With the amount of time and effort that is exerted compiling a candidate pool, conducting phone screens and scheduling interviews, it seems absurd to cancel an interview with a prospective employee. Emergencies and illnesses aside, there are times that canceling an interview is the best course of action. Sometimes cancellations occur due to shifts within your company that negate the need to continue the hiring process altogether, and other times finding a star candidate early on in the interview process may cause you to consider canceling the remaining interviews.

For the sake of your time and company resources, once you have met with an outstanding candidate you may feel that canceling any remaining interviews is the obvious choice; however, it is beneficial to pause and utilize the following questions to help you determine which course of action to take.

  1. Where are you in the interview process?

Even if the first candidate absolutely wowed you, it may be wise to follow through with a few more interviews before making your final decision. While the first interviewee may have met all of your expectations (and then some), conducting a couple more interviews will help you to gauge how accurate your initial instinct was.


  1. Did they give any indication that they have other offers on the table?

Determining if you should extend a job offer becomes time sensitive if your star candidate has indicated that they have an offer or interviews scheduled with competing companies. If your top choice is in high demand, you may have no choice but to be decisive, extend an offer of your own and cancel the remaining interviews as soon as your offer is accepted.


  1. As you look through your pile of remaining candidates to be interviewed, are there any that stand out?

Although you may think that you have already found the perfect employee, don’t cancel any interviews until you review the pile of candidates you have yet to meet. Are there still candidates in that pile that piqued your interest? If there are, use your star candidate as the benchmark to judge the remaining candidates by. Once you have seen the best of your candidate pool, your original instinct will either be reaffirmed or you will end up offering the job to someone that you were considering cancelling on.


  1. Are you able to cancel without burning any bridges?

Before you pick up the phone to cancel an interview, consider how much notice you are giving the candidate. As a rule of thumb, you should never cancel with less than a 24-hour notice. In the professional world, it is important to protect your reputation and canceling on a candidate hours before their scheduled interview will give the impression of unreliability.

Yes, canceling interviews can save you time and your company money; however, considering the repercussions of your actions can save you from making the wrong hire and your reputation. Make sure that any cancellation is done in an apologetic and professional manner to keep the door open for quality candidates to apply for positions with your company in the future.