably) asleep?

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    There is no win win in this situation. I do not think there is a better way to handle this than you did. Choosing to stay home would have risked looking like you were not that serious about the job. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 28 '17 at 16:22
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    You treated it with flexibility and aiming at creating minimum damage possible. They may not decide in favour of you, but you showed that you were serious and professional to the best of your abilities. You made the best out of the situation. This was not in your control. That they did appreciate it is seen in the fact that you got a rescheduled appointment. Obviously they felt it important enough to go through the inconvenience. Both sides were professional here. – Captain Emacs Apr 28 '17 at 17:04
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Two Options:

  1. Do what you did by working with the airline to show up later and calling and working with the interviewers to reschedule the interview after there.
  2. Wait until you can get a hold of someone and then schedule an alternate time and get the cancelled flight pushed to the day it was rescheduled for.

The second option would likely mean a lot of headache for you including hanging out at the airport until you can reach them and then going and working the re-scheduled flight out after you agree on a new date/time with them. I personally think the first way and the way you handled it was better as if they want to pay to fly you out in the first place, then they want to interview you and will figure something out.

Although I have heard of situations that it didn't work, and they wasted the flight money and were no longer considered for the job. Flying out at 2am/4am is really freaking early, I think I would push for a different time myself, but I'm guessing it was to hit an early morning interview. Tough situation to be in, glad it worked out to interview.

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    "Flying out at 2am/4am is really freaking early" - yeah, I would ask (and actually have asked) that they book a flight the night before and arrange for a hotel room - if the answer's no, then it's an indicator on how they treat their employees (they said yes to me). – HorusKol Apr 29 '17 at 0:40

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