When you’re looking for a job, crazy things can happen. Since you’re dealing with a lot of different people and they all need answers quickly, it is not uncommon for job seekers to find that they’ve scheduled themselves for two interviews at the same time. So what do you do if you find yourself in this awkward situation? Here are some questions to consider:
Which job is most important to you? Sometimes you need to prioritize one position over the other. Of the two, which one do you really want? At the end of the day, you might need to risk one for a shot at the other.
When were the interviews scheduled? Try to be reasonable when deciding which interview to attend. For example, if one interview was scheduled two weeks ago, then it makes sense to prioritize it over an interview that was scheduled just last night. If the employer is inviting you to an interview at the last minute, they will be more likely to understand if you need to reschedule.
Which job are you most likely to get? Are you more qualified for one position than you are for the other? Do you have a contact at one of the companies that might give you better odds? It’s a good idea to favour the position that you actually have a good chance of getting.
The worst thing that you can do is be late for one of the interviews or miss it altogether. Not only can that destroy your chances of ever getting a job with that company, but it could also damage your reputation. You need to try to reschedule one of the interviews. Here are some tips that might help you salvage the opportunity:
Be flexible. When rescheduling an interview that you’re not able to attend, you need to be as flexible as possible. If you aren’t able to make it to more than one of the times that the employer suggests, they will begin to doubt both your commitment and your availability.
Be apologetic. Keep in mind that you are competing against candidates who have completely opened up their schedule for this employer. Since it is inconvenient for the employer to reschedule your interview and it is easy for them to discard your application to focus on other qualified (and more available) candidates, it is a good idea for you to apologize and let them know that you appreciate them making an effort to find a time that works for you.
When it rains, it pours. While this situation is stressful, the fact that two employers have invited you for an interview is a good sign. Show them that you’re the best fit for the job and an offer should be around the corner.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)