Among the many skills a recruiter must carry in their tool kit is the ability to judge character.  Knowing who is the real deal and who is full of you know what is an ongoing battle in the heads of a recruiter.

Like all people, candidates have unpredictable lives, and sometimes situations arise that force them to cancel and/or reschedule phone screens and interviews.  Some recruiters may completely write off candidates who fire off excuses and miss scheduled interviews.  Others always give second chances.  Regardless of each recruiter’s perception of the candidate, the situation must be handled with respect.

5 Popular Candidate Excuses & How to Handle Them

1.  Candidate is Sick

People get sick, it happens.  Most candidates will provide an advanced notice, which may give you an idea that they’re not lying.  Some, though, may spring a last minute illness.  Reach out to the candidate with 1-2 additional dates to reschedule expressing sympathy, but reinforcing the need to get the interview completed by your timeline.

2. Candidate has Car Trouble

Bummer, right?  Having car trouble is the worst.   Try to understand if all options had been used (e.g. public transportation, a friend driving, etc.)  You should look for a candidate that could problem solve their way to your office, but it may not be possible in all scenarios.

Oh, and this is one of the many problems that would be avoided through video interviewing.

3.  Something Came up at Work

Not all candidates have the luxury of a set work schedule, lunch breaks, or an easygoing atmosphere.

Passive candidates can be particularly challenging to work with.  You need to respect their current employer.  After all, you’d want the same.  Be flexible and ask them to provide some times they KNOW won’t get in the way of work even if that is at night

4.  The Weather

 This should be your call, period.  Don’t ever put a candidate in a dangerous position.  If the upcoming weather is looking bad, send them an advance email that gives them the option to reschedule now so it doesn’t become an issue the day of.

And again, if the company utilizes Video Interviewing, the weather won’t factor in…unless of course it’s truly an insane storm with massive power outages, flooding’s, and other mayhem.

5.  Family Member has Passed Away

Out of all the possible excuses, this is the one you hope not to hear.  Give candidates as much time as they need, but if they’re serious and interested, they’ll be contacting the recruiter quickly to reschedule.

What are some other situations you’ve encountered?  What percentage of candidates get back to reschedule their interview?   What are some of your recruiter tips for handling candidate excuses? To learn more about how we suggest working with candidates during the interview process, click here to talk!

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