Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Importance of Keeping Appointments

This really should be a "given" but for some reason it is often over-looked.  When a business appointment is made, that appointment should be kept and if for some reason a person is unable to attend, plenty of notice should be provided to all parties involved.  This is imperative when it comes to interviews.  As a candidate, you rarely have more than one shot to make a good first impression and that is in the initial interview.  If you miss your initial interview, whether it is by phone or in person and you fail to provide advance notice, you can assume that the potential employer will not offer you another chance to interview.  Unfortunately I've seen this happen a number of times and it never bodes well for the candidate.  Yes we're all extremely busy, but that is no excuse to completely forget an interview. 
You have a phone interview scheduled with a potential employer, you suddenly get called into an unexpected meeting.  You:
A.  Grab your notepad and hustle into the meeting figuring you'll call the interviewing company later.
B.  Figure "screw it" the interviewing company will call you back, they couldn't possibly walk away  from your excessive expertise.
C.  Think "Oh well" there are so many jobs in the market place right now, if I lose this one, no big deal.
D.  Tell your current colleagues you'll be with them in just one moment and either pick up the phone or send an email to the person that scheduled the interview and let them know you will need to reschedule.

Obviously the correct answer is D.  Unless you've been abducted by aliens or you're completely incapacitated there is no excuse for not providing notice if you need to cancel or reschedule. Missing a scheduled interview with out providing notice is completely unprofessional.  By blowing off a scheduled interview you are wasting the time of the person that was to conduct your interview and potentially wasting the time of the person that was responsible for scheduling the interview as they work frantically to track you down and find out why you aren't available.

Even if you are going to be delayed by 5 minutes or more, call or email in advance and let people know. Again, this professional courtesy goes both ways... the person conducting the interview should also provide advance notice of cancellation, delay or need to reschedule.  I wont stand in a glass office and throw stones, I've been guilty of missing an interview I've scheduled with a candidate a few times over the years and I own up to it.  If you miss an interview, best to be honest and then grovel if the position is important to you.  Sometimes you'll get an understanding person that is willing to reschedule. This goes back to one of the oldest rules of all time... Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you.

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