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Postpone a job interview appointment: Is that possible?

Finally! Since they have laboriously and successfully applied for a job, got the hope for the invitation to the interview - and this happens: You cannot make it to the appointment. What to do now? Just cancel? Move the interview? But how? With a rejection of the type "I'm sorry, I cannot make it to the appointment" it is not enough. A convincing rejection needs above all, a sure instinct, a credible justification, and alternatives. We will show you how to do that and we have also prepared some sample writing ...

Table of Contents: That's what you'll find in this article 







Job Interview dates: the dilemma of overlapping


Anyone who receives an invitation to a job interview will not have much reaction time. Employers usually expect an appointment confirmation within 2 business days - preferably by phone. Otherwise, the impression could arise that one was not so motivated and as in the application letter announced that one already resigned from the previous job.


Conversely, it is the case that most applicants today apply for several positions at the same time: 


  • On the one hand, to increase the chances of getting a job soon. 

  • On the other hand, in order not to be dependent on the goodwill of a single employer.


If you do everything right and have a lot to offer, you will not only receive a job interview invitation but several - and with it, several job interview dates that can overlap in time. Somehow stupid, then: The appointment constellations are becoming a veritable dilemma ...


Many candidates are now worried that requesting a date shift could reduce their chances. Nonsense! When making an appointment, there can always be difficulties. That's why they are rejected. And that's why employers (the good ones in any case) also ask that you confirm the desired date mentioned in the invitation - or justify (!) For alternatives.


Also, make it clear that an employer who already demonstrates the understanding and flexibility of a railroad track is likely to behave this way later in your day-to-day work. Then the postponement works like a small employer check: Do you really want to work for someone who stays stubborn?

Postpone job interview appointment: Good reasons, bad reasons


To be clear: Of course, you can postpone job interview dates, without losing all job opportunities. But as always, there are good reasons and bad reasons. First are crucial, because to remain credible is more important than perfect politeness.

Good reasons for a date shift


Business meetings


If you are currently in an existing employment relationship, it is highly likely that you will need to take a job interview - discreetly, of course. In that case, collisions with other business appointments may occur. Maybe you have to complete and present a project or have an important customer appointment that day. This, of course, has priority and will also understandable for the new employer.

Private obligations 


You may also have an important private appointment at that time: a long-planned vacation abroad, the wedding of your best friend, or an important exam (in case you are a student) or the deadline for a job. Also, in this case, you can hope for understanding and arrange a new appointment.

Short-term illness 


A short-term illness (including that of the child) is also a good reason. However, it is clear that you can cancel the appointment with a maximum of two days before the interview. A refusal like "On Wednesday in two weeks, I, unfortunately, caught a cold" is more than implausible. But who falls ill in the short term, should quietly telephone (and for security's sake by mail) and as early as possible to tell the potential employer and ask for a new appointment. Sick is sick: To lug around anyway may just be attacking others, and you're never as good as you could be.

Bad reasons for a date shift

A parallel interview is honestly not a good reason. The suggestion of having an appointment with another employer may make candidates look more coveted at first glance. The second, however, is an affront to the cancellation: you are only a second choice. And I'm not so motivated to work for you, because the other job is obviously more important to me. This makes the applicant immediately less credible and unattractive. Sure, there are candidates who can afford such a poker game. But the majority is not.

Therapy appointment 

Cancellations with reference to a regular therapy are dangerous. For example, anyone who wishes to postpone the job interview because he or she always meets with the psychiatrist on the day or is being treated for chronic back pain nourishes doubts about his or her performance and mental health. In addition, no employee is required to provide such information. In that case, you should mention other reasons.

Scheduled doctor's appointment 

Also, medical appointments are a double-edged sword: Who gets sick or has acute pain, does not need to postpone the doctor's appointment. However, these are not planned reasons, but at most surprisingly short-term (see above). On the other hand, a planned visit to the dentist or a regular preventive appointment can generally be postponed without endangering life and limb. In that case, the request for a date shift subtly sends a false signal to the prospective employer: the job does not seem to matter so much to you. This actually reduces chances - or could be critically questioned in the job interview.

Missing reason 

The worst reason of all, however, is to have no reason whatsoever. "I'm sorry, I cannot” or "I am prevented at the appointment" are no reasons. Equally incomprehensible is the sole wish that one would rather have another appointment. Job interviews are not a request concert after all. A lapidary and not very plausible rejection, therefore always expresses low esteem - especially since the employer has already expressed interest in the invitation. It's like asking his love (s): "Will you marry me?" The one who says "Yes" - and one replies: "Great, but not on Thursday, since I meet with friends ... "

Good & bad reasons to postpone a job interview

In general, prevention due to business appointments is always better and more sovereign than prevention due to private reasons. However, it does happen that none of the above good reasons are true, but you still receive two invitations on the same day's job interview - Mornings and Afternoons. Even if they manage to do it - it always means a lot of stress. Unnecessary. In that case, it would not be wise, to tell the truth, but better prioritize the invitations and give the second-most important employer a "good reason" for an alternative date ...

Postpone job interview appointment: Tips for Sample Writing


If you politely ask the inviting company for a new appointment, you can basically do it…


  • via phone.

  • by email. 

  • by letter.


Whereby we always recommend the telephone version, because it is the fastest and safest and you can find an alternative appointment right away. 


If you do not have the contact number (it should normally appear in the invitation or signature of the email), you can also go through the Human Resources Department. 


It is only important that you have already considered and selected two to three alternative dates before the interview, which you can offer. This looks much more professional and solution-oriented than to new proposals each time with "I can not do that, unfortunately" to answer. 


However, quite a few applicants prefer the written version - probably because the reasons are not always very clear and true. In this case, please always follow the instructions below when writing or e-mailing:


  • Thank you for the invitation. 

  • To express joy. With regret cancel the performance date. 

  • Ask for an alternative appointment. 

  • Suggest yourself two to three appointments.


If that was too cryptic for you: We have here also two possible formulations and examples for rejection as a template:

Postpone date of job interview appointment: Example 1



Dear Ms. XY, 


Many thanks for the invitation to the job interview. I was very happy about that and I'm still very interested in the position. 


Unfortunately, I have an important private engagement on the suggested date on at pm (wedding of my best friend, I'm best man), which I can not postpone. That's why I would ask you to find another appointment. 


As an alternative, I would suggest the following dates: 


- Monday, the at o'clock 
- Wednesday, the at o'clock 
- Thursday, at o'clock


I hope one of the mentioned dates is suitable for you. I look forward to your early feedback and our personal meeting


Best Regards

Postpone date of job interview appointment: Example 2



Dear Mr. XY, 


Your invitation to the job interview was a great pleasure to me - thank you. You are the absolute employer of choice! 


As you know from my application, I'm currently still busy and have just on the day you proposed an important and long-planned customer appointment, which I can not postpone. I ask for your understanding that we, therefore, need to find an alternative date for the job interview - also at short notice. 


Alternatively, I could offer you the following replacement dates: 


- Tuesday, the at o'clock
- Friday, the at o'clock


If this does not suit you, you can also call me back in the evening from 6 pm mobile on 0123/45 67 88 90 and we will find another meeting.


Thank you for the concession and I look forward to getting to know each other. 


Yours sincerely ...



So dare to call off and postpone the appointment if it does not fit. Of course, it may be that the order of candidates in the final selection shifts thereby and another candidate gets your date. But you have to convince both. And that's what matters - not whether you postpone the job interview or not ...