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Friday Forum – Inclement Weather… Should I Cancel My Interview?

Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our readers and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Tanya asks:

“I am scheduled to have an interview tomorrow for a position that I am really hoping to land.  The only problem is that we are expecting a huge snow storm with 8-12 inches arriving overnight.  They have already cancelled schools in the area for tomorrow and have even closed some businesses.  Should I call and cancel my interview because of the snow and reschedule?  Or should I just plan on sticking it out? “

Weather is one of those uncontrollable variables that you need to have in the back of your mind when it comes to preparing for your interview.  Depending on where you live, inclement weather can happen in many different forms.  For some it may be a snow emergency.  For others it might be a tropical storm.  Even some light rain or fog could impact your commute and throw off your interview.  No matter the situation it is best to have a plan in place and be prepared.

What Should I Do?

If it sounds like inclement weather is on the way or you wake up to an unexpected storm, the first thing to do is to look at weather updates.  Check out the future forecast to see when the inclement weather is expected to hit.  If the weather came unexpected, look at the hourly forecast to get an idea of conditions around your interview time.  Canceling at the last minute is always frowned upon.  If you think you may need to cancel and reschedule, the sooner you can let them know the better.

Majority of the time businesses will not be closed because of inclement weather.  The only caveat here is that sometimes the person that you are meeting with may end up working from home or arrive later than expected.  If this is the case, they will typically reach out and ask to reschedule.  Most recruiters will say that if you don’t hear anything from them, then you should assume that the interview is still on.  This can be true, but it doesn’t hurt to reach out and verify.

Communication is key

Communication is really the key to this whole situation.  If you are on the fence and are unsure if you should cancel, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and ask them for a status update.  Remember that they too have to commute into the office!  A quick call or email to verify that the interview is still on should provide all of the answers that you need.  It should also give you some insight on if rescheduling is a possibility.

Another thing to remember is that in inclement weather things happen.  There is always an outside chance that you can get stuck, have car trouble, or be running behind because to traffic.  If this happens, try your best to keep the recruiter or hiring manager in the loop.

Should you cancel/reschedule?

If you have reached out to the recruiter or hiring manager and they say that the interview is still on, we suggest that you go!  Honestly, canceling or rescheduling the interview should be a last resort.  First impressions are everything and you want to show the employer that you are not only interested in the position, but that you are willing to do what it takes.  If you can’t make it to the interview, the employer may hold that against you and question your dependability.

Planning is a must

Preparation and planning is a must when it comes to interviewing, and it is even more important if weather is a factor.  You need to ensure that you leave early to give yourself enough time to account for slow traffic and weather conditions.

Appropriate attire is also something to remember.  Depending on your conditions, make sure that you have the right protective gear like boots, a raincoat, umbrella, etc.  Bring your dress shoes with you and change into them when you arrive or in the car prior to heading in.  Once you arrive, take a few minutes to relax from the commute and compose yourself.

Use your judgement

If you feel that the storm is pretty severe, send a quick note to ensure that the interview is still on.  If it is, give yourself plenty of time to arrive safely.  If you feel like you can’t make it because of the weather, reach out as soon as you can to try and reschedule.

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Have you ever had to get to an interview in inclement weather?  What did you do?  How did it go?

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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