The 30 Most Incredible Excuses for Missing an Interview!

The 30 Most Incredible Excuses for Missing an Interview!

The life of a recruitment consultant is plagued with doubt.

We can spend hours and hours hunting down and screening candidates, finally find the perfect match, persuade our clients to interview them…

Then BOOM, an hour before the interview, we’ll get a phone call saying ‘I’m sorry I can’t make it.’

We hear so many interview excuses it’s unreal.

Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh; it’s what we signed up for, after all.

So this week, we thought we’d share some the funniest, most ridiculous and outrageous interview excuses we’ve heard over the years; believe me, honesty is not always the best policy!

Drunk and disorderly:

Interview Excuse 1: “I was out last night and I’m still too drunk to drive!”

Interview Excuse 2: “I’m really, really sorry but I’ve been arrested.”

Interview Excuse 3: “I’ve just woken up in someone’s house. I have no idea who they are or where I am.”


Interview Excuse 4: “I need to stay in the house today to wait for a parcel.”

Interview Excuse 5: “I forgot I’m due in court today, sorry.” (No prior mention of this.)

Interview Excuse 6: “I’ve landed a date and I haven’t had one is so long, that I just have to go.”

Image issues:

Interview Excuse 7: “I forgot to wash my suit.”

Interview Excuse 8: “I got my hair cut last night and it’s just ridiculous.”

Interview Excuse 9: “I did get to the office, but my heel broke so I didn’t go in.”

Technological malfunctions:

Interview Excuse 10: “My laptop just exploded, so I can’t do my presentation.”

Interview Excuse 11: “Sorry, my iPhone broke and I’d forgotten where to go.” (Sent from iPhone).

Interview Excuse 12: “I’m on holiday in Australia!” (Oh, thanks for letting us know?!?!)

Unfortunate accidents:

Interview Excuse 13: “I fell over on the ice and banged my knee.”

Interview Excuse 14: “A car drove by and splashed an entire puddle over me.”

Interview Excuse 15: “I slipped over in the shower and I have a huge lump on my head.”

Commuter chaos:

Interview Excuse 16: “I fell asleep on the train and missed my stop!”

Interview Excuse 17: “I’m sorry, I woke up in Edinburgh this morning (the interview was in Birmingham).”

Interview Excuse 18: “I’m in London, just getting myself prepared…” (The interview was in Manchester).

Family fun:

Interview Excuse 19: “My mum said I’m grounded.”

Interview Excuse 20: “I’ve just found out my sister is sleeping with my husband.” (In ruder language).

Interview Excuse 21: “I’m going into labour.” (Pretty good excuse, but no previous mention of pregnancy).

Caught in the act:

Interview Excuse 22: “My car’s been stolen.” (From someone without a car/driving license).

Interview Excuse 23: Voicemail received at 6am; “I’m really sick.” (Loud music & singing in background).

Interview Excuse 24: Text 1: “Sorry, I’m ill – can we rearrange?” Text 2: “Just sacked off my interview. f*ck it let’s go pub.”

Pet peeves:

Interview Excuse 25: “My goldfish died and I’m really sad.”

Interview Excuse 26: “My dog decided to rip up my suit and shoes”

Interview Excuse 27: “There’s a pigeon in my house and I don’t know what to do.”

Just plain weird:

Interview Excuse 28: “I’m in hospital getting my TV remote surgically removed.” (Please – say no more).

Interview Excuse 29: “I’m sort of handcuffed to my bed.”

Interview Excuse 30: “I can’t find my USB stick, I think my ghost has moved it.”

What the heck?

Being an agency, we hear tons of interview excuses.

Because recruitment consultants aren’t (usually) directly hiring them, candidates do often feel like they can be a lot more honest with us.

We then have to decide whether we tell our clients the truth, paraphrase, understate or occasionally even fib about what has happened (for our candidate’s dignity if nothing else).

If truth be told; even when you give a good excuse for missing an interview, you will have put a little doubt in the employer’s mind, which just means added pressure to wow during the interview.

Recruiter Pro Tip

Employers; if you do receive a last minute interview cancellation and you’re wondering whether to re-schedule or just to sack the time-waster off, think to yourself…

  • Does their story sound plausible?
  • When you dig deeper, does it just start to crumble?
  • Does their tone of voice match the story?
  • Does something seem a little “off?”

Use your intuition! Are you potentially losing a fantastic, passionate candidate, or are they clearly not that bothered about the role?

(You should also check out these absolute gems: The 30 Best (Worst) Excuses For Pulling a Sickie!)

Happy Friday!

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2 years ago

Funny! I once missed an interview because I got lost in Nairobi City!