I’d like a second-chance interview. I messed up last month and cancelled an interview for a job because I didn’t like the commute — it’s pretty far. The job would be remote until COVID is under control, but at some point I’ll have to be in the office. Now I’ve done some homework about the firm. I’ve learned that the work they do is right up my alley and I’ve had a change of heart about the location. I honestly feel that the trade-off of a satisfying and challenging job would more than make up for the bad traffic I’ll have to eventually face.
I feel so stupid. I should have done the interview because I still would have had the option to reject an offer if the distance really bothered me. Now I want to call the manager back and try to salvage this if possible. When he originally got my resume, the manager was pretty persistent about meeting me and seemed disappointed when I cancelled.
A friend of mine said I should just be honest. But how can I avoid coming across as indecisive? I’m interested in making a commitment. How can I convey this and get an interview again?
I agree with your friend. Be honest about what happened. Eat a little crow, but don’t be too apologetic or overly defensive. That would make you appear weak and indecisive. It’s critical that you speak with the manager directly, not with the personnel office. This is not unlike blowing an interview and asking for another chance. Modify this to suit your style, and I think it might get you a meeting:
How to Say It
“I want to thank you again for requesting an interview. The only reason I declined was the commute, but when I consider all the firms I could work with, yours is the one that motivates me the most. Your business most clearly matches my expertise and my interests.
“It’s well worth a drive to work with the right people. What I’m saying is that I’d like to meet you, if you’re still interested in talking. I realize the job may no longer be available, but I’d still like to make your acquaintance, if you can look past the egg that’s on my face.”
Those last few words reveal a generous level of humility without embarrassing you. State your case, then let the manager decide. (Crow doesn’t really taste that bad.) It might get you that second-chance interview.
Two last things: If you get that meeting, be careful not to come across as indecisive again, and if you’re seriously interested in the job, tell the manager you’d like to work there before you depart. You will not get a third chance.
How hard is it to “go back” and try again? If you were the hiring manager, would you give this job seeker a second-chance interview? Have you ever stowed your pride and asked for a second chance? Got any tips about how to say it?