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Why Don't Applicants Show Up For Interviews?

I'm sure as a business owner you're wondering why a lot of your applicants don’t show up for interviews. Most of the time candidates will confirm their schedule, but for some reason or another, you're left hanging.

What's worse, some of the candidates won't even pick up the phone or answer your messages. If you're wondering why they never showed up, here are a few reasons:

1. They applied by mistake.

Many people, especially fresh graduates, are just too excited to find the job. They submit their resume to you without even reading the entire description. After receiving your call, that’s the time they realize that they don’t actually want the job and look for other opportunities that fit their preferences.

2. Your office is too far away.

One of the reasons why applicants are a no-show is because your office is just too far. Many people submit multiple applications without considering all the adjustments they need to do in case they get hired. After receiving your message for an interview, that’s the only time they realize they need to wake up early in the morning (very early!), do a long commute, and travel for around two to three hours.

3. They commit to multiple interviews.

Applicants are often trying their best to get a job, so they submit their resume to many companies. They often confirm their schedule for interview, no problem. But when another business gives them a call, they will gladly accept the new interview even if they already have another one on the same day. Applicants end up choosing one from another, sometimes due to reason #2 above as well.

4. They aren't ready.

Ever remember your first interview? Wasn't it a nerve-wracking experience? Well, that's what your applicants experience as well and so don't be surprised if a few of them don't show up because they're nervous.

5. They have other commitments.

Life happens, but sometimes we think it happens to our candidates way too often. They have a sudden family emergency or a commitment they couldn't say no to, so they drop the least important item on their list. Sadly, it's the job interview that gets bumped off most of the time.


You may never know the true reason why someone didn't show up for their interview at the last minute. But there are ways to avoid this, or at the very least lower the chances of it happening:

job seeker interview

Set an interview and stick to it.

You want to send a strong signal to the applicant that you're eager to meet them so make sure to book them for an immediate interview. And of course, never reschedule or else you'll ruin the goodwill you just built up.

Give them alternatives.

When offering an interview appointment, give the candidate a few options and let them choose one. If your own schedule permits, let them choose a backup schedule as well. You can also do the interviews via other means like on the phone, via Skype, or even chat.

job seeker interview

Keep in touch.

With the barrage of messages applicants receive these days, you want them to pay attention to you. The best way to do that is to pay attention to them as well. Beyond reminders about their interview schedule, help them prepare for the interview as well. You can share tips, explain the process, and even answer some questions ahead of time. And yes, communicate with them using what they are comfortable with: text and chat.