Articles From the Team
The long-term impact if you fail to attend a scheduled interview
I used to work in lettings. Potential tenants who didn’t show up to viewings were a common occurrence. As letting agents, we would take it on the chin and rebook the viewing if the renter requested it later down the line. We dealt with student tenants whose relationship with us was limited to three years maximum – the time they spent at university, which meant we never forged long-term relationships with our tenants.
Recruitment is completely different. Recruitment is all about forging long-term relationships as it concerns long-term career prospects. For this reason, failing to show up to an interview without any prior notification is an absolute no-no. Having a change of heart before an interview is OK, not communicating this and simply not showing up to an interview, is not.
Consequences are long-term. Firstly, the relationship with the recruiter who risked their name and put you forward to the client is potentially tainted. Recruiters can be the doorman or doorwoman to career progression. They can open doors you didn’t know existed. Conversely, they can slam doors shut and keep them shut. Staying on good terms with recruiters is a good way to progress your career.
In the age of the internet, opportunities can seem unlimited; especially in a place like London. But even in London there are postcode limitations, and most candidates don’t want to commute more than one hour to work each day.
A case study
Let’s imagine a London residential conveyancer living in Teddington. There will be X amount of law firms with conveyancing opportunities. Generally, candidates have a preference regarding size of firm, department structure and type of work. This limits the number of potential employers even further. Now we’re left with only a handful of potential employers.
The recruiter organises an interview with one of those potential employers and the candidate confirms. The day of the interview the candidate goes quiet. Nothing. Nada. Later in the day, the potential employer confirms the candidate was a no-show.
This can have a lasting impact on a candidate’s long-term career progression in a postcode area.
The potential employer will most likely blacklist the candidate - if not forever, certainly for a long time. Further, for all the candidate knows, that particular recruiter may cover all conveyancing firms within that particular postcode. The candidate has left a sour taste in the mouth of the recruiter and some recruiters may be reluctant to put this candidate forward with any other firms they’re working with.
So, what to do if you can’t or no longer want to attend an interview
Always, always, keep the existing lines of communication with your recruiter open. It’s our job as the person in the middle to manage the relationship between the candidate and the employer. If you've had a change of heart, tell your recruiter. At this point, you and the recruiter can assess whether it’s still worth attending the interview, or, how to cancel the interview in a professional manner to reduce jeopardising future employment opportunities.
Employers appreciate that there are valid reasons to cancel an interview. Although, HR personnel and senior managers are busy people and they’d much rather spend their time productively than wait around to see whether a candidate shows up or not.