Is It Rude To Cancel An Interview? Understanding The Etiquette & What To Do

Are you worried about whether or not it’s rude to cancel an interview? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In today’s competitive job market, understanding the etiquette and what to do when canceling an interview is more important than ever.

From considering how your action will be received by the hiring manager to preparing for a potential future opportunity with that employer, there are many factors that need to be taken into account before deciding on this course of action.

Read on as we discuss all things related to canceling interviews and provide some helpful tips for making sure it is done in a respectful manner.

Is it rude to cancel an interview?

The short answer is yes, it’s generally considered impolite to cancel an interview. It can be a difficult decision to make and sometimes unavoidable; however, when you commit to an in-person or virtual meeting with a potential employer, there are certain expectations on both sides. Canceling at the last minute gives off the impression that you don’t value their time or your own commitments.

  • Notify the interviewer as soon as possible if you need to reschedule or cancel.
  • Be honest and explain why you need to change your plans.
  • If needed, offer another date and time for them to consider.

No matter what the reason is behind needing to postpone or back out of an interview opportunity, respect should always be at the forefront. Letting someone know early enough so they can find someone else who may be interested shows consideration for their needs as well.

Other Perspectives to Consider

The concept of rudeness is relative and subjective, depending on the viewpoint taken. Depending who you ask, canceling an interview the morning of can be seen as anything from a minor oversight to a major breach in etiquette.

For instance, some may feel that it’s no big deal, considering how easy it is for something unexpected to come up that changes our plans. After all, life happens – what are we supposed to do? Furthermore, the employer still had their opportunity to find someone else if they need too; thus making this incident nothing more than an inconvenience.

On the other hand though, there are those who would argue that this kind of behavior shows disrespect. They point out all the effort put into scheduling and then preparing for this meeting: finding time in everyone’s schedule, creating materials for review during the session or even taking time off work just before coming in – which could have been avoided had appropriate notice been given ahead of time. This lack of consideration implies disregard for another person’s valuable resources and should not be tolerated.


  • Canceling interviews at any hour shows varying degrees of respect or lack thereof depending on perspective.

Possible Alternatives

Canceling an interview can be a tricky situation. You don’t want to appear rude, but sometimes unforeseen circumstances prevent us from attending. Rather than cancelling the interview outright, there are some alternatives that might work better for both parties:

  • Call ahead and explain your situation honestly and politely. It’s possible the interviewer may be able to reschedule.
  • Request an alternative such as a phone or video conference rather than face-to-face meeting.
  • If you’re unable to attend in any capacity, offer to send over references or other materials instead of attending the job interview itself.

These suggestions might help bridge the gap between being polite and still getting your message across – that you will not be able to make it on time!

Possible Consequences of This Controversial Action

The consequences of cancelling an interview can be far-reaching and disruptive. If someone were to take offense to this activity, they may feel devalued and disrespected, resulting in a range of feelings from insecurity to anger. These emotions could have an impact on their outlook for the future and their general attitude towards life.

In addition, the individual may view this as a sign that they are not worthy of being considered for a job role or even worse – that they are inadequate in some way. This can lead to them feeling discouraged about any further attempts at finding employment within that particular field or industry, ultimately affecting their career prospects.

Furthermore, it could also negatively affect relationships with those around them; friends and family who have supported them through the process may become disillusioned by what has happened and question why they bothered supporting in the first place. Ultimately creating distance between them which is far more damaging than any single cancelled interview ever will be.