Just going through some of my earlier material and thought you might enjoy this one from a few year ago. So my apologies to the 4 people who have already seen this..........

Changing jobs is tough on people. They’re usually not comfortable with it – no matter how caring, transparent and helpful you are. Quite often the very people who say they’re interested decide during the process it is easier to lie to you than face their fears.

Sure – the thought of a new desk, brand new company and a clean start are appealing. We all enjoy being wanted. It’s human nature. But once we begin moving from theory (talking about a change) and into reality (you have an interview this Thursday) people begin second guessing things……and they will make up all sorts of excuses to slow things down. They don’t want to tell you what is really on their minds – they’d rather make up a convenient/plausible story as to why they need to “do it later”…….

Why do I bring this up? Simple. I will not ever reschedule an interview once it’s on the books. Period. And I’ll tell you why. After tracking every bit of activity on my recruiting desk one thing became clear – I never placed anyone that had their interview rescheduled. While I have no scientific evidence as to why this is the case I do have some ideas.

When an interview is on the books – and my candidate calls to reschedule I tell them in no uncertain terms: Nope. Either you find a way to make it happen or I’ll tell the client you’re not interested.

I then go on to explain to them exactly why. I let them know the chances of a rescheduled interview turning into a hire are very near zero. If they truly are interested then they need to make the appointment.

Do this. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Once you confirm your position as the professional in the situation – you can have the REAL discussion. This is when the true concerns are brought to the table. It’s a delicate conversation – but one that must occur.

Note: Once I realized this simple fact (roughly 5 or 6 years ago) I stopped rescheduling interviews. Could I have overlooked a placement or two? Possibly, but that’s the risk I decided to take.

Views: 2204

Comment by Daniel J Smith on September 8, 2011 at 2:21pm
Jerry, good read and thanks for raising some good points. Anyone searching for work should make every effort possible (short of a funeral) to attend agreed upon interviews. If they feel a need to make a new date, maybe they should analyze why they are looking.  Everybody Lies, not necessarily all the time, and not to be malicious; just to position themselves in a better light (for their own motives) and look for the opportunity with enough sizzle.  I agree with your stand, and as a hiring manager, never re-booked an interview myself, just placed the misbegotten resume in a different pile. Thanks for the read
Comment by Bill Boorman on September 9, 2011 at 10:32am

Jerry, I like your thinking and I know you are right. This comes with maturity and understanding of reality. I know plenty of recruiters who would rather have a maybe than a no to report. As a result they don't close things off. like rearranged interviews, maybes or rearranged start dates.

Good reminder


Comment by Stephanie Lawrence on September 9, 2011 at 1:21pm

Jerry, thank you for reviving this piece. 

Like you, I have adopted the "just say no" approach to candidate requests to reschedule interviews, whether they are meeting with me or scheduled to meet with my Clients.   In my view, it demonstrates a lack of commitment or seriousness in their job search and there is just no room for that in our business.  Of course, the vast majority are lying about the reason for requesting the reschedule anyway.

What are your thoughts on Clients who do the same?  And what message are they sending to the committed candidate?  I have had great candidates refuse to reschedule interviews at a Client's request.  Although I attempt to convince the candidate otherwise, it's hard to blame them for expecting the same courtesy from my Client that was expected of them.   Are our Client's also lying sometimes?

Just a thought.  Thank you again for sharing.


Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 9, 2011 at 4:59pm

I am going to have to disagree a little on this one, albeit i think i can tell  most of the time ,when a reschedule request is a lie and when it's a real problem.  If i smell a lie or i get an email instead of a phone call i will take a hard line about a reschedule. 


I will reschedule when:

I get a call from someone who is supposed to be at work, they are at home and i hear a kid screaming in the background.  The reason is a sick kid who had to be picked up at the last minute from daycare or school and mom or dad is the only one who can take care of them at the last minute.


I get a call from someone on their cell phone who is stuck in traffic on the freeway due to an accident that has traffic backed up for miles.  They left in plent of time to get there but the freeway gods nailed them.  These will be rescheduled if i get the call within 30 minutes before the interview time.

