What Are the Consequences of Not Turning Up For An Interview?

Coburg Banks
5 min readNov 12, 2018

So you’ve landed yourself an interview with an employer, but you’ve had a change in heart — uh oh!

However, you’re not alone.

According to CV-Library, one in ten UK professionals have admitted to not showing up to an interview, with this figure rising to around 18% for the Millennial generation.

The same study also revealed that 34% of candidates abandoned interview because they didn’t want the job anymore and 22% expect at least an email confirmation or they may forget about it.

Whatever the reason may be, it’s an unwanted emerging trend in the UK and one that doesn’t look particularly great on your part.

The question is, what is the severity of being labelled an interview “no-show”?

The consequences of not turning up to an interview

If you fail to turn up to your interview, there are a number of consequences you could face.

There are, however, two in particular you should make note of.

1. You’ll be blacklisted.

For instance, if you’re applying for a job via a recruitment agency, they’ll probably blacklist you going forward.

You see, your actions could reflect badly on the recruiter since they’ve shown faith in you and decided to represent you in front of their client.

So it will make you look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Those are two traits recruitment agencies tend to avoid with a barge pole!

If you’re dealing directly with the employer, you may think that it doesn’t make a difference if you show or not — as you probably won’t apply for a position with them again.

However, you might be surprised by the knock-on effect it could have on you in the future.

Think of it this way, if you’re applying for a digital marketer role and the manager recruiting leaves, you could find yourself going for a role at a different company in the near future that’s being recruited for by that same person.

This is very common if you live in a small town or there are a lack of companies operating in the area you live in.

While you may think there are a lot of coincidences involved in this particular scenario, don’t be surprised if something similar happens.

After all, karma will come to bite you in the backside.

You may also find that employers will discuss things like this.

With social media and networking events so accessible nowadays, you don’t want to be the topic of a negative conversation.

If you want a sound bit of advice, adopt Madeline Bridges mantra:

“Give the world the best that you have, and the best will come back to you.”

2. Burning bridges

Another consequence of not turning up is the fact that you’ll well and truly burn your bridges at that company.

Granted, the company or position may not seem right for you at that particular time, but who’s to say that it won’t be in four to five years time.

Maintaining a professional and positive image of yourself may well benefit you in the future as the recruiter or employer may help you find a role at a later date.

This is particularly true when it comes to recruitment agencies.

A top one will build up a bank of contacts and form trusted relationships with some of the best candidates in the UK.

This way, a recruiter can get in touch with you first when something suitable crops up.

This is always useful to have in the pipeline when you’re starting to have second thoughts about your current role.

How to cancel an interview the right way

If you’re nervous about cancelling an interview, don’t be.

Employers understand that there are a variety of reasons why a candidate may have a change in heart.

They’ll appreciate that you haven’t wasted any more of their time and that you’ve been honest.

Think of it this way, if you went to an interview and took the job, only to quit a month later, that can cost the business a lot of money and resource.

And the same principle applies if you simply don’t turn up for the interview in the first place.

HR personnel and senior managers take time out of their busy schedules to meet you in person, so contacting them is a kind courtesy to let them know that they can get on with their day.

Or alternatively, they can find another candidate to fill the time who is passionate about taking the position.

To cancel an interview in the right fashion, follow these two simple tips:

Have a valid reason for cancelling

If you want to protect your reputation as a professional candidate, you should make sure that you have a good reason for turning the opportunity down.

If it’s just a case of needing to reschedule as something important has cropped up, let the hiring manager know as they might be able to rearrange.

Otherwise, being open and honest about your thoughts surrounding the job will sound a lot better than:

  • “I got offered another job”
  • “My car broke down”
  • “I’m feeling ill”
  • “My relative has died”
  • “I’ve gone the wrong way, I’m going to be late/I can’t make it”

Give notice

This is arguably the most important point out of the two as hiring managers and recruiters really value time.

Give at least two days notice and this may enable the employer to fill your slot with a different candidate or make time to do something else.

Emailing on the day isn’t the best solution, as your message won’t always be picked up in time.

Think of it as a date, you wouldn’t arrange to meet someone at a bar and not turn up, would you?


If you’re having second thoughts about going for an interview, maybe it’s worth considering whether you even want to change jobs in the first place.

To help you with this, you should look out for the four signs that it’s time for a career change.

Alternatively, if you do find a position that you actually want to go for, try reading our previous blog: ‘7 Things Not To Say in a Job Interview’.

For more top candidate tips, check out our recruitment blog — here.

- Mark Wilkinson

Originally published at www.coburgbanks.co.uk on November 12, 2018.



Coburg Banks

We’re a UK based, multi-sector recruiter that‘s on a mission to prove that recruitment doesn’t necessarily have to be predictable and boring.