What happens if you no show?

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Everyone can have scheduling conflicts and those of us who live by a calendar know that there will be cancellations and postponed appointments. Even doctors and dentists run into people who cancel or reschedule so it is something that goes with the territory. But many professionals charge a fee for a cancellation or at least require 24 hour notice so they can fill your slot with another patient or client.

We all run into scheduling issues. With my new puppy, Buddy, I have unexpected delays every day but I try to let my Design Resumes clients know if I am running late.

I’m venting a little because I had a pro bono client no show on me this noon. I take on pro bono clients now and then to help someone in dire need of services and am happy to do so but you do have to respect my time.

How do I define a no-show?

The no show is the appointment that is scheduled but never shows up and doesn’t call to cancel or reschedule. I always call to follow up because there is always the possibility that I have the appointment wrong on my calendar. Today the call was an hour ago and the client has not replied to my voicemail. If he does call, I will reschedule but since I have a high volume of clients, his appointment will have to fit into my schedule.

What if you no show in job search?

In job search, if you have to cancel or postpone an interview you run the risk of losing the opportunity but it can happen. Let’s examine the possible reasons:

  1. You are sick — the common courtesy is to cancel if you are contagious or are too sick to go to an interview. Most employers will understand and if you are valuable enough to them, they will reschedule. If there are many applicants, you may lose the opportunity. Write a letter apologizing and re-expressing your interest in the job and the company.
  2. Your child is sick — sometimes you are the only child care option. If you cannot find someone else willing to watch your child, cancel. However, the potential consequence is that the employer may not have a flexible child care policy and may wonder what you will do as an employee. Again, write the letter.
  3. You have car trouble — if you breakdown on the way or your car won’t start, go ahead and cancel but realize that the employer may wonder how you will get to work if you are hired. Try for alternative transportation or make sure you have reliable transportation on the day of your appointment. Worst case scenario? Cancel and write the letter.
  4. You forget. This is probably a no show. Call as soon as you realize it. Most likely you have now lost the opportunity to be interviewed but at least be respectful and call. Oh, and write the letter!

You get the idea. If you have to cancel an appointment or reschedule, as long as you are aware that it can possibly cost you the position, you have some options. But be respectful of other people’s time. Many of them place high value on their time.


  1. Shona Eastonw on October 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Wow, thanks for putting it into words. I am probably on the ‘harsh’ side of the employers/interviewers – if an interviewee doesn’t turn up – they have lost the opportunity.
    If they call with a genuine problem about why they can’t meet that day – I accept it. Why wouldn’t I. Everyone can come across last minute problems.
    Great post!

    • Julie Walraven on October 20, 2011 at 4:29 am

      Thanks, Shona, for stopping by! In this challenging economy, I think there is a chance that any missed interview may mean that someone else gets the chance. As you say, though, the person who has a legitimate excuse and either calls ahead or right after the appointment will more likely be treated with more kindness than the no show, no call.

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Julie Walraven

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