Bad weather has come in as only it can in this part of the world.  An ice storm or tornado warnings are sounding with businesses closing and telling employees to go home or take cover.  In fact i reschedule interviews myself if i wake up and there is bad ice on the streets or schools are closed due to weather.  Missing an interview rather than risking accidents makes good sense to me so i make the decision to reschedule and not force someone to get their kid out when it's nasty or dangerous.


the call that says, "My boss just called a staff meeting there is no way that i can say i have to go to the dentist or take a late lunch, normally i don't have to account for my time but i am stuck".


If i get the "family emergency" speech i want to know what the emergency is, if it's vague it's BS and we are done.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on September 9, 2011 at 9:33pm
If Michael Jordan wants to reschedule--I and the employer will be happy to comply.  And I'll tell you why.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on September 9, 2011 at 9:43pm
@Bill--Jordanesk is probably a better analogy.
Comment by Ritu Chaudhari on September 11, 2011 at 10:41pm
I'd beg to differ too....I live in Singapore and most of my candidates are in a regional role (as Singapore is just a small "Red Dot" on the map). We have a number of times when the client or the candidate calls to re-schedule as there is an emergency with a key client overseas and they need to fly out to rectify matters. While I will question and re-question, I normally don't let my ego get in the way of a good client and candidate marriage. Only if it sounds fishy, do I pull the plug (unfortunately that has happened a few times too) but normally everyone understands that emergencies do crop up.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 12, 2011 at 9:30am

Thanks for the feedback on this one.  I can assure you - my ego has nothing to do with it.  I really don't take any of this personally.


I would encourage you all to track this stuff.  Take a look at rescheduled sendouts vs. "as origially plannned" sendouts.  I'm guessing it should take a few years to gather enough data - but you'll see a BIG difference in how many of them turn into placements.  I did.  That's why I encourage anyone wanting to reschedule that "most likely" this will mean they won't be getting this job.  Nothing personal I say - just statistically my records reflect it.


You'd be surprised what you hear once you dig into it.  Most of the time I then here stuff like this.


"Well - I have been wondering if this meeting is worth burning a vacation day..." or

"I was talking to a friend of mine who knows a guy over there.  It doesn't really sound like a great place." or

"Actually - I'm sort of waiting to hear back from a company I interviewed at last week."


So - once you hear the REAL REASON for wanting to skip the interview (rescheduling only kicks the can down the road - and candidates don't want to tell us they're just not interested once they've agreed to an interview) you can deal with it.


Family emergency you say?  Bummer.  What happened?

A meeting you can't miss?  Shoot.  But your job is mostly meetings, all the time, every day, right?  Surely you've missed a meeting before, haven't you?

Sick kids?  I hate it when my kids are sick.  What are the chances of getting a baby sitter so you can make the interview?  I can let them why you'll be about an hour late.


I could go on and on.  I've heard every fake reason under the sun.  I recognize most of them from the first 2 or 3 words in the candidates call to me.  "Hey Jerry.  I know we're scheduled for tomorrow at 1:30 but...."


Yep.  The moment that call starts I realize there is not a shot in H.....L of this turning into a placement.  So I get to work/


This may not be the right strategy for you.  I'm a calloused individual after all these years - but it serves my clients well.


Blizzards?  Of course.  Region-wide power outage?  Of course  "Personal stuff" - uh, no.  Sorry.  Let's regroup, quit playing games and find out why you feel this one isn't a fit......

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on September 12, 2011 at 9:55am
Comment by Amber on September 12, 2011 at 2:57pm

Well, I did not go back further then 6 months. 2 of 2 reschedulers did not get placed. 1 ended up not accepting a job offer (the 3rd one from my client, pretty much giving the candidate everything they asked for. I told them to stop after the 1st revision was turned down, but they took it from there..), and the other just no showed for the rescheduled hpone interview. So I think I will take the lesson form this post and these experiences and just pull the candidates who can't or won't make the commitment and effort to interview as planned.

As far as client rescheduling, I think alot of the same things apply - and yes, they lie, too! If it is a long time client who doesn't have a regular habit of this sort of behavior, then I would try and make a reschedule work.


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