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There is a cascading impact that occurs when you don’t show up for a job interview. I outline several things that may occur . . . and none look good for you.

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I wanted to talk with you today about the impact of not showing up for an interview. I want to start off like talking about what it does for you.

I understand that sometimes people wake up and they are conflicted. "I have a work thing going on and I'm not really all that keen on this job; I said yes but I don't really feel like going because I could get into trouble at work" or some other explanation that rationalizes not showing up. Except there's one thing. There's no excuse for not showing up and not calling. You see, it's not like days of old were you have to sneak off to make of call. You can call in on your way to work, leave a voicemail and simply say, "I'm going to cancel my interview today and not reschedule. I appreciate you making time for me." Yada yada yada.

Not calling and not showing up is rude. It is obnoxious. It is something that will come back and bite you in the butt and I'll tell you exactly why. The world is smaller than you think. That hiring manager and/or that HR person, that interview team was adversely affected but you not showing up. They blocked time out that they could've been using for other things to meet with you. There was the desire of the schedule. This 90 minutes. This 2 hour block of time in their schedule that now they can use for other things sure are but it was mentally invested in you. You didn't show up.

I will let you in on a secret. These people are not can work at this firm forever. They just aren't. When they change jobs, they have memories of them on the spot your name they may go back and remember… "Can I take a look at that resume? Yeah, this guy stood me up. I think will take a pass." You don't want to have 1 of those silent killers floating around, waiting to drop a bomb on your candidacy somewhere. You just want to do with it in a forthright way.

Another thing that happens is you have affected someone else. You see, that time you blocked out of their calendar could be used interview someone else could've actually been interested in this role, but your selfishness got in the way. There is a hurt that you inflict on someone else.

Plus, I know a lot of you don't really care about recruiters as though they are unfeeling human beings, but recruiters are human beings, they have kids and mortgages and other things and you are affecting the reputation with the client. That's your fault, not theirs. They thought you were good enough to state the reputation on and refer you to their client and you are not showing up. Clients get angry and guess who they take it out on? The recruiter who did nothing wrong. All they were doing is what you agreed to do when you submit a resume. You are interested in this job, you agree to go on the interview and you could talk up a storm and rationalize it, but is not the recruiters fault that you said yes. You said yes to going on this interview and you have hurt them. There is no reason for it.

Lastly, there is a nuisance factor. Sometimes these folks who you are scheduled to interview with our traveling from one office to another, leaping out of the lunch appointment they had schedule with their wife/husband/partner/friend/colleague, whomever, so that they could going meet with you. They are stepping out of a meeting to meet with YOU. And you don't show up.

Don't be an idiot. If you are not really interested in the job, just simply say to the recruiter who is scheduling you (this is agency recruiter, 1st), "I'm not really interested in this job. If you want to bully me into saying yes, I'll say yes and just not show up. ." That will cause them to back down. If it is a corporate recruiter, ask more questions.1st. Don't just simply agree and not show up. There really care figure take the job. All they really care about is filling the time slot with someone who they believe their internal user (their hiring manager) is going to be interested in. They don't really care if it is YOU.

Just be professional about this and stop wasting people's time.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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