Changing jobs is tough on people. They’re usually not comfortable with it – no matter how caring, transparent and helpful you are. Quite often the very people who say they’re interested decide during the process it is easier to lie to you than face their fears.

Sure – the thought of a new desk, brand new company and a clean start are appealing. We all enjoy being wanted. It’s human nature. But once we begin moving from theory (talking about a change) and into reality (you have an interview this Thursday) people begin second guessing things……and they will make up all sorts of excuses to slow things down. They don’t want to tell you what is really on their minds – they’d rather make up a convenient/plausible story as to why they need to “do it later”…….

Why do I bring this up? Simple. I will not ever reschedule an interview once it’s on the books. Period. And I’ll tell you why. After tracking every bit of activity on my recruiting desk one thing became clear – I never placed anyone that had their interview rescheduled. While I have no scientific evidence as to why this is the case I do have some ideas.

When an interview is on the books – and my candidate calls to reschedule I tell them in no uncertain terms: Nope. Either you find a way to make it happen or I’ll tell the client you’re not interested.

I then go on to explain to them exactly why. I let them know the chances of a rescheduled interview turning into a hire are very near zero. If they truly are interested then they need to make the appointment.

Do this. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Once you confirm your position as the professional in the situation – you can have the REAL discussion. This is when the true concerns are brought to the table. It’s a delicate conversation – but one that must occur.

Note: Once I realized this simple fact (roughly 5 or 6 years ago) I stopped rescheduling interviews. Could I have overlooked a placement or two? Possibly, but that’s the risk I decided to take.

(ORIGINALLY POSTED IN 2009 – But Some Facts Never Change……)


8 thoughts on “People lie. You know that. Don’t you?

    1. Spot on, Jerry.

      Reschedule requests = declined offers (if they get that far). Tough love early in the process reduces credibility-knocks from clients and forces candidates to face their internal issues head on.

      Double-edged sword, perhaps, but the candidates that reflect and come back saying to proceed are highly motivated and stick with you, their trusted recruiter. The hours invested in someone who will later withdraw or decline are better spent on grooming your network and sourcing new candidates.

      Thanks for reminding us to never underestimate the power of the takeaway.


  1. This is great advice Jerry. People lie about so many things during the job search process and it took me some time to realize it.

    Of course, I would rather have them try to reschedule than to just not show up which happened many times in my first 10+ years. I finally faced the reality of the lies and took more control. I haven’t reached your level of making it an absolute policy though. I still have that little corner in my brain that says “well, maybe it’s legit”. I know – lose it!

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    1. Thanks Fran. When you take a look at your OTD’s (Offers Turned Down) I bet you can dig a bit further back in the process and find a few rescheduled sendouts in there!

      Rather than reschedule and tell yourself you have something going on – listen to your desk – and spend your time finding the right person.

  2. Wow, great point. And timeless,as you stated. Now, would this apply to missed phone screenings too, or just fact to face meetings?

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